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Water Pumps and Cooling

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  • Randy
    Hi This is my second try at posting this. The first one got black holed by yahoo and may show up sometime in a galaxy far far away. I operate an offset
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 29, 2002
      Hi  This is my second try at posting this.  The first one got black holed by yahoo and may show up sometime in a galaxy far far away. 
      I operate an offset stillhead design that started off as an instruction, design and diagram in Ian Smiley's book.   Since then it has been heavily modified, but the basic vapor path is unchanged. 
      It is a single 2 inch diameter 39 inch long packed column sitting on a 20 gallon converted electric water heater with a 2 kw element installed. 
      the pump that I use is rated at 6 gallons per minute and has a 30 feet static head rating.   The condensor is 20 feet plus of 1/4 OD tubing and the heat removal radiator is another 20 plus feet of  1/4 OD tubing.   So I realize 1 gallon per minute through the system because of line restriction and pressure build up.   There are roughly 4 liters in a gallon.
      I use a Simer Model M40 pump.  http://www.simerpump.com  I chose it because of the  flow output rating and also because of the garden hose bib connections which make things much more convenient. 
      a 'typical' beverage run for me takes about 15 hours.  A stripping run goes much faster.  It takes 4 hours to heat up the boiler and column. 
      the reservoir temperature does rise to a certain degree.  The coolest temperature that you can maintain in your reservoir will make the condensor work better.  I use a 6 gallon bucket and drop in frozen 2 liter soda bottles to keep the temperature as low as I can.  I have used the same 6 gallons of coolant for more than 2 years.  I have found that as long as the coolant temperature is below about 100 degrees the condensor will operate the way you want it to.  That is still at least a  70 degree temperature differential from the vapor you are working with.
      I have a bypass valve installed to regulate flow if necessary, but seldom use it.   I have an opinion about my stillhead design that the purpose of the condensor is to condense every trace of the vapor that it is presented with.  For that reason, I run my pump flow as fast as it will go.  
      I have used this set up for 2 years and am confident in it's reliability.  That is the reason I am recommending to other hobbiests.  The only major problem that I have encountered was from when I used plastic garden hose bib replacement connections instead of the metal variety.   I had a pressure failure in one of the connectors, which is a way of saying that the fitting broke and I had coolant spraying all over my garage.   I have since changed the fittings to the metal variety and the original fittings are still like-new in appearance.
      I have pictures of the set up that I run if your interested.   It isnt pretty, and I didnt take the pictures with a high dollar camera, but you can see the details well enough.
      As a avid tinkerer, I have a modification planned out for this system also and am gathering parts to put it all together. 
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