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Pumping low wines


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  • Air Operated Diaphragm pump
  • Centrifugal pump with TEFC or XP motor and starter
  • Moyno Progressive cavity pump with TEFC or XP motor and starter

Used them all. AOD is the safest, easiest (self priming), pump to use...I highly recommend going that route.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The SQN 50 flex impeller pump that captnKB linked can definitely pump low wines, and as folks have said, for higher-proof spirits the best two options are to go with an air diaphragm pump or a flex impeller pump with XP motor and starter or VFD.

We've done a few XP flex impeller pumps for high-end distilleries, but the price makes them prohibitive for startups, particularly if you add a VFD for speed control: Jabsco SQN 50 XP

Those XP-rated components can get pricey. The constantly-purged stainless steel enclosure looks pretty damn cool, though :)


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You can also get the Flex Impeller pumps with air operated motors correct? In which case, XP wouldn't be a concern. Nice option for some.



Hi McKee,

Yep, you could use a pneumatic motor to power a flexible impeller pump. Generally speaking air diaphragm pumps are able to run more efficiently given the same PSI/CFM of air input.

Flexible impeller pumps need a lot of torque to start rotating the impellers, particularly when they're priming, and a lot of torque to reverse the direction of the impellers. Pneumatic motors have a harder time providing the necessary torque without a big compressor backing them up. Electric motors and VFDs, on the other hand, can provide high torque and RPMs relatively easily.

The cost of an electric motor that provides the necessary torque to turn a large impeller is hundreds of dollars. The cost of a compressor to provide the same torque to a pneumatic motor is thousands of dollars.

I'm sure there's a sweet spot, and we're looking for it.

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