Immersion Chiller Pump and Sanity Check - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > Immersion Chiller Pump and Sanity Check

05-24-2011, 02:08 AM   #1
Mishkan
Recipes

Oct 2010
DC
Posts: 36
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

So I'm looking at building my first immersion chiller and since I live in apartments hoses aren't always easy to come by and a pump may be easier in the long run. So I'm doing some sanity checks for myself on what pump to get.

The total amount of fittings you need to put together to fit onto a sink (more if its non regulation) comes out to a decent amount (priced from home depot).

Estimated pricing looking at the site for the wort chiller (1/2 build)
1/2" x 20' Copper Coil - \$25.11
4 Right Angle Elbows - \$0.68(x4)-2.72
5' of Rigid Pipe - \$7.92
5/8" of clear tubing (10 feet) - \$7.92
So I can probably get smaller lengths of the tubing so this is about \$40 for this setup.

An addition of all the fittings needed to get it work with kitchen sink adds on a good \$20+ minimum.

Estimated head losses on this against gallons per minute using the D-W equation, so I'm skipping using reynolds number and simplifying the calculations

.25*0.2083(100/140)^(1.852)*(x)^(1.582)/(1/2)^(4.8655)+.08*0.2083*(100/130)^(1.852)*(x)^(1.582)/(5/8)^4.8655
=91.5*x^(1.582) and x is in gallons/minute
+20% for fittings etc.
=1.10*X^(1.582)
So with a 250 GPH pump (at the head this is given)
1.10*(250/60)^(1.582) I can assume 10.5 feet of head loss.

Anyhow, thats pretty good as using 3/8" diameter increases this to 41 feet of head loss and 1/4" to 300 feet. This obviously doesn't count losses at the water heats up.

To maintain an effective heat transfer simplify it down to you want 4 feet per second, as swirling the water maybe gets the speed to 4 ft/s at the edges. (total BS numbers). But basically the line will be cleared of water within 2 seconds. Your standard city garden hose runs at 10 GPM which is similar and should give 4 feet per second. (Your inner house faucet maybe gives 3 GpM)

So estimating the power of the pump I need (at minimum) to maintain 10 gallons/minute (yes I know the density is higher in the wort, just keeping it simple for now).
(10 gallons/minute)*(62.4 lb/ft^3)*(32.2 ft/s^2)*(42 feet)=
80 Watts

if I want to double the flow rate
471 Watts

Half the flow rate
13.2 Watts

So ideally I want a pump somewhere in this range, that garden hose is 10 GPM at the tap supposed, which may be a lot less after it reaches your tube.
Also assume a bad efficiency if you're looking at voltage*amp draw instead of the pumps actual horsepower something like 0.6 which will increase these numbers to 133,785 Watts, and 22 respectively.

So back to the final retail pump selection, my original inclination was a bilge pump, but that requires DC. So rather than worrying about dealing with AC/DC wall worts or transformers or a car battery just look straight to AC.

A fountain pump seems like a pretty simple option, I'm just trying to find the right one. A fountain pump usually includes a flow rate at a head. (600 gallons/hour for a 15 foot high fountain etc.)
http://www.amazon.com/Beckett-710791...6201338&sr=1-7
At 600 GPH at 16 foot height
Is a 32 Watt pump (at flow), so just guessing now since I'm feeling lazy thats about 6 GpM on the chiller, and 2.5 ft/s flowrate so it'll take about 15 seconds to return through the system

Now a utility pump looks like it may be more bang for your buck
http://www.amazon.com/Wayne-RUP160-6...6201883&sr=8-8

But the max head is 20 feet, much less than what the horsepower can send through it. You can see the pattern between the two here (for a similar pump)

If I plot my function 1.10*X^(1.582) against that, where they intersect is basically where it'll operate at. Which on that graph is only about 6 Gpm again

Anyhow, I need a pump recommendation, or am I shooting for way too high flowrates? Would 3 GpM be more reasonable?

05-24-2011, 02:21 AM   #2
37OliveStBrews
Recipes

Aug 2010
Danbury Ct
Posts: 165
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

You may want to think about taking that copper coil and make a counterflow chiller with a garden hose. It will add 30 or so to the cost but get much better results. Use the sump pump to recirculate ice water in a 5 gallon rubbermaid container. I bought a 1/2hp from amazon and it pumps perfect. Couldn't be happier. Tried similar set up with just an IC and took 20 mins to chill from boil to pitching temps.

05-24-2011, 02:42 AM   #3
hillhousesawdustco

Recipes

Jan 2011
up near babb, mt
Posts: 646
Liked 36 Times on 34 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mishkan simplifying the calculations

Ha, wow that's simple! I'm not sure what advice I can possibly give you, but I also use a 1/2 hp sump pump. I just put 20 gallons or so of water in a trashcan full of snow and then pump it into a second trashcan and back and forth. Doesn't work as well in July and August without the snow....

05-24-2011, 03:42 AM   #4
Mishkan
Recipes

Oct 2010
DC
Posts: 36
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by 37OliveStBrews You may want to think about taking that copper coil and make a counterflow chiller with a garden hose. It will add 30 or so to the cost but get much better results. Use the sump pump to recirculate ice water in a 5 gallon rubbermaid container. I bought a 1/2hp from amazon and it pumps perfect. Couldn't be happier. Tried similar set up with just an IC and took 20 mins to chill from boil to pitching temps.
I hear you lose a decent amount of hop aroma, as IPAs are my main thing I don't really want to lose this. Also to note is I don't have weldless fittings on my brew kettle yet.