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Old 07-15-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
chally
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Default Cooling A Tower With Copper Tubing

Hi All,

I was considering picking up some 5/8" OD soft copper tubing to sheathe my beer lines in the tower, hopefully cooling them. To test the idea, I took about four feet of 3/8" OD tubing I cut off my immersion chiller and stuck it down through the top of the tower. So far, it the copper at the top of the tower seems to be stuck at ambient room temperature.

1. Will the larger diameter copper tubing produce better results due to size?
2. Is soft copper tubing the wrong material? Do I need a rigid tube?
2. Are there any insulations issues I should think about? More insulation? Less (for more room for cold air)? Certain types?

I don't want to drop the money on 5/8" tubing (I have no other use for it) if it's not going to appreciably cool the lines.

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Old 07-15-2012, 04:21 AM   #2
phoenixs4r
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From what I understand you must insure the cooper is long enough to drop down I to the kegerator so it can 'absorb' if you will the cold air and pass it upwards. I always though the idea was meh, but I have no first hand knowledge. I plan on adding a blower to mine to force cold air up the tower.

Edit: is the cooper snug in the line as well? if not its pretty much a waste anyways. The difference in soft copper and hard copper should be negligible in this instance, you're using it as a conducter.

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Old 07-15-2012, 05:11 PM   #3
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A friend of mine tried it - it may have kept the beer lines cold but did nothing for the beer shank inside the tower. I measured the temperature of his beer faucet before & after with my IR thermometer and there was zero change.

Install a beer tower cooler - several people manufacture & sell them.

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Old 07-16-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
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Hi

The problem is that the copper is very long relative to it's thickness. It does conduct heat but not well enough to be worth it. To get the shanks and faucets down to temperature you need to move a lot of energy. Unless you have a cold room or a very low RH (below 30%) you will be condensing moisture on the faucets. That "soaks up cold".

Bob

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Old 07-16-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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Not sure if the following will help you, but....

forumrunner_20120716_135239.jpg

This is my latest attempt to cool a beer tower. Its a computer case blower fan. I took an end cap for the PVC tube I was using, cut a slot in it and glued it on, and ran my hoses through a different set of holes. Not 100% sure it will work, as the tower is sealed and I'm sure has a tremendous amount of back pressure, but we'll see.



forumrunner_20120716_135436.jpg

I bet if I ran copper snug against the lines like this the lines would stay very cold.... hmmmm

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Old 07-16-2012, 09:47 PM   #6
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On my keggerator i cut a length of 1/2 rigid copper (top of the keg to the top of the tower). Soldered caps on the ends then drilled a small hole in one end. Filled the tube with ethanol. Then filled the hole with epoxy.

You can see the condensation at the tap

WARNING: do not solder the second cap on with the alcohol in the tube

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Old 07-16-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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WARNING: do not solder the second cap on with the alcohol in the tube[/QUOTE]

LOL. Where's your sense of adventure?

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Old 07-16-2012, 10:24 PM   #8
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Hi

The copper with the ethanol is a heat pipe. They also work with water and / or anti-freeze. If you are going to make one, remember to purge the air out of the setup after the fluid is in there. Normally you over-charge the system and then boil a bit of it out the hole. With flammables that is indeed a bit of a challenge. After it's been jetting boil for a while you seal off the hole.

Bob

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