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What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

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What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

Postby FullySilenced » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:21 pm

What is the most effective shape for a boiler? Does that shape vary when fired with Propane or wood versus electric elements?

Love to hear your thoughts... ideas and praise of a particular type...
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Re: What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

Postby Tracker » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:59 pm

I would suggest that would differ with how it was being heated.
If you are talking exterior heating, then also the way it is being heated also makes a difference.
Historically a rounded bottom enclosed by an oven or other stone/mud/brick enclosure to retain the heat has been a popular choice. The larger the surface area exposed to the heat source, the more efficient it should be, therefore for a given volume, a ball shaped lower section would be the best choice.
For interior heating, I don't see that the shape would have as much effect but insulation would be most important to reduce heat losses.


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Re: What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

Postby Aussiedownunder » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:40 pm

Forget about heating for a minute wouldent a larger product surface area give a better evaporation rate its different to a steam boiler that brings pressure into the equation
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Re: What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

Postby Tracker » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:21 pm

Aussiedownunder wrote:Forget about heating for a minute wouldent a larger product surface area give a better evaporation rate its different to a steam boiler that brings pressure into the equation



Quite correct but that comes into importance after you get the heat into the vessel. That is why a dome/ball shape has historically been used, the round shape at the botton for better heat input, and giving rise to a large diameter where the evaporation takes place. What type of shape goes on top of that is determined on what is being produced.


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Re: What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

Postby FullySilenced » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:46 am

Tracker I agree with your input on shape would be determined by the type of heat source etc.. Do the best shape boiler always tend to be round? I have seen photo's of a few hobby size that were rectangle.

I was thinking of a design similar to a hydraulic tank.... similar to the photo below would be a practical style maybe could be bent using a small brake, would be simple straight welds and a sloped v style bottom could be formed in to assist in draining and clean out. A flat top for fill ports or even multiple columns.. if you wanted

Flue's could be added to the bottom of the tank for gas heating, or fittings for electric elements. Was looking at the shape only no lvl gauges or round clean out ports on the ends.

may be too much... nothing seems to be more simple than a keg if you can get them...
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Re: What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

Postby Tracker » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:27 am

FS, your design should work quite well.
As for your keg comment, if using external heat it would be more efficient if the keg was to lay on it's side rather than upright.


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Re: What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

Postby Bushman » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:12 pm

Actually I think there are two questions here and everyone went to the second one which is heat efficiency. I believe the first answer is cost. You can make a larger volume still using less material if the boiler is a cylinder shape.
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Re: What is the Perfect shape for a boiler?

Postby UZGin » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:38 am

FullySilenced wrote:What is the most effective shape for a boiler? Does that shape vary when fired with Propane or wood versus electric elements?

Love to hear your thoughts... ideas and praise of a particular type...


SO MANY VARIABLES!

Here's a few:

What are you distilling - Botanicals/Whiskey Base/SVR Spirit/Agave

What is your end product - Big Gin/Small Gin/Peaty Whiskey/Tequila

What is your volume - 50L/300L/2000L

How is your heating applied - Fire/Steam/Electrical

What country are you in - Regulations, Legal Requirements, Power Supply

Who are you making it for - Old School Gin Fans/New School Tequila Fans/Peat Smoke-Heads

What facility are you in - Size, Bond Store, Proximity to Resources

Hobbyist vs Commercial?

It's not as simple as finding the perfect shape and just 'dragging the corner button' to make it bigger, there's numerous considerations to be made.

Also, there is a fine line between quality driven design and marketing inspired design...
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