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Thread: Vane or claw?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Vane or claw?

    I am looking at air tech vac pumps. I need a high cfm (100 +) pump with low maintenance requirements. Does anyone have advice on a rotary claw stye or vane style ?

  2. #2
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    Not to be a jack a$$ but not all pumps are the same vane vrs claw depends on the pump and the cfm and hg you want. Have you checked out the atlas copco pumps from MES?
    Jared

  3. #3
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    I will check them out, thanks.

  4. #4
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Copied from a 2013 post I made....

    Diaphragm pump (Sap Puller) or Peristaltic pump (Sap Sucker) - simple, liquid pump -- so neither will move a lot of CFM (very leak intolerant), will generate moderate levels of vacuum if system is very tight, low vacuum if system is leaky (or it is very warm and lots of gas coming from trees), generally cheaper, no releaser required, must drain during hard freezes, should change diaphragms every few years. Good for small producers with up to a few hundred taps who keep their tubing system very tight.

    Rotary vane - simple, move a lot of CFM per HP (fairly leak tolerant), trade-off is that they can't generate as high a vacuum, generally require oil cooling, less expensive, repair/maintenance relatively easy, very noisy, can be hard starting when cold

    Liquid ring
    - slightly more complex, moves somewhat less CFM per HP, can achieve somewhat higher vacuum (especially if dual-stage), require either oil or water (some also use antifreeze) cooling, somewhat more costly, relatively easy repair/maintenance, quieter

    Rotary claw - more complex, move good CFM per HP (but not as good as rotary vane), can achieve high vacuum, no coolant necessary (usually air-cooled), expensive to purchase, very easy maintenance (a little ATF or WD40 occasionally) --but repairs are complex, very quiet. Big thing with a rotary claw pump is that you should NEVER pull liquid through it....or its "game over". We use two moisture traps in series to prevent this from happening.

    The other thing to be cognizant of is that big pumps can have big electrical requirements....especially in the start-up amps and especially when they are cold. We had to put a heat lamp on our vane pump for several hours to warm it up enough to not blow the circuit when we turned it on when cold. Once it was warmed up it wasn't a problem.

    We've used all of these types at UVM PMRC as our operation has changed over the past 25 yrs. We standardized several years ago on Busch Rotary Claw pumps, with 4 currently in service, but recently got another that we'll hook up this fall/winter. We like to segregate parts of our operation for research purposes, and often pair/plumb these together as backup. You definitely want a good (operationally bullet-proof) moisture trap on this style of pump.

    All these types of pumps will work well depending upon your circumstances. A rotary vane pump tends to give the biggest bang (CFM) for the buck if what you're after is sheer CFM, but will generally come at the cost of somewhat lower vacuum levels. For those who are better/more diligent about leak checking, liquid ring or rotary claw will give higher vacuum levels, but come with a higher upfront cost. You really just need to be realistic about your leak checking regime and level of vacuum desired (for the cost) to decide which way to go (keeping in mind the 5-7% more sap per 1" Hg relationship). Looking at the pump CFM/vacuum curves can help you decide. General rule is that you should have 1 CFM per 100 taps, but you can get away with far less than that if you are very good at leak checking and don't use ladders/leakers.

    We haven't tried the Atlas Copco pumps, but hear a lot of good things about them. Have not tried the Air Tech pumps either.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 08-09-2018 at 08:04 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
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    Thank you Doc for the info. I am leaning toward the air tech at the moment. I like the made in the USA label and seems easier to work on. I guess i'll get to climb another leaning curves this season.

  6. #6
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    Tigermaple I took the plunge to the Airteck L63 and it was a game changer. It was in the $5,000 range with the dry filter. Changing the oil is as easy as drain the oil change the filter and your up and running. I can say that when you decide to take the plunge from homemade to commercial vacuum pumps it will make all the difference in your woods. Having high CFM's and vacuum will allow you to spend the time working your woods to maximize your levels at the taps.

    I cant say its the best pump out there but its the one Roth Sugar Bush sells and their a CDL dealer. I believe sticking with someone that will be there when I need questions answered.
    3X10 Lapiere Waterloo small/CDL raised flue with oil fired homemade steam hood
    1700 taps all on vacuum thru sap ladders
    Smoky Lake auto draw off
    Custom 2X4 finish pan by 3rdgen
    Kubota BX 2370 tractor and Polaris ATV
    CDL Airtech L63
    CDL remote vacuum system sensing.
    2 double Bernard releasers
    Westfab 7" short bank
    More dang tanks and pumps than I can remember
    Yellow dog made from parts named Roxy

  7. #7
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    I have two ring pumps and really like them. They both run 29 inches of vacuum. The nice thing about ring pumps is if your pump takes on some moisture or sap it's easy to drain. Moisture or sap will separate from the oil very fast. Every few days I open the valve and check to see if there is any water. I can do this while the pump is running. If moisture or sap hits a vane pump you will have to replace the vanes. You could loose a few hours of good sap run replacing them. On the ring pump if too much moisture or sap gets into the pump then i just drain all oil out and replace it.

    Spud

  8. #8
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    Jan 2014
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    Merrill,Wisconsin
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    I run a atlas copco pump and love it. And the price was far less then a airtech

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.S.S View Post
    I run a atlas copco pump and love it. And the price was far less then a airtech
    I see online they are selling Atlas Copco pumps for $1250 brand new. They are 17.5 CFMs. That seems like a great deal if they do indeed run great.

    Spud

  10. #10
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    Jan 2014
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    Merrill,Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by spud View Post
    I see online they are selling Atlas Copco pumps for $1250 brand new. They are 17.5 CFMs. That seems like a great deal if they do indeed run great..

    Spud
    I could of bought 2 atlas copco pumps for the price of 1 airtech pump. I have ran my GVS 60 pump for 3 seasons now and it has ran flawlessly, not one complaint.

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