Test 1: update 2

I guess even a very stupid guy can make an automated still loose its patience or balance. Or maybe it is better to say: the excitement of the new still threw me off balance!

What happened? I fired her up. She heated up in 40 minutes. Then column stabilization took place. 15 minutes of seeing temp in the to of the column drop steadily. Fores were bled off and then normal collection started. And stopped. I heared some engines (the valves) clicking. Had to wait some time before production started again. At a relative low speed, but it started. For some time … and then it stopped again.

I started looking at the computer and this is what happened. Temperature in, at the bottom of the column rose quickly from 89 to 95 degrees. Machine stops and let the temperature drop to normal conditions (89 degrees) and starts again.

So actually the machinery is doing its job and the automation is kicking in when it needs to do so.

What happened? Or what do I think happened? I flooded the column. That’s the only explanation I can think of for the sudden rise in temperature of vapour in.

How can that happen? Well, if I would tell you I forgot to de gas my wash, would that make sense?

Sorry guys, for fucking up this run. I will restart soon.

To make up, a picture of the computer while stabilizing. You can read it is stabilizing the column. The vapour in temperature is 91.8 degrees C. That’s the vapour entering at the bottom of the column. T_pe is the cooling water temperature: it’s 17 degrees. The current temperature in the top of the column is 79.5 degrees. When I took this picture, stabilization would stilltake 13:27. You could see the temperature drop steadily.

First run1

By the way, to hear the valves clicking, doing their work, that’s real fun.

6 thoughts on “Test 1: update 2

  1. Flooding is usually a result of too much heat input or a restriction in the packing.
    The bottom probe is in the packing or just in the vapor stream?

    • Probe is in the lower partof the column, so in the packing. I am thinking surge boiling due to excess CO2 in wash. Off course the packing can be to dense at the bottom. I remember your experiences there, Mini,when you first worked with SPP. But I doubt that’s the problem. The still was checked extensively before it was shipped to me. Off course the trip will have shaken the SPP up, but levels are normal. It is not like it is sitting very low in the column. Just one centimeter from the top of the column.

      Thanks for giving your opinion!

  2. It’s also possible that’s how the machine is designed to work Odin? Riku’s VM-E-ARC works like that. Stabilize, bleed, stabilize, bleed. The stabilization cycles get longer and longer as the run progresses.

    • That is a possibility. But why would the temps in the bottom sky rocket, Mini? Just before it starts to re stabilize? The Q I am trying to get my head around is … why is temp 87.5 degrees? Well, because the beer or low wines are Percentage X. Percentage X relates to an abv. And abv relates to percentage Y: Percentage of alcohol in the gas, entering the column. So why is that temperature rising from 87.5 to 95 degrees in just a few minutes? Abv in boiler is not depleted. Abv in gasses did not get higher. But a higher temp signals the wash is lower abv than it was. That’s why I thought blockage by boiling up beers.

      But … she runs smoother on a higher octane. Taking bigger steps. My thoughts would be to stabilize once and then draw off in a slow pace to not disturb temps at take off point. Could a stepwise approach be faster? Stabilize, such dry. Restabilize, suck dry again. The lower the abv, the shorter azeo can be sucked out before a new stabilization needs to be done. Thinking out loud … the temperature surge in the lower part of the column could then well be result of the step motor returning more and more reflux? As an attempt to get the most out of that cycle of getting azeo out …

      Would mean a higher octane would suit better. Stripping before fractionating gives higher abv and would be beneficial because bigger steps can be taken, while fractionating.

      Interesting. Now, we have members from Sweden and Finland following this forum. Maybe Riku is around?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s