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Thread: Homemade preheater pan idea?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska (Minnesota For Sugaring)
    Posts
    182

    Default Homemade preheater pan idea?

    I won't be using a steam hood with my newly purchased evaporator, and it currently has no preheater setup.

    I'm thinking of using my old 3 x 6, or an old 3 x 4 aluminum flat pan over the top as a preheater. I'd run the sap in one end, have a slightly low corner to drip the condensation off to the side, and drill a hole in the preheater pan, and put in a spout there to drip the warmed sap into the smokestack end of the main (flat, partioned) pan.

    Does that sound like it would work?

    If so, how deep should I run the sap in the preheater?

    I suppose I'm going to need the preheater pan high enough so I can see the whole evaporator pan, not just the final compartments, correct?

    How much efficiency could I expect to gain?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    BECKLEY, WV (SUGARHOUSE DAWSON, WV)
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    The only problem with that idea in my opinion would be you would be getting about as much condensation dripping off the bottom of the pan back into the evaporator pan as you would be gaining. What I did with my last homemade setup was I had a piece of 1/2 copper tubing that I ran completely thru the firebox and back into the pan. It did not have a float on it, so I manually controlled the flow and at the end of the day, I disconnected the tubing and flushed it with aprox 1 quart of water to prevent any scorching of sugar in the tubing and the heat usually evaporated out about all of the water.
    Brandon

    2x8 Leader Welded Drop Flue Modified Inferno arch
    2011 Leader 2x5 Steamaway
    Kubota L3400 DT 4x4 Tractor w/ Loader
    720 on gravity pipeline & 30 on buckets
    Lapierre 7" 4 bank filter press
    24x48 sugarhouse
    Deer Run Maple 500 RO for 2015
    WEBSITE: http://s203.photobucket.com/albums/aa160/wvmapler

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska (Minnesota For Sugaring)
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    182

    Default Condensation

    That sounds like a good idea you had.

    The plan with my idea would be to have the low corner of the preheater pan dripping condensation into a container off to the side.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    BECKLEY, WV (SUGARHOUSE DAWSON, WV)
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    It is cheap and the sap comes out boiling and steam even coming out too, the nyou are even getting a little evap from the preheater. Copper quick connects are easy to connect and disconnect and solder right on.
    Brandon

    2x8 Leader Welded Drop Flue Modified Inferno arch
    2011 Leader 2x5 Steamaway
    Kubota L3400 DT 4x4 Tractor w/ Loader
    720 on gravity pipeline & 30 on buckets
    Lapierre 7" 4 bank filter press
    24x48 sugarhouse
    Deer Run Maple 500 RO for 2015
    WEBSITE: http://s203.photobucket.com/albums/aa160/wvmapler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, NH
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Buck, check out my post '275 Gal Oil Tank Evap' under homemade equip. We did the same thing i think you are talking about. pan is much smaller, but we were almost bringing it to a boil with 5 gal of sap in it. First pic the pre heater pan is on a log in the right side of the picture. second two pics you can see it on the flat pan by the stack. It made a big difference for us.
    2 x 6 Grimm raised flue for 2012 season. Rebuilding a 3 x 13 for 2013. 51 Ford 8N, St. Bernard, 30+ chickens.

    http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m257/cardigan99/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    paeonian springs VA
    Posts
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    Hay Brandon, I'm buying a used Leader 2x6 drop flue this weekend, I was thinking of making a preheater similar to what you described a few posts ago.
    How many feet of copper pipe did you put in your firebox. If you have any
    better ideas for a preheater for a 2x6 with out a hood I'am all ears. On
    my last evaporator, I had about forty feet of 1/2 copper line wrapped around
    the stack. It worked pretty good but I though I'd try something different
    this time.
    Gerry
    Leader 2x6 drop flue
    285taps
    185 on sugars
    no longer looking for more trees

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    atwater ohio
    Posts
    384

    Default

    buck3m-i have a preheater for a 3 ft wide evaporator it resembles the one on the half pint. its 3 ft long 6 in wide and about 7 inches tall if your interested in it pm me. its got two valves.its ss
    pine grove sugarhouse
    600 taps
    16x24 sugarhouse. not even close to finished...
    4x10 leader drop flue
    too much stuff to worry about

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    BECKLEY, WV (SUGARHOUSE DAWSON, WV)
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    Default

    Gerry,

    Just run a section of 3/4" the entire length of the firebox and see how it works. Never tried it in an evaporator, but copper conducts heat very good and it should heat really fast. Lowes has the copper and brass disconnects for around $ 6 and they work great and seal without any plastic or rubber gaskets.
    Brandon

    2x8 Leader Welded Drop Flue Modified Inferno arch
    2011 Leader 2x5 Steamaway
    Kubota L3400 DT 4x4 Tractor w/ Loader
    720 on gravity pipeline & 30 on buckets
    Lapierre 7" 4 bank filter press
    24x48 sugarhouse
    Deer Run Maple 500 RO for 2015
    WEBSITE: http://s203.photobucket.com/albums/aa160/wvmapler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Posts
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    Default

    I've got to say you are "playing with fire" by running sap feed lines through the flue gases directly. The high temps there, around 1000°, could easily boil the sap in the copper tube very quickly, particularly if you shut off the flow out. You run a risk of having boiling sap shooting out somewhere. Tubes of liquid in hot flue gasses is how steam generators are built, but they are ready to handle steam. Be careful!

    I figured out the maximum possible efficiency gain for a preheater once. Assuming the sap was near freezing and it was raised to near 212°, I think the advantage was about 20% over cold sap coming in.
    John
    2x6 drop flue with AOF/ AUF
    160 taps with sacks
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    CAPAC MICHIGAN
    Posts
    597

    Default

    Riley Is Right Be Very Carefulthis Is Like Tnt If It Can Build Pressure It Can Explode

    Rich

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