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RE: [Distillers] Yet another! air cooled still idea...

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  • Robert N
    Hi Jim am I correct to assume what you are trying to do is increase the size of your top condenser so that it can cool the distillate vapour to a liquid state.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 1, 2004
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      Hi Jim am I correct to assume what you are trying to do is increase the size
      of your top condenser so that it can cool the distillate vapour to a liquid
      state. Would I be correct to assume you have tried to slow down the water
      flow until vapour starts to emit from the top of your still? And you are
      finding that the water flow is still too great and is making you feel guilty
      because of the waste of water? (I know that feeling) As Riku alluded to in
      his reply to you, unless the new addition to the top of your still has fins
      soldered to the pipe, then the convection of heat that you desire will not
      work well at all.



      You didn’t mention how many watts you are feeding into this monster. Two
      things you have to consider is heat in equal’s heat out. The other thing we
      all neglect is that the quicker (higher wattage element) we boil a liquid in
      a still of the same design, the quicker the vapour speed up the tower will
      become. This in turn gives the vapour less contact time with the condenser;
      this then requires a greater differential in cooling water temperature for
      the condenser you have to work, hence higher water usage.



      I would see only two possible solutions to your challenge, make the original
      top condenser larger and longer, this will allow the water a longer length
      of pipe/time to interact with the vapour. And the other is to reduce the
      heat input to your still, which adds to the time taken the run the thing but
      you do end up with a better product.



      You could also try adding a radiator, either from an A/C unit or car and
      have the fan blow on it. (Been there done this.) Try having the radiator
      plumbed in between the Liebig and the top condenser or if this is not an
      option, you could try it before the Liebig condenser. This may just give the
      cooling water enough differential temperature to suit your needs.



      Having been down a similar path as this a couple of years ago, I have since
      played with 12 volt boat bilge pumps (they burn out and can't raise the
      water up high enough for my still) I then went for a pond pump, the high
      flow rate of this pump required me to bleed off the water flow to get the
      water through the condenser that was made of ¼” copper pipe, otherwise risk
      burning out this pump. I then decided to go for the shotgun condenser and
      3/4” diameter hose and fittings, as this is what the pump feed was. Hence
      there is hardly any restriction on the pump flow rate.



      Since building this new condenser 12 months ago, I don’t have a worry until
      the water in the 200lt plastic drum reaches 60C at which temperature I have
      found the pump cuts out…… experience has shown me that I can raise said body
      of water from 25C to 55C using a 2400 Watt element in 6 odd hours, an 1800
      watt element takes 8~10 hours. (I’m sure some one can come back with the
      maths to give us a more accurate time). Of course ambient temperature and
      heat loss plays some part in here as well.



      Jim I hope you can sort the water usage problem out, if you do decide on a
      similar route to what I have taken, then please email me, I will be glad to
      discuss this further over the pitfalls that I went through.



      Yours in spirit



      Robert



      _____

      From: watertrade2003 [mailto:james1@...]
      Sent: Monday, 31 May 2004 11:04 PM
      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Distillers] Yet another! air cooled still idea...



      Hi Folks,
      Every time I use my still I can't escape the guilt of using so much
      water. SNIP So I have thought up this idea - it probably will need some
      more designing... that's where I hope you can help!..

      SNIP… You follow??.. :) **
      INSERT The image is in the photos section --> Lazy Condenser/lazy air


      Let me know what you think.

      Cheers Jim :)





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • watertrade2003
      Hi Riku and Robert, Thank you both for your replies… *SNIP* Hi Jim am I correct to assume what you are trying to do is increase the size of your top
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 1, 2004
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        Hi Riku and Robert,
        Thank you both for your replies…

        *SNIP*> Hi Jim am I correct to assume what you are trying to do is
        increase the size of your top condenser so that it can cool the
        distillate vapour to a liquid state.*SNIP* --> kind of, its more
        like another condenser sitting on top of the column - so I could
        effectively stop using the reflux condenser by cutting the water
        flow down.

