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Automation?


Gears&Spirits

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It will be a 100 gal Artisan still 8 plate column. There is a three way valve on the lyne arm and modulating control valves for the control water. I like the idea of data logging for

consistency. 4 thermometers to monitor, one in the pot, one on the helmet, one on the dephlegmater, and one on the liquid manage condenser. That's what I am thinking so far.

Would anything else be beneficial or nice to have? 

  

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We have temperature control on the dephlegmator and product condensers, as well as monitoring/logging on vapor temp, distillate temp, wash temp, and jacket pressure.

We do not yet have steam jacket pressure control hooked up, but will likely do it in the next few months.

From an "automation" perspective, we are finding that dephlegmator temperature control is the most useful/beneficial - as evidenced by extremely tight batch to batch consistency.

Wash temp is very helpful to monitor the progression of heat up.

System will shut the boiler down on high distillate temp.

Product condenser temperature control is useful as well - as we run a recirculating water system - our reservoir will heat up through the run, so as the run progresses the system needs to increase water flow through the condensers to maintain the set points.

We are using Omega Ethernet-connected PID and Process Controls/Meters.

Not sure how you define automation though, we designed our system to work as an assistant, not an automaton.  So, we want to control the reflux ratio (dephlegmator temperature), but I don't want to fiddle with a valve to do it, or have to fiddle with valves the whole run to keep it where I want it.  I could imagine a much more complex PLC based system that essentially automated the entire run.

 

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