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 Home Brew Forums > Ditch the HLT, go instant electric. Idea.

03-05-2008, 01:04 AM   #1
Yorg
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 Ditch the HLT, go instant electric. Idea.

(Sorry about the long post, folks.)

I have an electric Urn as a HLT. It is too small, and rather than making a new electric HLT, I am considering the following. What do you think?

Instead of a HLT, make an electric instantaneous water supply.

See the attached diagram.

Electric because it is:
-Cheaper than LPG.
-Environmentally better if you buy green energy.

Some Benefits:
-Less energy wastage - only heat the water you use - no hot water sitting around on simmer.
-One less vessel
-Less space?
-About the same cost as a new electric HLT, if you look hard enough for parts?

How it works:
Essentially, a temp controller regulates an electric element.
A power switch activates a washing machine solenoid, and is a master switch for the element. No water flow, no power to the element.
It is off/solenoid closed when no water is required.
The Alarm function on the controller is set to go off if the water temp is too low. The Alarm output is used to drive washing machine solenoid valves. If the water is too cold while the element is heating up, the valves divert it away. If temp is ok, the valves allow the water to move to a flow meter and onwards to your mashtun. The flow meter has a digital readout.
The "Choke" valve at the front of the system is calibrated to provide a flow rate over the element that allows water to reach the highest temp desired, rather than rushing through at mains pressure.

Question:
Anyone know how to get an approximate calculation of the flow rate over a 240V 2400W element to give 75 degrees C (Sparge) - assuming an ambient water temp of 10C.
(This would tell me the max flow rate, and determine the practicality of the idea.)

Cheaper/Simpler Option:
1 Just work the flow rates that give Dough In and Sparge temps, use two choke valves - each set for one of those temps, and use a manual valve to divert the flow through the appropriate choke valve. (Would have to have consistant ambient water temps.)
2 Just use the choke valve and a thermometer. Manually hit the temp before using the water.

The detriment with these Options is you can't just dial in any temp and get the automated feed.

Cheers.

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03-05-2008, 01:28 AM   #2
GuateBrewer
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Electricity (watts): amps * volts
Heat (watts): Energy/Time (Joule per second)
4.18Joules = 1 Calorie
1 Calorie is the energy required to raise 1gram (or 1cc) of water by 1C.

Your unit would run at a snails pace.

Your wanting around a 150F raise in temp, even with a huge on demand heating unit pulling 88amps, you would only get an output of 1 gallon per minute.

That said if you ran it for 10 minutes of 1/6 of an hour at 21kw demand, you would use 3.5 kw/hrs of electricty time ?? 10-15cents per hour making it pretty cheap to heat the water 30-50cents?

Maybe plumb your domestic hot water supply though an on demand system?

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03-05-2008, 01:29 AM   #3
GuateBrewer
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http://www.titanheater.com/tankless-...eater-scr4.php

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03-05-2008, 02:26 AM   #4
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Here are a couple formulas for water heating heat input in btu's
Flow in GPM X 500 X temperature rise =BTU's
BTU'S/3413 = KW needed

Here is an example 1GPMX500X120=60,000 BTU'S
60,000 BTU'S/3413=17.58 KW
(3 - 6000 watt elements)

Most residential service panels, feeders and meters would be unable to accept that much additional load and still operate major household appliances. Upgrade to service panel and feeders and meter would probably run \$1K+ as this is not a DIY project.

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03-05-2008, 02:30 AM   #5
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Good idea. But more practical as a lp system. Check out Kladue's on demand steam system. He uses a shrouded stainless coil heated by a burner. By flowing only ounces of water over a heated surface he can control heat with flow rate, just like what you are talking about. In fact, he also does his water heating for sparge and strike the same way to. Thought this might help you.

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03-05-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
Yorg
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Thanks very much folks.

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03-05-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
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Just to let you know, the power company can charge you to upgrade the lines into your house if you use on demand hot water because it demands so much power at one time. You should look into your local utility's policies before installing any in demand hot water heater.

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03-05-2008, 10:19 PM   #8
Bobby_M
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by kladue Here are a couple formulas for water heating heat input in btu's Flow in GPM X 500 X temperature rise =BTU's BTU'S/3413 = KW needed Here is an example 1GPMX500X120=60,000 BTU'S 60,000 BTU'S/3413=17.58 KW (3 - 6000 watt elements) Most residential service panels, feeders and meters would be unable to accept that much additional load and still operate major household appliances. Upgrade to service panel and feeders and meter would probably run \$1K+ as this is not a DIY project.

Good numbers. I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss this as impossible. Let's assume you have a 200 amp service and a 50amp/220 outlet in the garage for stick welding or even 50 amps of spare capacity.

I'd be happy waiting 24 minutes to get 6 gallons of strike water up to temp so that's .25 gpm.
If I start with 60F water and want to get it up to 170, that's a rise of 110F.
.25 x 500 x 110 = 13750 BTU / 3413 = 4KW. Hey, I can live with a 4500 watt element running 220. That's only 20amps.

Also, if you fly sparge, having an inflow of .25 gpm is fine. A 9 gallon sparge would take 36 minutes and you'd want to run that slower anyway.
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03-05-2008, 11:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by modenacart Just to let you know, the power company can charge you to upgrade the lines into your house if you use on demand hot water because it demands so much power at one time. You should look into your local utility's policies before installing any in demand hot water heater.
Not only that, but they can charge you for the replacement of THEIR equipment and man hours to do it to support the additional load for that whole distribution area.
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03-06-2008, 01:36 AM   #10
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Ahh it might work, im taking an electrical and mechanical systems class and
i do know it takes 1 btu to turn 1cu/ft of water 1F. so let me do the math.
1 cf of water = 7.481 gal
1 gal= 8.33 lb
1 watt = 3.414btu's
So the equation shoud be
(Specific heat)(change in temp)(lbs)
so you take 1 btu(100F)(62.14lb)=6,214 btu's to raise the water from 70 degrees to 170 degrees.

1820 watt element for one hour to raise 7.481 gal of water

it can be done faster
3640 watt element in half an hour

7280 watt element for 10 minutes to raise 7.481 gal of water

basically put 3 2500 watt elements for ten minute

but honestly im not the expert i just know some math so do go off spending without double checking

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