Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Valves vs Flow Control... ok... but why is that?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-15-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
LeftTurnOnly
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: , Iowa
Posts: 34
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default Valves vs Flow Control... ok... but why is that?

I've been reading about the different types of valves.... Butterfly, Ball, Gate, Globe and such, and each has different levels of flow control... I can buy that.... and maybe this is kinda dumb, but for some reason i can't wrap my head around why that is... I was considering converting all of my valves to butterfly valves for the sake of sanitation, but from what i'm reading, butterfly valves have little to no flow control. All i can think is that if i open it a little, it'll have a little flow, and the more i open it, the more flow i'll have.

Am i just being dumb here? heh... I currently only have experience with ball valves, so nothing to compare too.
Thanks gang...

Kyle...

__________________
LeftTurnOnly is offline
SMc0724 Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
PoppinCaps
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 326
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

My basic understanding is that butterfly valves are like ball valves except they open a crack on both sides of the tube as the gate turns, instead of just one side like on the ball valve. So a little open on the knob means twice as much flow as the same turn on a ball valve. That's probably what is meant by little control on flow. If you want the best control on flow I'd go with gate or diaphragm valves. Diaphragms can get expensive, but as far as sanitation is concerned they're the only ones biopharma companies use to move their product, so it's likely your better option. I of course opt for the cheapest and least sanitary, the ball valve.

__________________
Grain to Glass
PoppinCaps is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-27-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
SMc0724
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Beaumont, Tx
Posts: 143
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default A little fluid mechanics

LeftTurnOnly,
It's been a while since you posted, so I hope this reply is still relevant.

I have a wee bit of understanding about fluid dynamics...I hope this helps...
Fluid flow rate in a pipe (and through a valve) is proportional (but not linearly proportional) to both area of opening and pressure. (These relationships have been under a great deal of study for a long time. There are a couple of equations out there that are beyond this discussion.) To discuss flow through a valve, therefore, requires understanding the relationship between "% open" versus "% area opening" versus pressure.

1. There is a difference between "% open" versus "% area opening."

"% open" is what we see when we move the valve operator or spindle. We believe when we turn a butterfly valve 45 degrees, it is 50% open. (A butterfly valve only has 90 degrees of movement from open to closed. So 45d/90d x 100% = 50%.)

"% area opening" is the area that the water actually "sees" available to flow through, often called the throat. As seen in this graph: http://www.spiraxsarco.com/images/resources/steam-engineering-tutorials/6/5/fig6_5_02.gif, the area of the throat does not change proportional to the amount of valve closure.

In other words, a butterfly valve that is only 30% "open" still has 60% throat area available for fluid flow. The difficulty is that the throat area changes very rapidly in the last 25% of closure.

2. A bit of mathematics.
Now, we relate the area to fluid flow using the equation:
Flow = Throat Area x Velocity of fluid.

Given the observation of valve behavior in #1, when closing a butterfly valve there will not be a corresponding change in the amount of flow until the valve is nearly closed because the area of the throat stays so high throughout most of the valve's closure, making it hard to control flow.

3. Constant pressure versus dynamic pressure.
The discussion in #1 and #2 (above) assumes the valve is under constant pressure. BUT, since the throat is changing, so is the system pressure, but not as we might expect:

Let's consider a valve being closed: as throat area decreases, fluid flow decreases through the valve, causing less velocity and less friction loss in the system, so less pressure loss, therefore the pressure the pump works against decreases.

Now, if your system is hooked to a typical beer pump, it is likely a centrifugal pump (and not positive displacement), where the lower the working pressure the more flow the pump delivers. So even though the area of throat decreases, the flow rate does not decrease as much as the throat area decreases. In essence, the pump works against the valve, compounding the problem.

4. Friction versus flow.
As stated before, the relationship between friction and flow is not linear. Plus, the relationship between working pressure and flow output (in a pump) is not linear. So, changes in working pressure will not see a corresponding changes in velocity or flow. The problem is compounded again!

5. Valve flutter.
Butterfly valves tend to "flutter" near closure because of the fluid forces on the valve. The fluttering creates variations in the throat size, and therefore variations in quantity of flow. Now the problem is even more compounded.

6. Conclusion.
As you can see, flow control is a complex problem. So, the best control valves are those designed to provide a linear relationship between "% open" and "% throat area." Generally, a butterfly valve is not consider a flow control valve, and is best used as purely open or purely closed.

__________________

Last edited by SMc0724; 07-27-2012 at 08:54 PM. Reason: clarification, added titles
SMc0724 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
ChuckO
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChuckO's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Keyrock, WV
Posts: 886
Liked 78 Times on 70 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

So what valve gives the best relationship between % open and % throat area? Seems to me that a needle valve best fits that description, or possibly a gate valve.

__________________
ChuckO is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-28-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
SMc0724
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Beaumont, Tx
Posts: 143
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Yes, look at the link I posted...a needle could work, with proper design, also a globe valve. Here is the full article, http://www.spiraxsarco.com/resources/steam-engineering-tutorials/control-hardware-el-pn-actuation/control-valve-characteristics.asp.

Look for "control valves" then for the performance characteristics. "Best" depends on the final performance required, and how much is available for spending (as usual). The best control valves are globe, needle, and diaphragm, because the opening can be designed for fluid control. But, others can work when less precise control is needed.

Gate valves can work, but there is still the problem of throat area. Some gate valves have rectangular openings, and that helps. But most gates are round, like the pipe.

__________________
SMc0724 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-29-2012, 02:35 AM   #6
bob352
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 94
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

Default

I replaced ball valves with butterfly valves on the MLT drain and the march pump outlet.
After one brew session, they work well enough.
Definitely a different feel than the ball valves.
A bit more hysteresis with the butterfly valves.
No problems adjusting the flow rate to what I wanted.

I did not notice any valve flutter.
I suspect the 1" tri-clamp butterfly valves I got are way over engineered for my little brewery.

Cleanup was super easy. Much easier than ball valves (ymmv).
So far, the butterfly valves are a win for me.

Also the bling factor is higher on butterfly valves.

__________________
bob352 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Flow control for $50... Good deal? IrishBrewer74 Equipment/Sanitation 1 01-21-2012 03:37 PM
RIMS flow control Brewing Clamper Equipment/Sanitation 17 12-11-2011 06:04 PM
Flow Measurement and Control? meadowstream Equipment/Sanitation 8 03-22-2011 02:32 AM
Sparge flow rate control. RoadKing Equipment/Sanitation 2 12-08-2009 08:53 PM
Flow Control for System Automation sjlammer Equipment/Sanitation 1 11-12-2009 03:19 PM