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Old 06-23-2011, 02:08 AM   #1
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Default Immersion chiller upgrade tests, series vs parallel

In a previous thread, http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/imme...tation-252421/ , it was suggested to split the incoming water and have it go to each coil, parallel. I had it set up for the water to go from one coil and into the second, series. I said that I would test the chiller both ways and had time this afternoon to do it.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1308793107
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1308793245
Here are the details of the test.
I brought 10 gallons of water to boil in a keggle outside and it was 87 degrees.
The water temp out of the hose was 62.5 degrees.
I started cooling once I had a roiling boil. I took the temp at 10 minutes, the time at 90 degrees, and the time at 80 degrees.

Series,
After ten minutes, 102 degrees
90 degrees 12 minutes
80 degrees 17 minutes

Parallel
After ten minutes, 106 degrees
90 degrees 14 minutes
80 degrees 18 minutes

So it came out that series worked better in this case than parallel. So if you have a 25' immersion chiller adding a second coil can really improve cooling.


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Old 06-23-2011, 02:32 AM   #2
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Wow. All things being equal (flow rate, water temp) I thought the parallel would be quicker than in series.


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Old 06-23-2011, 03:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mrk305 View Post
Wow. All things being equal (flow rate, water temp) I thought the parallel would be quicker than in series.
I think that running it in series allows the outflowing water to become hotter, making the system more efficient. The temperature difference between water flowing in and water flowing out is directly related to the efficiency of the system. Nice work.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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how much water was used in each scenario?
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:49 PM   #5
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Since there is almost no real difference, why not use the smaller coil as a prechiller. That will honestly work the best.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:03 PM   #6
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Hmmm.... this goes against what my heat transfer classes taught. Not quite buying it yet.

The energy transfer is proportional to the temp difference between the wort and coil. Lets use the entering and exiting coil temps to get an average coil temp. With shorter coils, the average temp will be lower, since surface area of 1 coil is half the surface area of the system of coils, and has less contact time with the wort.

With 2 coils, at a lower avg temp, (assuming same flowrate for parallel or series configuration), the parallel should cool significantly faster.

I'm guessing a restriction in the supply caused a reduction in water flow. Hence, the question of water volume above is extremely relevant.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by _JP_ View Post
Hmmm.... this goes against what my heat transfer classes taught. Not quite buying it yet.

The energy transfer is proportional to the temp difference between the wort and coil. Lets use the entering and exiting coil temps to get an average coil temp. With shorter coils, the average temp will be lower, since surface area of 1 coil is half the surface area of the system of coils, and has less contact time with the wort.

With 2 coils, at a lower avg temp, (assuming same flowrate for parallel or series configuration), the parallel should cool significantly faster.

I'm guessing a restriction in the supply caused a reduction in water flow. Hence, the question of water volume above is extremely relevant.
Yeah, this is curious to me as well.

With shorter coils, average temp should be lower. Also, if the supply hose, is significantly larger in diameter than the tubing, (garden hose, for example), then your flowrate through the parallel setup will be much higher, (think resistors in parallel vs. series, for you electrical nuts). Higher flowrate = faster, (though less efficient), cooling.

Of course, if the flow is provided by a kitchen sink, which is only using 3/8" supply hose, then the flowrate difference wouldn't be as pronounced.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:02 PM   #8
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yeah, I'm interested in how exactly you hooked up the water supply for series vs. parallel? Any supply restrictions would play a big factor in the efficiency of the parallel coils.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
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how much water was used in each scenario?
I don't know what the volume of water was. I turned the facet for the hose fully open for both runs.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxkling View Post
Since there is almost no real difference, why not use the smaller coil as a prechiller. That will honestly work the best.
I did not test just using the original 25' chiller. But from using it in the past it by itself takes at least 10 minutes longer than either method tried here.


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