4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:14 pm

Cleaned the (very nasty) evaporator core I had trash picked the other day. Spent a little while soldering up some I/Os that will interface to my cooling system today. Definitely not amongst the prettier work I’ve done, but the order of the day was to get it done.

First image is the side of the evaporator core after I cut off the former inputs and outputs. This core has one input of ½” and two outputs of something less than 3/8”. The core is 21” wide by 17” tall, and three serpentine rows of coolant lines through some 2 ¼” thickness of the cooling fins.

The second image is the outlet runner collection I soldered up. “Y”ed (2) 3/8”copper lines into a ½” outlet. And the third image has the two after soldering them together.

The last two images are after adding in the inlet fittings and a few valves. One valve to control the coolant into the evaporator core, and the other valve to open the bypass which will release the water directly to the reservoir without going through the evap core. I do have a 3 way valve that I could have, probably should have used here, but I hadn’t thought through the whole system before cutting and soldering.

Later this weekend I’ll add back in the fan, fan shroud, and fabricate up a bit of structure around it.
Attachments
Evaporator Core.jpg
Evaporator Core with Cut Refrigerant Lines
Evaporator Outlet Runners.jpg
Outlet Runners
Evaporator Outlet Side.jpg
Core and Outlet Side Assembled
Evaporator IO Bypass.jpg
Coolant Loop in Bypass
Evaporator IO Flow Through.jpg
Coolant Loop in Flow-Through
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:14 pm

Just a few quick picks for today. Connected it to my hose to test for leaks and the flow. Granted, the pressure from the city is quite high (35-40 psi??), but I run my coolant loop with a Liberty 260 pump which flows up to 17 gpm and provides a head up to 25'. Anyway, I was pretty happy with the trial. Tiny leak at one of the ball valves which a little tightening of nut on it solved.

First image is just in the Evaporator Flowthrough mode, Second is of the Evaporator Bypass mode (with a little bit of residual flow still draining from the evap loop), and the last photo is with both wide open to allow parallel Flowthrough and Bypass.

Attaching the fan and get he system fully set up is next.

Hmmm.... just thinking that I'm adding all of this into a "Column Build" thread. May need to migrate to a better location for these tangents to my system. :oops:
Attachments
Evap Flowthrough Only.jpg
Flowthrough
Evap Bypass Flow Only.jpg
Bypass
Evap Both Flow.jpg
Both
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby BrierPatch » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:26 pm

Hey, DetroitDIY -

I love what you're doing with the evaporator. I am currently in the process of a modular boka build and am designing in a closed-loop cooling system. I already have a brand new automotive radiator, a brand new automotive fuel tank (about 20 gallons?) and a brand new fuel pump for the tank. (Let's just say that it's good to have a friend that keeps his eye on what's going into the scrap bin!) The fuel tank will be the highest point of the system and open to the atmosphere (suspended from the rafters) and the radiator (with fan/shroud attached) will hang immediately below the tank. The fuel pump to supply coolant (water) to my shotgun deflag and also to my product liebig. The returns will each have an individual gate valve allowing me to control the flow/temperature of each. The fuel tank will be the highest point of the system (suspended from the rafters) and the radiator (with fan) will hang immediately below the tank.

In addition to the two condenser returns, There is also an in-tank "fuel return" which returns excessive volume of coolant not consumed by the deflag and liebig back into the tank. The process of pressurizing the water via the pump will raise the temperature of the water a bit (exactly how much is yet to be determined).

Where I'm stuck (and will likely need some experimentation to figure out) is how to configure my returns:
Option A:
  • Deflag --> Radiator --> Tank
  • Liebig --> Radiator --> Tank
  • Pump Return --> Tank
The Deflag and Liebig will have the highest temperature rise, so it makes sense to attack the highest temperature water.

Option B:
  • Deflag --> Radiator --> Tank
  • Liebig --> Radiator --> Tank
  • Pump Return --> Radiator --> Tank
Will the higher pressure and volume of the Pump Return prevent proper flow of the coolant from the Deflag and Liebig?

Option C:
  • Deflag --> Tank
  • Liebig --> Tank
  • Pump Return --> Radiator --> Tank
As the flow of the Pump Return will be the highest, would moving the most volume through the radiator compensate for the lower flow of the Deflag (120*?) and Liebig (100*?) returning directly to the tank?

I figure that I'll need to do some experimentation to figure out what works best, but am curious to hear how your system is set-up as a point of reference.

I'm also in the 'burbs of Detroit... Your build is beautiful , BTW!
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:04 pm

Hey there Briarpatch, good to meet another SE Michigander.

