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Closed loop cooling systems

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Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Army of Tigers » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:59 pm

Hi forum,

I have been trawling the topics to seek out a proven solution for my closed loop cooling problems. I did find some great infer regarding pond pumps and effective flow rates. My issue is that my ambient temperatures are 28deg C and hotter in my brewing space. Extreme outside air temps and subsequent thermal transfer to the ground water pipes is significantly high. Tap water runs at 44 deg C today. I am struggling today to be able to have the deflagameter and condenser function efficiently.
Further, my brew space has no present access to an open window for exhaust air flow (an internal bathroom - no windows - great floor plan huuuh) to assist in my concept plans for modifying a window mounted air conditioner unit to chill water in a large esky. I could move the brewer I suppose with a closed loop system (ie. away from the tap source). This may be the best way forward but looking for ideas.
I don't have any ready access to a home brew store for brewing specific parts. I do have access to hardware stores, gardening supply shops and building/plumbing supplies.

THE QUESTION (finally): does anyone have suggestions on a cooling system for continuous cooling operations for my 5 hour still runs (7 hour total, but first two hours don't require cooling system).

Looking forward to any input.
Cheers,
AOT
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:43 am

Well, I'm not sure how much of it will apply to you, but I'm working with a woman in the process of opening a legal distillery on the very banks of Puget Sound, and the environmental impact people will be skeptical of pipes leading in and out of that body of water. To scotch any objections on that front, I'll be following the example of several Aussie stillers I know, and use a recirculating system.

I plan on using a bigass Harbor Freight ventilation fan blowing through a beautiful BMW M3 radiator I scored. I understand your concern with air temperature, and I share that concern, even in our (hitherto, but we're in a hot spell) mild climate. To offset that delta-T deficit, I plan on installing a few irrigation mist heads between the fan and the radiator, so I get phase-change energy subtraction going for me. For the energy moved, the mister water consumed will be tiny, and the capacity of the heat exchanger will be greatly enhanced.

Because freezing can be common in winters here, I'll be using propylene glycol in a (Harbor Freight again) house water pressure tank and pump system, perhaps pumping out of a 5-gallon Corney keg. As for the mister water, that system will have one of those valves that drains the system when the water supply is turned off.

I'll keep the forum posted as the project proceeds.
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Maheel » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:31 am

i reckon if you can keep your water at a set "temp" you should be able to do a closed loop.

i have seen radiator systems that worked
also old school water "cooler" where they ran the water over a hessian bag framed setup with a fan blowing on it, Then back into a tank
the hessian water cooler dropped the temp of the water back to near ambient temps
he had a fair amount of flow and 500l odd tank and had to top it up every now and then due to the evap the fan caused

it's a tough one as everyone setup is different and what works in my brewspace may not work in yours
and how much do you wan to invest etc...
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby bigfoot » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:34 pm

I have seen a home setup that works wonderful in summer in Aust - but a little impractical for comercial.
If your in a shed with a fridge or freezer, you can plumb a sectional copper coil or reversed angle 1/4 inch line in cross cross, along the floor of the freezer section (preferred) - this drops temp remarkably well.

Even a falling water column will loose temp quite quickly, so perhaps a waterfall over a cold steel/ alloy plate might be enough....
As Maheel says, everyone's set up is different - but it can be done and relative cheaply.
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Maheel » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:37 pm

[quote="bigfoot"
Even a falling water column will loose temp quite quickly, so perhaps a waterfall over a cold steel/ alloy plate might be enough....
.[/quote]

yeah someone around had this, something like a 200mm tube with the water falling / sprayed through it and a fan blowing up or down it as well somehow
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Army of Tigers » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:59 pm

Thanks ZB, BF and M for your suggestions. Today was an interesting day. Re-plumbed the whole system with a view to change the thermals in the system. Had never needed to worry about splitting water 'in' between the shotgun and the deflag, but today I did. I found that I could run a lower amperage and still have great plate action. Shotgun barely had the need for any water flow and I left the lion's share of the available water pressure for the deflag. I'm going to consider moving the entire still to a 'room with a view' so that I can take advantage of an airflow and subsequent cooling from various setups. Thanks again for the comments.
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby brisvalleymoonshiner » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:37 pm

just out of curiosity has anyone done a circuit with a large rainwater tank as the main supply for water and pumping back to the tank??? if so what size is recommended for the tank to keep a cool supply to a 4" 4 plate still on a 50ltr boiler any info will be appreciated as i'm trying to come up with ideas to set this up
cheers :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Maheel » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:26 pm

i have about a 2000L RW tank just beside the brewhouse and have never had any issues with it warming up on big 8hr VM runs and many a few hours knocking down 3600w etc .
to be honest i have never really checked it for temps, run my hand under the tap a bit during use but never noticed it "warm"

it seems to be all i need
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby brisvalleymoonshiner » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:51 pm

so maheel how do you pump it back to the tank what sort of a set up do you have i saw a 9000ltr tank on fleabay for 800 bucks should be perfect
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Maheel » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:04 am

