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Re: [Distillers] Condenser Calculations

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    Tone, Yes there are formulas for this but this is one aspect I actually prefer to go on gut feel and experience and adjust the water flow through the condenser
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6 9:56 AM
      Yes there are formulas for this but this is one aspect I actually
      prefer to go on gut feel and experience and adjust the water flow through
      the condenser marginally to compensate for any minor difference from the
      theoretical. Without the following data it is hard to advise accurately.
      Boiler capacity
      Boiler contents
      ENERGY INPUT. ie. heater elements and how much these draw.
      Column size. ie length and diameter (O.D., & I.D.)
      Insulation, and expected heat loss
      Packing. ie. type and amount
      Total Reflux
      Reflux Ratio
      At this point suffice it to say that the Condenser heat energy required to
      be extracted is equal to the ENERGY INPUT minus the heat losses lost in the
      process. The majority of these heat losses are from radiated heat and
      without very accurate monitoring and testing facilities these are very
      difficult and in fact almost impossible to exactly and precisely quantify.
      For these reasons I prefer to let experience be my main guide.
      For this small size diameter (28mm) column 15mm condenser tube will be more
      than ample rather than too narrow but should work admirably. I personally
      would have used slightly smaller sizes. In most countries tube sizes as
      quoted are O.D. whereas pipe sizes are mostly I.D. Working on tube sizes of
      28mm o.d. and 15mm o.d and 1mm wall section the gap between the inside of
      the 28mm tube and the outside of the 15mm tube = 5.5mm. More than ample to
      cool virtually any input through the still. You will need to keep the water
      input through the condenser right down otherwise you will quickly stuff up
      the reflux so please make sure you fit a good needle valve. Length of
      condenser will depend on element size and energy input. About 600-700w will
      do amply for this small size. Do not use more than 1000w. I suggest you use
      a good triac controller. For this size a condenser of 250 to 350mm (max) in
      length will do very well. You could even go as low as 200mm if necessary. I
      suggest a length of 280 to 300mm will work spot on and you will be able to
      keep the water flow right down. At this length you will be able to achieve
      very finite control over the cooling process. Where condensers are too short
      it is very easy to stuff up the reflux quite easy because any change in the
      volume of water going through quickly alters the condensation factor. You
      would think it would be the other way but I have found through experience it
      is easier to achieve precise control over a slightly longer condenser. A
      word of warning at this point: It is always easier to over correct than
      under correct so go easy with the adjustments and err on the side of time
      and the still making them for you. By using a measuring jug and timing
      exactly how long it takes to fill say 500ml or 1 litre you quickly get a
      feel for water useage and adjustment.
      B.r., David

      -----Original Message-----
      From: slacker785@... <slacker785@...>
      To: Distillers@egroups.com <Distillers@egroups.com>
      Date: Wednesday, June 07, 2000 4:29 AM
      Subject: [Distillers] Condenser Calculations

      >Hi everyone,
      > I'm making progress on my little still (28mm diam Stone & Nixon
      >style) but I want to use a condenser similar to the STILLMAKER design
      >(i.e.: water jacketed tube) as I already have the parts lying
      >around. I was thinking of a 15mm condenser tube with a 28mm jacket.
      >The question is how long do I make it? Anyone got formulas for
      >this? I know 15mm is a little bit narrow, but the still will have a
      >pretty low throughput.
      >Thanks in advance for any help!
      >Old school buds here:
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