        In reply to both messages…
        I have tuned my current reflux condenser to run on very little water
        to the extent the wastewater runs very hot with no vapour escaping
        the column – I feel I have got as much as possible from just a
        standard condenser… (This very little water adds up over the space
        of a 10-hour run!) as for power input I couldn't really tell you how
        much energy I'm putting in as I'm probably one of the last dinosaurs
        still using gas. I did work it out a while ago but I have since
        forgotten – I run at `That' heat setting and collect at about 8 or 9
        ml a minute - I get very clean cuts and product – I could probably
        run a lot quicker and still get a good product I just haven't put it
        to the test. Since I figured out what I was aiming for I have never
        had any variation in the product.

        I have almost given in to the idea of pumping water through a car
        radiator into a storage tank etc – I even searched out a good pump
        (from a hydroponics supplier) that should do the trick – I just have
        a feeling there must be a better way!! A much more complicated….
        and probably more expensive way!! Just kidding… I think I will go
        with the longer length of pipe – using Riku's tests of 2 meters of
        convector pipe with water @1600w those figures sound pretty
        reasonable – I doubt I run at much higher than this anyway – Riku
        how was the convector pipes setup?? Horizontal, in a single
        length?

        What I'm imagining is lengths of 50cm convector pipe set up in some
        sort of gang that would receive vapour equally and of course work
        perfectly ;) – however… in reality I can see this would be very
        hard to arrange. I'm getting into the physical dynamics of vapour
        (chimney effects etc) which is beyond me at this stage….
        Although… if the vapour is diverted into a larger baffled chamber
        the vapour could then enter individual convector pipes at the same
        rate… Hmmmm I better go give this some more thought!!

        Thank you both for your feedback.. I will keep the group up to
        date with what I stumble across…

        Robert, I will probably, sooner or later be asking your advice on
        the pumping setup!! ;)

        If we are dealing with straight lengths of 22mm convector, there
        would be enough room to carefully insert rolled up pieces of amphora
        mesh into the pipe?

        Cheers
        Jim
      • watertrade2003
        Riku, I forgot that you have already been through this whole thing before... :) so can anyone help me find a local source to australia where I can find the
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 1, 2004
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          Riku,
          I forgot that you have already been through this whole thing
          before... :)

          so can anyone help me find a local source to australia where I can
          find the following type of product

          http://www.retherm.se/html/konvektorror.html

          Jim
        • abbababbaccc
          Yeah, it was set up as a potstill, 2 meters pipe going slightly downwards from the boiler. In a similar fashion you could set the pipe on slight upwards angle
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 1, 2004
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            Yeah, it was set up as a potstill, 2 meters pipe going slightly
            downwards from the boiler. In a similar fashion you could set the
            pipe on slight upwards angle and cut it into two pieces (with proper
            mass distribution) connected together in zig-zag pattern. Add a
            support structure and you have a nice low ambient cooling condenser
            on top of the column.

            Or you can have it straight up and use a fan and a shroud to push air
            through it (room permitting).

            I found my pipe at a mobile home shop. They are used as heating
            radiators inside the mobile home.

            Good luck, and let us know what you build.

            Greetz, Riku

            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "watertrade2003" <james1@w...>
            wrote:
            > a feeling there must be a better way!! A much more complicated….
            > and probably more expensive way!! Just kidding… I think I will go
            > with the longer length of pipe – using Riku's tests of 2 meters of
            > convector pipe with water @1600w those figures sound pretty
            > reasonable – I doubt I run at much higher than this anyway – Riku
            > how was the convector pipes setup?? Horizontal, in a single
            > length?
            >
            > What I'm imagining is lengths of 50cm convector pipe set up in some
            > sort of gang that would receive vapour equally and of course work
            > perfectly ;) – however… in reality I can see this would be very
            > hard to arrange. I'm getting into the physical dynamics of vapour
            > (chimney effects etc) which is beyond me at this stage….
            > Although… if the vapour is diverted into a larger baffled chamber
            > the vapour could then enter individual convector pipes at the same
            > rate… Hmmmm I better go give this some more thought!!
            >
            > Thank you both for your feedback.. I will keep the group up to
            > date with what I stumble across…
            >
            > Robert, I will probably, sooner or later be asking your advice on
            > the pumping setup!! ;)
            >
            > If we are dealing with straight lengths of 22mm convector, there
            > would be enough room to carefully insert rolled up pieces of
            amphora
            > mesh into the pipe?
            >
            > Cheers
            > Jim
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