I just use a household "water tank pressure pump" to pump to a 4 way mainfold
I let the pump run constant rather than use the pressure switch

it has a T and valve that directs some just direct back to the tank before the manifold.
on the 4 way manifold it has 4 valves allowing me to use two for the stills and couple spare for wash up etc.
all piping is just high pressure PVC pipe from bunnings

i have another little 2 way manifold with valves set up to "return" the used stilling water to the tank

i will take a pic later
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby brisvalleymoonshiner » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:57 pm

:text-goodpost:
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Yurgle » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:43 am

Very keen to see some pics please Maheel - I have just installed my rainwater tank (1500ltr) and am working through my plan for the system now. What you are suggesting is exactly what I am thinking of. Cheers.
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby brisvalleymoonshiner » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:14 am

did ya get around to getting some photos maheel
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Maheel » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:38 pm

sorry for the delay
went on a fishing trip for a week, 200miles offshore no phones no internet :obscene-drinkingcheers:

pretty basic and the sink needs a good cleanup..

water from tank go into pump then up to a T with a valve where i can send "most" or all back to the tank (valve) handle is inside window
rest comes in the window to the 4 way manifold for whatever i need

two way manifold up high is the "waste" and runs back to the top of the tank
it's up high so it does not siphon back the tank into the sink

i then just use hoses to run to still and back again with hose fittings
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby brisvalleymoonshiner » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:57 pm

that looks sooo simple cheers for sharing
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Yurgle » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:32 pm

Cheers @maheel!
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Tassie Tiger » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:47 pm

I suggested a system that a Guy made based around his rain water tank.
He had a constant water pressure pump for his house water supply & just ran a hose to his still condenser.
The return hose ran up to his guttering because it was closer than his big tank at the other side of the house.
Prior to that he had a large clean rubbish bin that he half filled with Ice/water slurry & a submersible variable speed fountain pump until I gave him the Idea of running his return to his tank or guttering.
Cheers TT
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby andy1982 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:18 pm

It's boiling hot where I am and the cooling water I'm using is about 30 degrees any suggestions on how I can utilise a spare fridge/freezer to cool the water down a bit more before it goes into the condenser and the water is not recycled otherwise it would get rediculously hot
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby andy1982 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:36 pm

Or a spare box aircon
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Aussiedownunder » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:21 am

I would only consider a closed loop system if you are on tank water or a limited supply
If on mains water its cheaper to pay excess water than pump it
We are on mains water and I have a few long hoses that reach all the yard
I just move it around from place to place during the run [fruit trees veggies ect ect]
If its free pick it up
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Zombie Killer » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:20 pm

Aussiedownunder wrote:I would only consider a closed loop system if you are on tank water or a limited supply
If on mains water its cheaper to pay excess water than pump it
We are on mains water and I have a few long hoses that reach all the yard
I just move it around from place to place during the run [fruit trees veggies ect ect]

This is my exact plan. I will run the cooling water through condenser and into a large holding tank then use that water for the garden. dual purpose. who knows some of the garden may make its way back into the still ;)
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby andy1982 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:21 pm

I use bore water due to water restrictions but it's hot and want a way of cooling it down
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:57 pm

Well, it appears that Harbor Freight no longer sells the bigass 24" ventilator fan we use with a BMW M3 radiator to cool our condenser and chiller liquid. It's the big black hoop between the radiator and the sump barrel. It works like a charm.
Image
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby RefluxEd » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:37 pm

brisvalleymoonshiner wrote:just out of curiosity has anyone done a circuit with a large rainwater tank as the main supply for water and pumping back to the tank??? if so what size is recommended for the tank to keep a cool supply to a 4" 4 plate still on a 50ltr boiler any info will be appreciated as i'm trying to come up with ideas to set this up
cheers :obscene-drinkingcheers:

I have a 12000 litre rainwater tank fed from my shed's roof. As I live in a fire prone area I have fire hydrants situated around my shed and house fed by a fire pump attached to the tank. 10mm plastic tubing is attached to one of these and goes through a small 12 volt aquarium pump that feeds the shotgun product condenser and dephlagmator and the outputs join up and are fed via a copper pipe through the ridge capping to flow back down the roof to the gutters and then back into the tank. The small pump has no problems keeping everything cool.
Aquarium Pump.jpg
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2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby andy1982 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:34 pm

Water out of the tap is high 30's to low 40's so I need something to chill it running something on my roof would heat the crap out of my water
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby brisvalleymoonshiner » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:53 am

:text-goodpost:
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby RefluxEd » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:13 am

andy1982 wrote:Water out of the tap is high 30's to low 40's so I need something to chill it running something on my roof would heat the crap out of my water


Even on a 40 degree day there is no noticeable increase in the temperature of the water in the tank even after an 8 hour spirit run, but the average water temp from the tank is around 15C down here in Vic.

Instead of going through the ridge capping plumb it directly to the gutter.

One way to bring your temp down is to get a second-hand car radiator with a fan in front of it. Pass the water from the tank through the radiator before going to your rig.
2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
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Re: Closed loop cooling systems

Postby Fraser » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:19 am

I'm trying to figure out a cheap way to circulate coolant water from a rain barrel through my rig. I'm wondering if anyone has tried using an off the shelf wort chiller like this one here:

https://www.amazon.com/NY-Brew-Supply-C ... er+tubing&

Take something like this and submerge it a bucket full of ice water, maybe placed inside of small fridge. Think that would work getting started while thinking about something more permanent? Pros and cons?
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