I would think your first option is preferable, and add a valve onto your pump return so you can choke the path of least resistance. Cooling the pump return in your radiator would be the least effective as you should have the least temperature difference there. Cooling the deflag/liebig return will be more effective and thus a better use of your radiator. I'm including a bypass at the radiator so that I might conltrol the cooling vs. the heat input. I think overall, you want to approach steady state, but can't really as the temp of your distillate will rise over time and thus you'll want more cooling power over time. Thus, a bypass for the evaporator seems like it may be an option if you have very effective cooling, and you could choke the bypass bit by bit as your distillate temp rises and you need more cooling performance to maintain equilibrium. Not speaking from experience, just thinking about it.

I think you move to less effective with option B, although your radiator will provide some head loss to your flow and thus help to bias a bit more flow through the deflag/liebig, but still not as much as I presume those two add more pressure drop than your return. And to least effective in option C. That will leave you (or at least me with my system) really wanting more cooling power, but wanting to move all my coolant through the condenser to knock down the distillate, but unhappy with it's ability to knock it down as that stream is just heating up. Not my preference.

Also, I'm surprised a fuel pump is that capable. As you see from my comments, I'm running a pump capable of 17 gpm (over 1000 gallons per hour), albeit with no head loss. Don't know what I'm actually getting, as I'm sure I have plenty of pressure drop through my system, but lets just say I still have a lot of apparent thrust for the exit flow as the lines return into my reservoir.

If you're going to be experimenting, just keep flexibility and reconfigurability in mind.

Good luck.
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:33 pm

Completed the flute's first rum wash. The wash was a nightmare, for reasons I won't bore you with. But, I ran it on 3 plates. The rig runs quickly, much quicker than the time I used to spend on double distilling rum through a pot still. That's a blessing... as it was one of the main reasons I embarked on this whole second build... Needed a still that wouldn't take all weekend to run. This one is doing nicely.

I rigged up the cooling system. Not my final layout, but I wanted it to keep my system running more stable, so I just suspended it and stuck a fan one foot in front of it. Not as efficient as it will be, but it definitely made a difference. I've included one photo of it running, very nice laminar flow coming out after running through the evaporator (though I understand a bit of turbulent, shower head, raining into my reservoir would offer a touch more cooling opportunity... don't think I'll need it once I have a proper fan with a shroud around the system).

I had run the evaporator a bit off the garden hose, but there was clearly a lot more oily stuff in it. It emptied into my water reservoir over the course of the run and everything it touched had a nasty, oily film. Ugly to clean up, but the job is done now.

I put 13 gallons into my 15.5 boiler. As I was running it, I noticed it starting to puke in the first plate. I shut it down, siphoned off 1.5 gallons back onto the lees from the rum fermenter (a good thing, as I needed something hot in there to kill off the infection that I let run wild). I also dropped in about 1 teaspoon of oil as a surfactant. Then I sealed the boiler back up, connected the hose to the CIP for a brief moment to wash down the puke (added ~1 liter water to the boiler), and fired it back up again. Not sure which one did the trick, but I did not have another puke up. :mrgreen:

I collected lots of data, though not all data points at all times, and the collection intervals were sporadic. Anyways, I've attached the plots of it below. It says it's Purgirum, but that's not really how it ended up. I bastardized it a lot along the way. :roll:

You may recall from previous posts, but I have a gate valve for my "fine" coolant control to the dephleg (stop laughing... it's working so far... I thought a needle valve would restrict too much... maybe a later improvement for my rig). The gate has something like 5 turns to close it, but the operation is not linear per degree revolution, as it's shutting off a round hole with a "round" gate, so it looks like a crescent moon as it's approaching fully closed. One revolution of the handle at half open restricts the flow much more than one revolution at nearly closed. So there is some fine controlability. Anyways, I'm capturing the dephleg gate position as degrees of the handle rotation away from fully closed. 0 degrees is fully closed. 360 degrees is one complete handle turn away from fully closed (which is still reasonably choked, but let's a ton of cooling capability through). I don't really get much in the way of vapor passing through the dephleg until I'm about 90 degrees from fully closed... so the needle valve is probably the right call... some day.

Anyways, the plot shows the Dephleg Gate Valve position, the Dephleg Temp above the dephleg, the Parrot Temp (for ABV measurement adjustment), the ABV measured (unadjusted), the Condenser Return Temp (after the dephleg and product condensers are joined, but before they enter the evaporator), and the Resevoir Temp. All of those data use the left axis scaled 0-200. The volume of distillate collected is not shown (I cropped it as it just makes all the other data harder to read). The Heater Power is the only other data included. That is in kW and is using the right axis scaled 0-6.

The data shows 2:30 of run time, but I did not include the heat up / puke / siphon / rinse time in this chart, so this wash was already pretty hot. Total run time, had I not had to fix the puke should have been about 3:00 or 3:15... plus clean up.

