Experimental recirculating cooling system

This area is to be used for submitting plans, referencing and conversations related to building stills and accessories.

Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby Icarus » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:51 pm

I thought some memebers may be interested in my cooling system.

Being on a limited water supply, I constructed an experimental recirculating water cooling system for my stills rather than running water to waste after being circulated through the stills .

The unit is constructed of PVC 150mm tubing, a computer water cooling radiator, and 4x 12volt computer fans and a 12volt 11 lpm water pump. The unit utilises a 60 litre drum for a single still, and a 160 liter drum for running two stills at the same time.

I have used the unit over the last 4 years in all sorts of weather, humidities and temperatures and it hasnt so far let me down. After collecting data for some time, I have calculated that it can radiate up to 3kw of heat, depending on the weather conditions at the time (hunidity, air temp etc).

I have only made one mod to it from the orignal shown in the pic in the link below. This was to remove the fan from the top of the tube, and mount a 45 degree bend for the suction fan.


Image


cheers from Icarus in QLD
Last edited by MacStill on Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: inserted pic instead of link
Icarus
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:37 pm
Location: Queensland
equipment: Various

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby maheel » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:04 pm

very interesting

whats inside the pvc tube ?
maheel
 

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby devotus » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:09 pm

how does it work? as in flow?
devotus
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:48 pm
equipment: copper alembic pot still
+
1.5 inch VM column

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby MacStill » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:17 pm

This is pretty interesting, especially with today's water restrictions and excess water fees.

Is there any chance of getting a drawing of this rig posted, I reckon it's a fuckin pearler of an idea that many of us would be keen to utilize.

Cheers.
MacStill
Site Founder
 
Posts: 16835
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: Wide Bay QLD
equipment: Anything I choose :P

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby Icarus » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:20 pm

Some info on design and workings of the cooling tower.

It is based on the same principles as a cooling tower used in many industrial applications, just small scale. At this stage, I haven't got any sketches or detailed drawings but looks like I will have to put pen to paper. Took me a day to build it.

The cooling column.
The cooling column is a piece of 150mm PVC water pipe, approximately 900mm long. It has a PVC floor collar glued 45mm in from one end (the bottom). The lid of the drum to be used has a hole cut out to suit the outside diameter of the column. This allows the column to be secured by the collar to a drum lid leaving 40 mm to protrude down through the lid into the drum. The lid has a number of air holes cut out around the perimeter with a 20mm holes saw to allow cooling air to be sucked in through the drum lid and through base of the column with the column suction fan mounted on the 45 degree bend fitted to the top of the column.. This is a twin blade high speed 270 litres/min 12 volt computer fan which is mounted on a PVC 150mm blank with an appropriate size hole cut out to suit the internal diameter air flow of the fan The top of the packing is covered by a piece of fly screen mesh cut and fitted to break up and help distribute water from the feed pipes above.
The feed pipes consist of two 10mm copper tubes fitted through grommets in the wall from either side of the column, 50mm from the top of the column. The each of the tubes have a "U" shape internal to the column with 1.5 mm holes drilled in the sides of each pipe to spray and distribute water into the column via the mesh below. These also have a piece of fly screen mesh fitted just above them to help prevent any uptake of water droplets by the fan from the column
A PVC 150mm grate is fixed into the bottom of the column to retain the packing which comprises SS pot scrubbers lightly packed to within 100mm of the top of the 150mm tube.. The grate is retained by four SS PK screws through the wall of the column.

The primary cooling radiator.
This is a small computer radiator used in a computer water cooling system. It has three 120mm 12volt computer fans mounted on it and was bought from a computer parts supplier on the net in Melbourne..

Water pump
This is a 12 volt 11 litre per minute Whale brand submersible bilge pump I bought from BCF.

Pump mounting and water outlet distribution
The pump is attached to a 10mm copper tube which is inserted up through a hole drilled in the lid, with the pump being set approximately 100 mm from the bottom of the drum.. A tee is fitted to create two outlet branches above the drum lid, each outlet branch being fitted with a control valve. A by bass valve is also fitted to bleed excess water back into the drum if only running one still.

Electrics.
It can be run from a 12 volt car battery, or a 12 volt regulated power supply. I use a 12volt regulated power supply from Jaycar and mounted a plastic component box on the column. I have mounted a toggle switch(for on/off) and fitted a set of connector blocks inside the component box to join the various supply cables after the toggle switch. The whole unit only draws 3.8 amps at 12 volt when running. This is far cheaper than running my tank household pressure pump for several hours. The smallest regulated power supply at the time was 22 amp which cost $60, so I have plenty capacity for expansion.

