Since the late 90s, PIDs changed commercial espresso machines. Typically an espresso machine is a boiler, that uses something similar to geyser technology. By testing the boiler temp it was determined that the coffee machine produced coffee at a significantly unstable temperature.
PID modifications allowed espresso brewing at very repeatable temperatures. Henceforth temperature was a variable in brewing that could be excluded.
The Rancilio Silvia (or Ms Silvia as many call her) may have a small boiler designed for home use, but connecting it up to a temperature sensor you will see a very jagged and inconsistent temperature. While you can simulate a curve by regular flushing and testing, this wastes water and time.
With the PID kit, the steam to espresso temperature is quicker, and you can also see at what temperature suits the steaming of milk. Their recommendation is 130-136C rather than the 140C that the current steam wand temp cuts off.
Also by adding the PID, you control the brew temperature. So not only do you get temperature stability you also get the control of your brewing temp.
So upgrading allows you both to visually control the temp
What comes in the package
In the retro kit comes with:
- PID Controller, Aluminum extrusion box, rubber grommet, double-sided tape pre-assembled.
- Solid State Relay (SSR),
- mounting screw nut and washer for SSR,
- silicone heat transfer compound for SSR and sensor.
- RTD jumper cable.
- Cables for connecting SSR output to the heater. Terminated with spade tongue terminal on one end and tab terminal on the other end.
- Cables for connecting controller output to SSR input. Red coloured cable for positive. White coloured cable for negative. Terminated with spade tongue terminal on one end.
- Cables for tapping power to the controller. Terminated with a piggyback connector on one end.
- The RTD temperature sensor.
- Cable ties.
PID Kit Versions
There are three versions available:
|KIT-RSRTDNBR||PID Control Retrofit Kit – Red – Red LED Screen|
|KIT-RSRTDNBW||PID Control Retrofit Kit – White – White LED Screen|
|KIT-RSPBW||PID Control Retrofit Kit – Preinfusion White – adds the ability to pre-infuse your espressos|
Video once installed
A video on temperature stability once installed:
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Finally made some time to install my #PIDretrokit on my #MsSilvia. Here is a time lapse of it heating up and stabilizing at 97 C. Install took 90 minutes in total. I ran out of thermal paste because I did not read the instructions completely. That is why it has taken so long.