The dephleg temp is analog and I fear it's not calibrated correctly yet. The condenser return temp is via a fermenter temp sticker and should have a decent margin of error. The ABV is as read off the parrot, is not corrected for the temp and of course is reading a smeared alcohol amount. All data sets were collected at the same time... within 30 seconds or so... there were a lot of bits to collect.

Kind of interesting to me. I hope to learn more from the data as I learn my system more and can compare runs to one another. A few things I note from this data:

1) The evaporator is knocking the temperature down something like 9-10 degrees. That's not exactly true, as I'm considering the reservoir temp as the post evap temp, but the reservoir is a big blend. When I'm finished with the coolant fan and shroud, I'll add a fermenter sticker onto the outlet to capture more direct comparisons and help understand the efficiency of the evaporator.

2) The parrot temp wasn't getting much over 80, but still some alcohol vapor was escaping after the product condenser thought the whole run. You can see this in the third image. This makes me think that the coolant was cold enough, but that the vapor may be flowing through the condenser to fast for all of it to get knocked down. I have (5) 1/2" tubes inside a 2" shotgun. I'm thinking that I may need to add some turbulators inside the vapor paths of the shotgun to mix it up a bit. I added a long helix of copper wire into my old pot still liebig condenser and that made a big difference. Going to try the same for all 5 tubes of my shotgun before my next run. I think I could run my system faster, were it not for this uncondensed vapor getting through.

All said and done, I struggled with my wash quite a bit, but comparing the alcohol collected from this run to the alcohol collected from my very first pot still stripping run, I did worse this time, but not as bad as I had feared. Better fermentation and knocking down all that vapor into collected product should help me improve my collection next time...which is fermenting away as I type this. :wink:

The other thing I just noted is that off the pot still (mind you I was a novice on that pot, and I'm a novice on this flute) I was saving 30-55% of what I collected during my spirit run. On this flute run I ended up saving ~65% of what I collected. Not a bad yield, and a very quick run time.

Thanks to all of you who gave me advice along the way, and to the veterans who posted lot's before me to help me be successful in this build. I wouldn't have done it without you.
Attachments
Evaporator Laminar Flow.jpg
Laminar Flow Out Evap
1st Rum Run.jpg
Data from Rum Run
Uncondensed Vapor.jpg
Vapor Escaping from Product Condenser
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby Big Stogie » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:03 am

Looks great! where did you find your core?
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:07 pm

Trash bin. Saw 3 AC units in a dumpster. Grabbed the one with the largest diameter lines, let the rest go. Sorry Stogie... had I known you wanted one, I could have grabbed one for you. I'll keep an eye out in that dumpster. Also came across some 5 feet of 2' Cu pipe and assorted fittings. Just sitting on it now with no plans.
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby Big Stogie » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:22 pm

Thanks let me know I ran mine for the first time yesterday and it’s apparent I need something drum got hot
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:16 pm

Ran a second rum wash a couple weeks back, and now ran a UJ(not so S)M wash this afternoon. I'm slowly learning how to run my system, the data collection and plotting is helping some. But I have a question for the experienced sieve plate flute operators out there. My plates are losing their charge a ways into the run to where they appear to have a thin layer of liquid on them and they're just simmering. The simmering level is below the downcomers. I'm thinking that the simmering is not doing much for my separation, and that I'm effectively in pot still mode at that time. I am able to open the dephleg wide and re-stack the plates somewhat... good bubbles on top two plates, but pretty tame on the bottom of 3 plates.

So my question... if I don't want to shut off flow to re-stack, but wanted a more finesse solution, what should I be doing? I'm thinking increase the flow to the dephleg so I get a bit more knock down and reflux... or my system may just be letting me know that it's low on alcohol and getting ready for me to shut it down. Appreciate your thoughts.

Here is an image of a plate "just simmering".
UJSM Poor Charge.jpg

And here is the data from my run. The photo of the simmering plate was taken about was I believe about time 3:15 - 3:30 when the ABV it dropping to the 70-60 range. I shut down the dephleg all together and ran it as a pot down to 10 ABV at the end. The spike in the dephleg angle where it goes off the page (and a higher ABV follows) is when I opened up the dephleg wide during the run to re-stack the plates.
UJSM1 Data.PNG
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:44 pm

Just a couple of short posts on how I solved the issue of my vapor not being knocked down by my shotgun product condenser...

I recalled I had suffered the same problem with the leibig on my pot still, and reproduced the solution that worked for me back then. Worked like a charm this time as well!