How it works.
Hot water from the still/stills condenser and reflux system outlet is fed to the inlet of the primary radiator. The outlet line from the radiator is branched into two lines to feed the two copper distribution pipes in the top of the column. As the hot water is broken up and falls through the column, cold air is sucked by the high speed fan at the top of the column through the holes in the drum lid and up the column. This cause rapid evaporation and cooling of the water. It will evaporate up to 8 litres of water off on a run depending on conditions and the amount of cooling required. The cooled water drops from the column back into the drum. I normally leave the water level in the drum 45 mm below the end of the column in the drum to allow for the inlet air to the column. The pump at the bottom of the drum recirculates the water via the cold water outlets branches back to the inlet of the still/stills.

All of the pipefittings were readily available from a local plumbing supply shop and Bearing Service Centre

It provides a constant pressure and easily regulated cooled water supply and gets me away from pressure and flow varations from a household poump cutting in and out as well as saving on electricity.

hope this helps.

Sorry bout the pic, thought I had only pasted the link.
cheers, Icarus in QLD :D
Icarus
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:37 pm
Location: Queensland
equipment: Various

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby MacStill » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 pm

Icarus wrote:
Sorry bout the pic, thought I had only pasted the link.
cheers, Icarus in QLD :D


I fixed it and posted the pic for you, it's interesting and desrves a pic instead of a link ;)
MacStill
Site Founder
 
Posts: 16835
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: Wide Bay QLD
equipment: Anything I choose :P

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby Al Qaemist » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:25 am

Very cool - I like that a lot. No need for it here though, we get up to 15 feet (yes feet) of rainfall per year where I live.

Maybe I should put my still in a boat - just in case. :D
Al Qaemist
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:56 pm
equipment: 2"x39" VM, Pot head
50L 3Kw keg, and Modified T500 boiler.

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby The Stig » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:35 pm

Al Qaemist wrote:Maybe I should put my still in a boat - just in case. :D

Its safe in the kitchen where it is now, just keep the blinds closed (i forgot you dont have blinds :laughing-rolling: )
The Stig
Site Nerd
 
Posts: 9357
Images: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:37 am
equipment: Only the Best will Do.
Mac4 SSG Bubbles of Joy

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby Al Qaemist » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:14 am

The Stig wrote:....just keep the blinds closed (i forgot you dont have blinds :laughing-rolling: )


The lack of blinds is an aesthetic choice, not my department, the troosers has final word on this.
Anyhoo nae cross forum chat! :naughty: you should know better Mr Stig.
Al Qaemist
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:56 pm
equipment: 2"x39" VM, Pot head
50L 3Kw keg, and Modified T500 boiler.

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby bluc » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:17 pm

Awesome post and i think i have the jist of how it works. Is the 45 elbow on top to help prevent water getting into the fan? If so i may just get a fogponics watef proof fan...
bluc
 
Posts: 7626
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:47 pm
Location: sunshine coast
equipment: 2" pot with 2" shotty 400mm long 5x 1/2" on a t500 boiler.
50l keg boiler 4" still mount 4" sight glass 1" drain..
4 plate 4" bubbler, 600mm packed section

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby boozehagg » Sat May 23, 2020 10:45 am

Icarus wrote:I thought some memebers may be interested in my cooling system.

Being on a limited water supply, I constructed an experimental recirculating water cooling system for my stills rather than running water to waste after being circulated through the stills .

The unit is constructed of PVC 150mm tubing, a computer water cooling radiator, and 4x 12volt computer fans and a 12volt 11 lpm water pump. The unit utilises a 60 litre drum for a single still, and a 160 liter drum for running two stills at the same time.

I have used the unit over the last 4 years in all sorts of weather, humidities and temperatures and it hasnt so far let me down. After collecting data for some time, I have calculated that it can radiate up to 3kw of heat, depending on the weather conditions at the time (hunidity, air temp etc).

I have only made one mod to it from the orignal shown in the pic in the link below. This was to remove the fan from the top of the tube, and mount a 45 degree bend for the suction fan.


Image


Hi what are your water temps going in then out of the cooling tower?

Cheers

cheers from Icarus in QLD
boozehagg
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 13, 2020 10:14 am
Location: Perth WA
equipment: Reflux still 4 plate, with Pro caps modular hybrid custom built

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby RC Al » Sat May 23, 2020 1:54 pm

Hey bh, icarus was last here in Dec 2014, not to big of a chance of a reply...
RC Al
Mentor
 
Posts: 1046
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:58 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast Area
equipment: Old SS Reflux
2" Potty on 50l keg Uber burner

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby boozehagg » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:35 pm

RC Al wrote:Hey bh, icarus was last here in Dec 2014, not to big of a chance of a reply...

we could only hope
boozehagg
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 13, 2020 10:14 am
Location: Perth WA
equipment: Reflux still 4 plate, with Pro caps modular hybrid custom built

Re: Experimental recirculating cooling system

Postby RT2Ts » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:52 pm

Revisit of 'this' post made my day..... Glorious bit of problem solving right here. A+
RT2Ts
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:17 pm
equipment: 2" FSD Boka


Return to Hardware Research & Development



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

x