From experience, Stainless Steel is a poor metal to use for heating coils as it work harden and cracks open in a very short time.
Mild steel or copper are preferred materials for heat exchange situations.
Awesome Fabman! I see you've been busy since winter came on! Can't wait to see your brew photos!
PS What are you using for a sight glass or are you using anything?
i'm trying to decide if i want to pay 14.00 a foot for some plastic tubing from mcmaster carr i need 8 foot .but i might go with the largest sight glass plug that they offer.wait till you see the heating boiler contraption i made.as soon as i get the pictures i'll post them.
Now we know why you call yourself Fabman. Beautiful craftmanship!
However, McMaster Carr might also be called "Why Pay Less?".
The sight tubes you seek are standard fare on septic tank pump trucks (potty animals).
They cost about $12 per 8 ft. section of clear PVC.
by the way how did you come up with that name. just curious.and thats the first time i have ever heard of a septic truck called (potty animals).always called them (honey dippers)
thanks for the compliment my head is swelling as i write.
From my experience, lots of heat exchangers hve been built out of stainless. It's not as good of a heat transfer material as copper, but it's obviously not reactive to anything we use (make sure you don't get hydrochloric acid on it though).
For instance, at my ex-house we heated the hot tub with a heat exchanger (running off the domestic hot water heater by way of a heat exchanger) that was a stainless tube-in-shell design, I"ve got another one of these for a solar application, and I"ve got a nice stainless coil type heat exchanger from some sort of industrial process where it was immersed in a tank. They're quite common.
In our case, you probably want to stay away from copper because it can cause the biodiesel to break down quicker than if you worked with all-compatible materials (it's a catalyst for oxidation of biodiesel if I recall correctly).
Just curious why two small reactor tanks rather than one bigger one. Nice work and I do like the design being tall rather than fat. My tank is short and fat and my pump can suck a vortex thru 40 gallons or more. I had to direct the return against it's rotation to keep it from drawing air also use a ball valve to reduce flow rate on smaller batches.
the reason for the two tanks was that i wanted to do smaller 50 gallon batches at a time or switch over to 100 gallon batches,or i can make one batch and while it is settling i can start the other batch in the other tank.also the other reason was that the scrap pieces from a customers order was just the right size for each tank.
what kind of pump are you using, and I dont' quite understand the 'direct the return against it's rotation' sentence, can you explain?
The pump is made by world chemical, It's a YD-401GS has a 1hp motor and mag drive. Here is a link to there web http://www.worldchemicalusa.com/series_detail.php?ID=100002
Where the return line goes thru the tank it is 90ed twards the bottom of the tank and in the opposite direction the liquid flow out the cone bottom, picture water draining out of your bath tub the vortex, funnel or whatever you call it spins counter clockwise (at least here in the north for ya'll ausies). I spray the return clockwise against it.
If anyone would like a pump I am a reseller of them.
Here is a link to a pic. of my processor http://www.geocities.com/redsranch99/P7010007.JPG
nice photos too- I see you're also an 'oiljug farmer' like the rest of us.
Been a good season for jugs.
I took quite a harvest to the recycle yard the other day.
What is the gage and type of the stainless you used on the tanks and processor?
Also is there a way to roll big sheets into tanks like yours or do I have to find a shop to do it for me? I'm planning on building a 500 gallon cone bottom tank for a new processor.
are you still around? please look at Question above.
i'm back sorry for not being around just got caught up in my job.
anyhow mine is made of 11 ga 304 stainless which is close to 1/8"
you could roll the stainless if you use a lighter gauge like 20 ga you may even get away with 18 ga if you make a large enough tank.if you go with 20 ga it will most likely have to be tig welded.as for the cone if you know how to lay it out you could use up to 16 gauge and make a makeshift press to endent the cone to make it fold round.if you get a shop to bend the parts it would make life a little easier.if you have it made out of 16 gauge and up you could mig weld it.
boy its nice to be typing again. the keys are a little dusty.
Hey Fabman, would you mind giving a little more detail on your heating method with the oil burner? I do not quite understand it from the picture. Thanks!
here is the pictures of the burner running http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/919605551/m/140103856 the oil burner heats the water in the square boiler tank and the hot water runs into the two reactor tanks and at the same time it heats the large tank that it is under i will be using the large tank for dewatering the wvo and also i'm going to be using the large tank for my boiler for making ethanol.
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