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Re: Hot water tannk Still

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  • CornFed (Randy)
    The last sentence says you have temperature control on the still. Does that mean you have a thermostat installed? Or what kind of control are you using? If
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 3, 2003
      The last sentence says you have 'temperature control' on the still.
      Does that mean you have a thermostat installed? Or what kind of
      control are you using? If it is the wrong kind of control, you are
      probably experiencing surge boiling also.

      you will have better luck if you just forget about what temperature
      that the boiler is at. Just run your operation with at least 750
      watts and less than 1800 watts and you will be fine. I am assuming
      that you used 2 inch tubing for your column. By trying to manage the
      temperature at the top of the column by what is happening at the
      bottom of the column is a sure way to have problems.

      I have an operation that started off looking alot like yours. I
      tried to control the operation with a simple light switch dimmer and
      it acted like you are describing. Just pick a power input and let it
      run wide open with no control. Then focus your attention on making
      sure the condesnor coolant is flowing and that your offtake and
      return flow is producing the correct amount of reflux.

      If your packed section of the column is close to 3 feet long then it
      is perfect. somewhere between 30 and 40 inches (or one meter) is the
      normal target length. A slightly longer column, say up to 50 inches
      or so, will allow you to operate the offtake at a faster rate (within
      reason) with the same quality. There are limits to every generalized
      explaination. A longer packed section increases the surface area of
      packing so that more mini distillations can happen with less reflux.
      Does the length that you are using give you overhead clearance
      problems? If no then it is fine as it is or could be longer still.

      Your boiler temperature will be consistant with what is in the boiler
      at the time. If it is pure ethanol, it will be close to 79 deg C,
      if it has more water content then it will be closer to 100 deg C.
      The amount of heat you input will govern the vapor volume and speed
      that it is moving at. Otherwise boiler temperature is just useful at
      determining when the ethanol is gone from your boiler.

      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, John Suderman <johns4542000@y...>
      wrote:
      > Can someone help me? how hot should the water in the boiler be? If
      I have the water 79Deg C.
      > the top is cold.
      > When I heat it up more the temperature really fluctuates it's ether
      to hot or to cold, I have the column insulated an every thing.
      > Is the column to long? can I make it shorter? how short is a good
      length for the column?
      > I even put a temperature control on the still.
      >
      > Thanks
      > John
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
      > Post your free ad now! Yahoo! Canada Personals
    • nanosleep
      You don t want temperature control, rather what you want is *power* control. It s a subtle difference. You want a constant power that is as high as you can
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 3, 2003
        You don't want temperature control, rather what you
        want is *power* control. It's a subtle difference.
        You want a constant power that is as high as you can
        run without flooding/choking your column. How much
        power are you running?

        -A


        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, John Suderman <johns4542000@y...>
        wrote:
        > Can someone help me? how hot should the water in the boiler be? If I
        have the water 79Deg C.
        > the top is cold.
        > When I heat it up more the temperature really fluctuates it's ether
        to hot or to cold, I have the column insulated an every thing.
        > Is the column to long? can I make it shorter? how short is a good
        length for the column?
        > I even put a temperature control on the still.
        >
        > Thanks
        > John
        >
      • BOKAKOB
        The still look fine except the following things I noticed: •Temperature gage is too low. It must be very close to the take off point. •The return tube is
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 4, 2003
          The still look fine except the following things I noticed:
          �Temperature gage is too low. It must be very close to the take off point.
          �The return tube is somewhat low placed but can be left as is.
           
          Now if you concentrate on getting 79degC at the top elbow, everything should be OK. Remember 79degC must be at the top! Just junk your heat control module and do it manually by adjusting the power  input.The boiler will never go over 100degC (don't worry about this bastard!) Good luck.

          John Suderman <johns4542000@...> wrote:
          Can someone help me? how hot should the water in the boiler be? If I have the water 79Deg C. the top is cold. When I heat it up more the temperature really fluctuates it's ether to hot or to cold, I have the column insulated an every thing. Is the column to long? can I make it shorter? how short is a good length for the column? I even put a temperature control on the still. John


          I can be wrong I must say
          Cheers, Alex...
          A


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        • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
          john, ... The boiling temperature of the boiler depends on how much alcohol is present in it. It will probably start boiling around 92C, lifting slowly
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 4, 2003
            john,

            >Can someone help me? how hot should the water in the boiler be?
            >If I have the water 79Deg C. the top is cold.
            >When I heat it up more the temperature really fluctuates
            >it's ether to hot or to cold, I have the column insulated an every thing.

            The boiling temperature of the boiler depends on how much alcohol is present in it. It will probably start boiling around 92C, lifting slowly towards 100C during the run. Below point temp, the energy is going only into heating it up. Once up to temperature, the power is used to generate vapour. So if you have a controller on it, and trying to regulate it around say 92C, then all that the controller switching on/off will do is make the vapour flow surge on/off. You do not want an unsteady flow of vapour. So instead, just leave the power supply on. This will give a steady flow of vapour, so that you can then start trouble-shooting your other problems. If the amount of vapour that you are generating at "max" power is too much for the column, eg more than 2000W for a 2" column, or 750W for a 1" column, then you may need to consider either a different element in there, or a steady way to reduce the power supplied to it.

            Good to see that the column is fully insulated - that will help.

            The clue is probably that you see it fluctuating. This sounds like the column might be flooding. That occurs when there is not enough room in the column for the all the packing, vapour, and liquid. Usually due either to too much power (sic), or you have packed the packing in too tight.

            What diameter is the column, and what power input ?

            You could try as a starter reducing some of the packing - teasing out some of the scrubbers so that they are a little more spread out. It may also mean that the scrubbers have become dirty & clogged up over time & may need a good washing.

            You should be able to start up the column under total reflux, and have it steady off there. If its surging at this point, then the problems are as above. If that period is fine, and it gets troublesome later on, when trying to control the middle of the run, it may be that your control is too coarse - you are adjusting the offtake too much & by too far. Those valves need just the slightest of touches to make a big difference, and need a few minutes to settle down after being adjusted. Give them just a really light touch, stand back, hum a favorite tune, then check for results. You can't drive them like a TV remote and expect a rapid response. Just a little, and give it time to adjust to the new flowrates.


            >Is the column to long? can I make it shorter?

            Bah ! No such thing in my book. Longer means that you can run it faster and make a purer product, with less power input and require less control. Far easier than a short column. The only real considerations for height should be that you can still reach the control valve and be able to read the temperature at the very head of the column.

            >how short is a good length for the column?

            1.2 to 1.5m

            >I even put a temperature control on the still.

            Theres no need, provided the column can handle the full flowrate of vapour when set to max. If the control is not smooth, it will only lead to trouble. Dont leave it to "hunt" around a temperature set point. Instead, if necessary, use it to reduce the power input only. Two slightly different objectives for the same kit, but with wildly different outcomes.

            Tony
            http://homedistiller.org
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