Hot water heated boiler?

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Hot water heated boiler?

Postby fqu8847 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:20 pm

So my partner asked this, and I really have no idea...
Instead of propane or other traditional heating methods he wanted to know if we could use hot water to heat the still. Say we take an on demand hot water heater using a reservior (similar to a cooling reservior) and pump it into a jacketed still creating a heat exchanger for power input. Would that work? Flow as below...
Reservior then pumped into the tankless hot water heater, around the still, and back out to the reservior.
Using the still as a heat sink to absorb the heat from the flowing water around it. Two 199k btu water heaters should work, right, for a commercial size boiler of 120 gallons?
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby WIski » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:52 pm

The highest output temperature I've seen on a demand water heater is 185'F. You may need a higher temperature to make it work. Please show me the way. This sounds wonderful. :eugeek:
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby speedfreaksteve » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:03 pm

There was a guy close to where I live about 10 years ago that had converted a brand new water heater into permanently fixed vodka still it his basement. He even had the household plumbing running into the condenser with a shutoff valve. I believe that he replaced the thermostat with his own.

He basically could do stripping runs without much effort at all. I believe that he ran them slow and long. He apologized that he couldn't show me his setup in person since it might arise suspicion from his wife. She didn't know it existed. The last time I talked to him he was going to install a pump to run the washes into it directly from his stainless steel fermentation vessel.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby FuelMaker » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:13 pm

You couldnt use water since you'd run into primary loop boiling issues, but you could use a glycol or a silicon oil loop. You'd need to modify the thermostat but it should be doable.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby fqu8847 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:16 pm

Interesting posts, y'all! I was thinking since the original post that if we could use oil, and adjust the on demand water heater to work with the recirculated oil we could essentially use that in place of a steam jacket. In theory keep the oil below 300°F, and just keeping pumping it around the boiler.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby HDNB » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:35 pm

you definitely need more heat as the wash warms and the thermal difference between the wash and the heating fluid becomes smaller.
i use a steam kettle and when the wash is almost stripped out, my boiler will cycle between high limit 14.5 psi and 11psi cut in. as it gets down to 11psi there is a noticable slowing of output...even though i'm only using a fraction of the steam available.
temps at that point is dropping from 250 to 240...or thereabouts...and the wash would be over 200.
most of the main run hold a fairly steady output at about 7psi around 230*

a small res boiler would not be much more expensive than hot h2o demand, use gravity condensate return it would be a lot simpler than trying to make a water heater do something it's not designed for. and no oil or glycol to screw with.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby The Baker » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:39 pm

a small res boiler

I am not exactly sure what that is... may be the language difference.

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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby Pikey » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:13 am

As far as i can see, the easiest way to do this is comme ca -

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/COPPER-HOT-WATER-CYLINDER-INDIRECT-TANK-HEATER-VENTED-IMMERSION-THERMOSTAT-/141911413301?var=&hash=item210a945235:m:mSTAWYkGZJmJvR9oPeztH2Q

Hot water goes through the coil (Heat exchanger or Caloifier) - There may be some issues about the last few degrees of heating, I don't know for certain yet, I haven't got that far, but will be putting an eectric element in the bottom of teh pot to take over when itis nearly up to temperature.

Heat sources are interesting too.

I think you can use a normal boiler of some sort, a wood fired stove with a back boiler, a Webasto (that will be my first try), or even an ordinary car engine , just connect the pipes which normally go to the radiator to the coil.

So as far as I can see - yes, it's perfectly feasible to at least do your major heat up with a different fuel source.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby HDNB » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:07 am

The Baker wrote:a small res boiler

I am not exactly sure what that is... may be the language difference.

