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Old 01-13-2011, 03:25 AM   #1
TheFlyingBeer
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Default Triclamp heater element design

I am making progress with the design of my fully electric HERMS setup and am trying to finalize the heater element design.

I will be utilizing tri-clamps throughout as much as possible in an attempt to do away with screw threads for good.

Below is the proposed 5500W element design for both my HLT and my BK.


I will drill a 1-1/2" tri-clamp cap and slide it down the element then silver solder or braze it to the top of the threads. I have noticed corrosion on the element threads already, I believe they are galvanized. The drilled section up to the element will be filled with some silicone sealant to keep the galvanization away from my liquor or wort.

I haven't determined what kind of enclosure I will use for the wiring, most likely a single or double-gang outdoor junction box.


A 1-1/2" Ferrule will be soldered or brazed onto the keg to mount the element to. The BK and HLT will be nearly identical, my HERMS HEX pot will use a 2500W element.


Any thoughts/suggestions?

3/5/11 Update...
Final design:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/triclamp-heater-element-design-217575/#post2574035

Results:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/triclamp-heater-element-design-217575/index2.html#post2675846

3/6/11 Update

Element mounted to keg:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/triclamp-heater-element-design-217575/index2.html#post2709094



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Last edited by TheFlyingBeer; 03-05-2011 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Added links
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #2
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Pro-E or Solid Works?
That's a cool idea!
Please document your progress and post for everyone to see.



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Old 01-13-2011, 12:25 PM   #3
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Myself I don't have a problem with threads. I have use something close to that where I can un-clamp the Tri and remove the box and element. I just un-thread element to change if needed. The element threads into a 1 inch half coupler and the gasket that comes with as work for several years without a leak.

Not sure about it but I would question if the element can take that amount of heat brazing at the bake-lite but again it might.

I would think of what you have to do to change and element.

But give it a go and find out.


God Bless
Dominus Vobiscum
Swagman

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Old 01-13-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
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I'll agree with Swagman, by soldering/brazing the threads you make the element a lot harder to change out if it blows. Not to mention the fact that the element probably won't withstand that much heat (from brazing/soldering) and still work. If you do decide to do it this way please report back and let us know if it worked.

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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I have the same type of tri-clover setup on my keg except I got everything pre-made on www.brewershardware.com. I am using a copper element with copper threads that I had gotten at Menards. The only problem with the 1"threaded fitting on brewer's hardware ($22 and showen on the rims system they have) is that it is long, this would not work with your ripp element. Along the lines of the wire enclosure, I use a 90 degree elbow with JB-weld and it works great (I added a 1:2 ratio of Acitone to JB weld to make sure that it flowed decently). The angle helps to keep cords out of the way and with the Tri-Clover you can easily adjust the direction it comes out. Hope this helps happy brewing!

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmfa200 View Post
Pro-E or Solid Works?
SW, it is nice to work for an engineering firm and have these tools available to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swagman View Post
Not sure about it but I would question if the element can take that amount of heat brazing at the bake-lite but again it might.
Bake-lite? I assume that is the black plastic where the screw terminals are for the power, if so it has me concerned as well. Maybe JB weld would be a better option instead of soldering.

In the name of science I dismantled a $5 2500 element to see if I could get the screw head removed from the element tubing. That was a failure but I did determine the construction of these elements. The 2500W element tubing was copper with a nickle/chrome plating, inside was the resistive wire element which was then surrounded by a while powder which I assume is an electrical insulator while being a heat conductor. I can post a picture of the element I destroyed for anyone interested, will have to wait until later however.

As far as replacing the element when if it pops it will be slightly more involved that screwing it out. Maybe the better approach to easy replacement is similar to what Derrin at Brewers Hardware has put together.
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Primaries: Air
Secondaries: Lakefront India Brown Ale

On Tap 1: Rootbeer, On Tap 2: NB White ouse Honey Ale, On Tap 3: Nitrogen, On Tap 4: Air, On Tap 5: Air
On Deck: DIPA, Imp Stout, Porter, Wheat, Black IPA

"No sense having empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " - Me
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnadamn View Post
I have the same type of tri-clover setup on my keg except I got everything pre-made on www.brewershardware.com.
Beat me to the punch by a minute or two. I did notice the neck on that triclamp adapter is long, maybe he could weld it onto a shorter ferulle.

I might try my approach first with a cheapo 2500W and based on the failure or success of that effort I will plan my next steps. I am just waiting on some additional triclamp HW and some solder flux to arrive.
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Primaries: Air
Secondaries: Lakefront India Brown Ale

On Tap 1: Rootbeer, On Tap 2: NB White ouse Honey Ale, On Tap 3: Nitrogen, On Tap 4: Air, On Tap 5: Air
On Deck: DIPA, Imp Stout, Porter, Wheat, Black IPA

"No sense having empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " - Me
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:31 PM   #8
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Like I said give it a try.

Here is a couple of pictures of what I did a few years ago.






Half the tri tig welded into keg the other has mounting taps to the box unclamp and the element comes off with box and cord in one part.

God Bless
Swagman

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:41 PM   #9
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That's awesome Swagman!! That is exactly what I have in mind to do for my own setup.

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFlyingBeer View Post
I did notice the neck on that triclamp adapter is long, maybe he could weld it onto a shorter ferulle.
There are several images scattered throughout the site (main page on the fittings section) that hint he has already done this. Also the biggest benefit I have seen with this set up is I can still use my E-Keggle on a burner which for a year I couldn't. All I do is throw a blank in the clamp and a ptfe gasket to handle the heat. This is by far the best project I have done so far for brewing, you will not regret it


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