What is a membrane?
Membranes are barriers in water treatment that allow water to pass through while preventing undesired substances from passing through as well. Technical membranes exclude salts, pollutants, viruses, and other particles from water in the same way that cell walls do in human bodies.
What are the various Membrane components?
1: End cap assembly: Each pressure vessel is equipped with two (2) end caps. One end-cap is fixed on the pressure vessel's feed end, and the other on the vessel's brine end. On the brine end end-cap, there is also a permeate port.
2: Membrane adapter: There are two (2) membrane adapters in each pressure vessel (also recognized as stub tube adapters). These devices can connect the membrane process water tube to the end-cap assembly at each end of the pressure vessel.
3: Interconnector: There are six (6) interconnectors in each membrane pressure vessel. The interconnectors connect the product water tubes to the neighbouring membrane parts.
4: Brine Seal: Each membrane piece requires a brine seal (sometimes called a chevron seal). The brine seal is fitted into a groove at the feed end of the element, with the open section facing the incoming feed water. Normal operation causes the brine seal to expand, effectively sealing against the inside wall of the pressure vessel and prevents feed water from going around the outside of the element, pushing all feed water via the membrane brine channel.
What are the steps for the installation of RO Membranes?
1: Examine the fit of all the O-rings on the end caps. All O-rings should be lubricated with glycerine. Install the downstream end-caps (concentrate/brine end) as directed by the manufacturer.
2: Insert the large PVC thrust cone into the feed end of the pressure vessel.
3: Unwrap the membrane elements and set them on a clean surface to drain the preservative, which is often sodium meta-bisulphite solution. When working with the elements, latex gloves should be used, and all surroundings should be kept clean.
4: First and foremost, all membranes should have brine seals on one end, which serves as the feed end. Glycerine should be used to lubricate the brine seals.
5: Attach one of the membrane adapters to the downstream end of the first membrane (stub tube adapters). Lubricate all of the O-rings. The membrane adapter will be inserted into the membrane's product water tube. Next, insert the thrust cone and membrane element into the pressure vessel's feed end, pushing the membrane element in about halfway.
6: Insert the interconnector into the feed end of the first loaded membrane. The next membrane will push onto the first, and the interconnect will join the two membranes.Push the second membrane into the pressure vessel, keeping it aligned until half of it is within the pressure vessel.
7: Repeat step 6 to insert the final membrane into the pressure vessel. Install another membrane adapter at the feed end of the last membrane (stub tube adapter). This adapter will connect the membrane to the end cap assembly of the pressure vessel's feed end. All membranes should be pushed from the feed end until the lead end membrane adapter fits into the downstream (brine/concentrate) end-cap. Tap the downstream end cap to help line it with the adaptor if placing the adapter in the end-cap proves difficult.
8: Install the feed end end-cap assembly at last. Complete installation instructions for the pressure vessels and membranes can be found in the manufacturer's manual.
WARNING: Do not roll any of the O-rings. Raw feed water will enter the permeate tube of the membrane through rolled, fractured, or nicked O-rings, lowering the quality of the permeate water.
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