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When it comes to domestic espresso, you can't beat the value offered by the Rancilio Silvia. At the price point, it is unquestionably the best domestic espresso machine you can buy, offering commercial-grade components in a compact, affordable package. It's not surprising that it has been one of the world's most popular home espresso machines for the better part of two decades.
Of course the Silvia does have some limitations when compared to higher end (much more expensive) machines. The most significant is the lack of direct temperature control, due to the simple, thermostat-controlled single boiler. This tried and tested PID kit addresses that issue, arming your Silvia with technology in machines that are many multiples of the price.
What is a PID controller?
PID stands for proportional–integral–derivative and PID controllers are basically more sophisticated versions of thermostats. Rather than simply switching the heating element on and off when certain thresholds are reached, PID controllers can understand the trajectory of the temperature, and apply finer control to when the heating element goes on.
The upshot is simple - the temperature can be maintained in a much narrower range, and more precise temperature control means better, more consistent espresso!
About this PID Retrofit Kit for the Rancilio Silvia
This kit was designed specifically for the Silvia and has been available for many years. It works with pretty much any version of the Rancilio Silvia, including the most recent versions that we sell. It takes just an hour to install* on a Silvia, and once installed, will maintain temperature within ~0.5ºC of your desired temperature. Even better, you can choose to adjust that temperature to experiment with that all important brewing variable.
The kit is compact, and doesn't corrupt your Silvia's beautiful looks thanks to a minimalist LED interface. Once installed, it looks like it belongs there.
About the pre-infusion version of the PID
This PID kit comes in 3 different versions. The first two offer different options in terms of the colour of the LED interface, but the 3rd offers something quite special - pre-infusion. Pre-infusion is a feature you'll find on very high end commercial machines, where a small amount of water is introduced into the coffee puck before the extraction. This helps to improve the evenness of the ultimate extraction by wetting all the grounds first.
The pre-infusion version of this PID takes digital control over the brew switch of the Silvia (though you can still use it manually) and effectively makes the machine a time-based automatic. You can set a pre-infusion, soak and brew time of your choice, within 0.1s. Then, you simply press the button and let the Silvia do the rest!
About installation of the PID controller kit
The kit does come with detailed installation instructions and is intended for home installation if you so choose. However, please note that if you install the kit yourself and any issues arise with your machine, these would no longer be covered by warranty.
However, if you order the PID controller with the purchase of a new Silvia, we will arrange for it to be installed for you, free of charge! Even better, when you receive your kit pre-installed, your warranty will still be valid.
If you already have a Silvia, and want to have the kit professionally installed (and avoid invalidating your warranty), we can arrange to have this done for you, subject to some labour and courier charges. Please contact us to discuss this option.
Included with the Rancilio PID controller kit
- Custom manufactured PID temperature controller with parameters set for the machine
- Controller box with stainless steel panel that matches the brush finish of the machine
- Solid state relay with mounting hardware and heat conductive paste
- Platinum RTD temperature sensor
- High temperature resistant wires, colour-coded, cut to length and terminated with proper connectors
- Digital version installation guide and operation manual with text and photos
Rancilio PID controller kit features
- Specifically designed for Rancilio Silvia
- Keeps temperature within ~0.5ºC
- Adjustable brewing temperature
- High accuracy temperature sensor
- High temperature endurance parts and cables
- Similar finish to Rancilio Silvia for integrated look
- White or Red LED interface (choose from drop down)
- Pre-infusion (pre-infusion model only)
- Automatic time-based operation of brewing head (pre-infusion model only)