--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com
, "youngblood1435" <smiththomas9263@...> wrote:
> Go to Http://homedistiller.org tab to distilling then using a fractionating still.
> so let me see if I understand this. for a given column there is a power setting that will give a 10/1 reflux ratio. and if you use too little power you won't get a proper ratio? I thought that the lower and slower the better! am I wrong about this?
> any comments Harry?
'Lower and slower' increases running costs while reducing yield. Neither is an advantage.
'Power Setting' does not decide reflux ratio. Reflux ratio is the amount you take as product against the amt. you return to the packing as reflux.
This is decided by:
In CM...'partial reflux', using coolant flow adjustment of the overhead condenser to let 'some' vapor pass as product and condense the rest as reflux.
In LM...physically dividing the Total condensate with a valve (needle, ball) and diverting the two streams to reflux and product in proportions determined by the valve setting.
In VM...physically dividing the Total Vapor by either a valve, or still design parameters, or both, into two vapor streams for processing by the product and reflux condensers.
In all cases however, if there isn't sufficient vapor being generated by the boiler to feed the column and its processing components efficiently (valves, condensers etc.) according to the still's design capabilities, then the first thing that suffers is purity of column products.
Still building is all about 'balance'. You need to review the steps in reflux still design...
1. Decide how much product per hour you want to take.
2. Then add the amount of reflux you need to achieve the takeoff rate from step 1. IOW for 1 litre/hr of product, you may decide that you need 9 litres total/hr (1 product, 8 reflux). (Note: it's your choice here).
3. Use the available equations
to decide the best power input to achieve steps 1 & 2.
4. Match your still height, and diameter, and condenser/s capability to the figures from step 3.
Make sure you understand the importance of 'balanced design'. Once built, a still is pretty much 'fixed' in it's potential capability. There's not much you can do to improve an in-efficiency, short of retro-fitting or rebuilding the still differently. More cost, more frustration.