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Upside Down Appleseed GL1 "Re-Dome"
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I give up! But I do have a question - is the inner tube in your condenser copper, steel or plastic?
 
Location: New Zealand | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Paulus:
I give up! But I do have a question - is the inner tube in your condenser copper, steel or plastic?

Copper. These pictures show a compression fitting on the ends of the copper tube (which I happened to have on hand) But I couldn't get a good seal so I replaced them with soldered connectors which seems to be holding.

 
Location: Portland, OR | Registered: April 04, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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6. I forgot one critical element in my assembly last night. Can you figure it out from these pictures? (maybe I forgot more?)[Edit: besides the pipe insulation - that will come later too

1) the tank vent so you can drain it?
2) a mount for your motor/pump
3) hose clamps on the hoses
4) a cover over your electrical connections

Looks like she is almost ready!
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Heron:
quote:
6. I forgot one critical element in my assembly last night. Can you figure it out from these pictures? (maybe I forgot more?)[Edit: besides the pipe insulation - that will come later too

1) the tank vent so you can drain it?
2) a mount for your motor/pump
3) hose clamps on the hoses
4) a cover over your electrical connections

Looks like she is almost ready!
Cheers,
Jon

1. yes! that's what I was fishing for. Turns out you can't fill it without a vent either. I put in 10L of water at a time to mark off my sight tube scale and test the heating element, leaks, etc, and I had to unscrew the venturi feed to let air escape.
2. Not sure if I need a mount for the pump. It would be sort of symbolic if I did it. The two 1" pipes going into it are so stout that I used the piping to lift the whole thing onto the new stand I built.
3. Yes, need a few more hose clamps.
4. yes. A cover. Until I buy a PID I need access to the thermostat to adjust temp. i think until then I'm going to have some plastic and duct tape to prevent myself from arcing the wires with a screwdriver.

Pretty excited about the eminent batch. loading the whole system with water was fun. fun to use all the stinkin' valves that that I've bought and pipe that I've cut.

-Kevin
 
Location: Portland, OR | Registered: April 04, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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1. yes! that's what I was fishing for. Turns out you can't fill it without a vent either.

Big Grin
I pulled the same move on both my reactor builds... Doh!
quote:
2. Not sure if I need a mount for the pump. It would be sort of symbolic if I did it. The two 1" pipes going into it are so stout that I used the piping to lift the whole thing onto the new stand I built.

I would say mount it, that cheap pump casting was not made to support the motor like that. The casting will be vibrating and withstanding allot of heat where as it was only intended to pump cool water, if the casting cracked or broke off where it mounts to the motor you would have a hell of a mess on your hands!
Thats my 2 cents!
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had a "D'oh!" moment last night testing everything out again with water. For some reason my 240v power was randomly losing power. I went back and checked all my connections from the breaker box in my house, to the abandoned baseboard heaters, all the way out to the shed. Everything looked good. I guessed that the Cable guys must have nicked the power line in the attic somehow??? After about 75 min crawling around in the attic and testing continuity I was in a daze staring at the wall trying to figure out what the hell was going on. All of a sudden I realized that I was staring right at the problem! The thermostat for the abandoned baseboard heaters that I was using as my power. D'oh! Every time our central air heat would come on it would blow right on this wall thermostat and kill the power to my project. So typical of my stumblings...

If the Methanol seller was open today I'd be attempting my first batch. Soooo close.

-Kevin
 
Location: Portland, OR | Registered: April 04, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I finally processed my first batch last night.

I made a few mistakes, and I have tons to work on, but I still think I have some good fuel and a good system in place. My major breakthrough was finding a guy on craigslist that was selling his whole setup. I got everything he had for $220. I was just searching for "methanol" and he was including a 55g of drum and 50lbs of lye. That was worth the price alone. I also got a HF pump, a transfer pump, a 66g WH, a bunch of valves, an inline heater, a water washer, a water dryer made from a short wide 50g WH. Oh, and two 5g cornelius canisters. I got a bunch of connectors, hose, etc. etc. I wish I would have got this deal before I started building... would have saved me a ton of time and money. I'm using the wash tank as my settling tank, and I immediately implemented several of the little bits and pieces.

Mistakes I made:
1. my PVC/copper condenser leaks coolant. Even after building it twice.
2. I started my batch at 10p on Sunday, and gave up at 2am.
3. I failed to realize (remember from reading) that distilling would take hours not minutes. I should have let the batch WBD overnight now that I've had a chance to re-read about how to do it. I got about .7L of recovered methanol in an hour and I assumed I had a problem somewhere. Turns out I think that's about how fast it comes out.

Successes:
1. 3/27 test was great. (but showed a little dropout after 15hrs?)
2. air mixer works awesome.
3. $5 oven thermostat is so much easier to use.

To do:
1. Already ordered a PID/k-type/SSR from Hong Kong because I can't sit there and babysit the thermostat for 14hrs. There's a 20-25C window between OFF/ON on the WH T-stats. Just a bit too much variance for what I need.
2. Rebuild the condenser. it leaks, but not a lot, and it works sweet. A little bucket cured the spilling, but it's got to be rebuilt to be right.
3. build my drywash canisters and figure out how to push the bio through them.

I might be forgetting something, but here's some pics from the late night.
-KM


I was planning on buying a fish tank bubbler, but my compressor air worked just fine.


I redesigned my distillate capture tank with some of the CL stuff. Cam-locks are sweet. I was trying to take a picture of the recaptured methanol flowing, but it doesn't really show.


My high mounted switches. That is a 30amp 240v switch for the heater power. what I need is an indicator light when it's on. I sat there for an hour thinking it was on with the cord unplugged.


One of the coolest contraptions that I've ever built, and it's growing.
 
Location: Portland, OR | Registered: April 04, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow, that's amazing!
 
Location: New Zealand | Registered: August 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought that even with a few speed bumps along the way that I would finish my first batch of fuel with sterling results. Every home test I've done so far is optimal; perfect. I figured out that demething takes 8-12 hours not 1, but it was an easy fix.
So I finally finished my first batch and built my drywashing system. My first batch settled for 7 days, but the 2nd one was rushed to move forward with around 20hrs of settling and mixed with the first. (I hope this short settling was my folly).
Anyway, I have a hardwood 5g Cornelius can gravity fed and it apparently didn't clear out the soaps. My first failed test is the 50/50 shake test. I have this crystal clear fuel that just looks so perfect, but there must be some soap in there as evidenced by the shake test.
I've returned it all to my settling tank (filled right to the brim) and I'm going to let it settle for a week and then try and then dry wash it again. I'm not too trusting of my dry wash method now if it let this much soap through, but I'll give it another try before I redesign.
-KM


This is after about 1 hour.
 
Location: Portland, OR | Registered: April 04, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Finally got some quantitative soap test results this weekend: after 6 passes through the corny can of Aspen wood chips I show 15.2ppm soap. I had to do the test on 3 samples of fuel before I would believe it. Filled my truck with the fuel and drove to work with it a happy man.
Then tonight I sampled the batch that's been sitting in the settling tank for the last week and got 426ppm. A. my testing must be close to accurate and B. My fuel just might be as good as I hoped it would be.

Thanks so much to all of you for all your help. I had an ear-to-ear smile driving to work today. A little hesitant to celebrate too much, but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. Amazing what you can learn on the internets these days!

-Kevin
 
Location: Portland, OR | Registered: April 04, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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