Geoff


and here i thought Aus was used to shortened words...flourescent lights are flouro aren't they?

same Queen's English... just shortened residential to res or rezzy. http://www.slantfin.ca/product-galaxy-gx.html
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby fqu8847 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:08 pm

Well after looking it all over and crunching some numbers propane will be cheaper... HOWEVER... it has been (in theory) done by my engineering friend. There is a 3 phase industrial hot water heater that heats to 200°F. It is 300k+btu/h, and with my proposed setup he concluded that the addition of a 15k element to distill with, would give us enough power to get up to temp within an hour. Problem is I will have 2 pots (120 gallons each) and will need 2 elements and have to split the heated water between them both. Not financially responsible, since I can build a furnace and run them both off propane at the same time, thus using one to help heat the other. Was a good thought though. Also... isn't gonna help my insurance costs at all according to the quotes.

Damn.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby Pikey » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:14 am

Yes I'm beginning to that think with the temperatures we need to get to, and the limited top end differential and the possibility of running boilers etc way above their designed limits and teh potential for boiling water in the pipes, the water could only be used to get up "somewhere near" operating temperatures and since most of the fuel is used in overcoming the latent heat of vapourisation rather than warming up the wash, it is just over complicating the issue.

Trouble is I really don't like the idea of a naked flame under my pot.

How many kg of propane does it take to do say a 15 gallon run from start to finish ?

Been looking at steam, but that seems to have it's own issues.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby NZChris » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:52 pm

fqu8847 wrote:Well after looking it all over and crunching some numbers propane will be cheaper... HOWEVER... it has been (in theory) done by my engineering friend. There is a 3 phase industrial hot water heater that heats to 200°F. It is 300k+btu/h, and with my proposed setup he concluded that the addition of a 15k element to distill with, would give us enough power to get up to temp within an hour. Problem is I will have 2 pots (120 gallons each) and will need 2 elements and have to split the heated water between them both. Not financially responsible, since I can build a furnace and run them both off propane at the same time, thus using one to help heat the other. Was a good thought though. Also... isn't gonna help my insurance costs at all according to the quotes.

Damn.

I sounds like you should be considering a Charantaise preheater style setup, so that you only need to heat one pot and save on heatup time and energy costs and cooling costs.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby fqu8847 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:55 pm

How is it I have never heard of this preheater setup?!?!?!? I think I will add it to my list of things to do!
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby NZChris » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:29 pm

fqu8847 wrote:How is it I have never heard of this preheater setup?!?!?!? I think I will add it to my list of things to do!

Substituting forums and youtube for actual research perhaps? I found out about it thirty odd years ago before I started my first build, which soon included a preheater. Dependant on our current nasty weather, I'm probably running it in the next couple of days. Three strips won't take long and if I start early enough I will have time to include the spirit run and still be at the pub about five.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby fqu8847 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:42 am

Could be chris... I have done extensive research however, and after looking further into it last night, I realized the reason. I was under the mistaken assumption that this preheater was a fancy ass (more for looks) thumper. Boy was I wrong! Thinking I will have to include this in my build!
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby NZChris » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:56 am

I've recently automated the cooling water on mine, controlling the condensate temperature, so now there is no need for me to have to fiddle with the water flow during the run. It's great to be able to just turn the water on and forget about it for the entire run.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby erlendurh » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:12 am

I am currently using the hot water from my tap (aprox. 80° celcius) to heat my boiler but since that heat is not enough the boiler is a vacuum system and that makes doing cuts very hard and honestly I have given up on it so I am building a new one that is heated with electrical element :roll:
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby horseystevetoo » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:48 am

I built a double boiler out of 2 kegs and ran it today distilling with all the grain in, it took 3 hours till the water boiled and then it ran for a couple of hours stripping the 40 litre wash. I reckon after l lag it the heat up time might be reduced and l will hook the 3600W element up to a timer so it can get a head start warming up off peak. Did not appear to need any sort of temp or power controller and the water level in the jacket only dropped an inch or two and l topped it up. Apart from the longer heat up time and the power meter spinning at blinding speed, this set up seems to run similar to my other still with the element in wash.
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Re: Hot water heated boiler?

Postby thecroweater » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:13 am

How did you get on Steve, did you end up insulating it?
I was wondering how this set up would work with an instant gas HWS as a pre-heater , might make it much more feasible .
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