Started with some simple 14 AWG wire. Stripped it to just the copper. A simple task.
Condenser Barrel Wire.jpg

Next grabbed my longest spade bit, just a bit shorter than the condenser pipe lengths in my shotgun, and popped it in my drill. Then simply bent one end of a long strand of the bare copper onto the tip of the spade bit. Crimped it with a pliers to make sure it would stay on. Grabbed a glove to hold the wire against the bit. Turned the bit reasonably slowly (make sure your drill is set t turn in the correct direction).
Condenser Barrel Spring to be.jpg

And wound a loose spring. I did not want the spring helix to be too tight, as I wanted to create spaces between the helix inside the condenser to promote more turbulence in the vapor flow and more contact surface area.
Condenser Barrel Spring.jpg

I slipped the spring off the bit and then pulled the helix just a little wider so that the loose spring ran pretty much the full length of my condenser pipes. This by hand portion also introduced some irregularities, which again should be good for promoting the turbulence. I was also slightly "unwinding" the helix as I pulled on it to increase the diameter. Did this to achieve a diameter just narrower than the tube ID. Straightened out the spring as best I could (into a straight axis), and then slid the spring inside the tube while rotating it and being careful not the get it snagged inside and bunched up.
Condenser Barrel Turbulator.jpg
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:46 pm

Having made 5 such springs, I slipped them all into the condenser. Here are the before (where I could see light passing through the condenser barrels) and after (where the light had been obscured) photos of the springs inserted.
Condenser Barrels.jpg
Condenser Barrels w Turbulators.jpg

Worked excellent. No problems with the vapor knock down on either of my 2 runs since adding these in.
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby EziTasting » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:46 am

Love your work!

My solution isn’t as elegant as that, I have sacrificed one of my SS scrubbers and pulled them in like you did your spring... well, somewhat like your springs... wish I had thought of your solution! :thumbup:
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:33 pm

I ran two different washes on this today, a rum and a UJSM. Been learning this system yet, but I'm getting the hang of how to run the rum, different set points, different times to expect. I'm only on my second UJSM wash, and it clearly runs a bit different for me, and I clearly have yet to get a grip on it. I was all over the place with my gate valve and the power input.

But one of the common things on how I've been running both, has been that I'm getting rather high ABVs off the still. Not something I really want for these types of washes. The rum washes are running generally 90-70 ABV, and then dropped off pretty quick in all but one run (where I had added a decent amount of feints in... that had lots of tails). With the UJSM, I'm pulling off lots in the low 90s, high 80s, with a little bit below that before the still is ready to be shut down.

Is this right for a flute? I know they produce higher ABV with more flavor carry through, but this seems quite high, and I'm afraid I may be stripping good flavors out. I can't quite figure out how to run at a lower ABV without crashing the plates. I've been running 3 plates for pretty much all my runs.

Any thoughts? What ABVs are other sieve plate flute operators getting? If you're able to run things much lower, can you describe how?
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DSM Loki » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:39 pm

I've only done a handful of runs on my flute, but with 4 plates I have to run little to no water through the dephleg to get below 90 abv. I haven't been disappointed with the flavor carry over yet though
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby Dima » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:49 pm

Beautiful built! that plumbing work is crazy :wtf: :wtf: :wtf:
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Re: 4th Triangle Flute Design & Build

Postby DetroitDIY » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:54 pm

Well, I've been aware of one of my design flaws and avoiding the issue, but now that this early cold snap has come down I can't ignore it any longer.

There are 3 spots where I did not design my coolant loop to drain well:
1) Bottom of the dephleg... the inlet is 1/2" above the bottom plate of it. Lots of room for trapped standing water.
2) A cute little (errr stupid little) loop in the rigid plumbing the diverts of to the bottom of my PC. I had correctly thought through the drain at the bottom of my PC by the time I was building that, but then wasn't thinking when I plumbed in all the rigid connections off the back end.
3) A few rows of refrigerant tubing in my radiator heat exchanger.

The still is in my workshop. Well insulated, but normally unheated. I'm out here now running the wood stove to add a little head so the trapped water bits don't freeze and really screw me up, but clearly I'll have to properly remedy the design flaws.

I'll be moving the dephleg port down to the bottom to drain properly with gravity.
I'll be replacing the rigid plumbing off the back end with something more flexible... possibly PEX, or possibly metal braided drain lines. This is for several reasons. One to get rid of the stupid water trap that I've forced into my rigid lines. Two as I need to replace my "fine" water controlling gate valve with a proper needle valve. And three, because I want more adjustability in my modular build, and the rigid lines don't allow for flexibility in that portion. Just short sided on my part.
And I'll be adding in a small drain off the low spot in my evaporator core that I'll just have to open to drain in the winter when I'm not running things for a few days. I would love to plumb in a passive drain to that area, but am afraid that if I alter the flow, I'll just mess up the internal pressures during operation and harm it's cooling efficiency.

Sorry, no pictures this time... I'll post some when I'm actually making the improvements so you can see my mistake and the remedy.

Happy stilling!
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