Jump to content

Proportional Solenoid Valve


indyspirits

Recommended Posts

I'm looking to replace our simple on/off solenoid valve used for deplegmator temp control with a true proportional valve.  Our current valve is an Asco but that I can find, they don't offer a proportional value with 1/2 fittings, only 1/4 and 3/8.  The on/off valve is noisy, can cause water hammer, and I I'd like a bit more control over flow. Any recommendations?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True proportional valves are going to be either ball or globe style, and are going to require a proportional output signal from your controller, like a 0-10v or 0-20ma (or 4-20ma) output.

There are a few manufacturers, but we are using a few from Johnson Controls and Belimo.  Sizing the proportional valve is going to be a little bit more complicated than with a solenoid.  Are you using municipal water for cooling, or do you have a recirculating/chiller setup?  Using city water, you'll likely be using a much smaller valve, with smaller Cv, than with recirculating, which would have a larger diameter and higher Cv.  Likewise, a smaller still with lower flow requirements will get by with a smaller valve than something larger.

One thing to watch out for with proportional valves (ball or globe) is their speed.  There are proportional ball valves with full swing timings of 90-120 seconds, these are a little bit too slow.  Ideally, the faster the actuation, the more responsive the system will be to change, however the faster the actuation, the more expensive the actuator.

You want some example model numbers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have got Silk City's queries sorted then your easiest and probably cheapest is to get a couple of 1/2 X 3/8 reducers. With the proportional valve the instantaneous flow will be much lower and you can get away with a smaller valve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shouldn't be a problem providing a signal although it would simplify my wife if I could use PWM.  Currently we're using muni water for cooling -- it's fantastic in the winter but total shit in the summer. Needless to say we're looking for a closed loop replacement but we're a bit space constrained.  Regarding speed -- considering the fact that I will be very slowing requiring more flow that slightly-quicker-than-glacial full swing time should be fine.

 

This all got me thinking... perhaps I should just add a  <$20 water hammer arrestor and be done with it. I'm not necessarily disappointed with the control I get. Hell I ran it manually for over a year. Sometimes simpler is better.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Hi Guys.

First time posting here, so I hope to be able to contribute something and not offend anyone.

I have built quite a bit of automation over the years and have built my own  Dephlegmator controller with some success?

The controller part is easy. the perfect controller is available from Automation direct, and may be found here: https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Process_Control_-a-_Measurement/Temperature_-z-_Process_Controllers/1-z-16_DIN_Size_(SL4848_Series)/SL4848-CR

 

This controller allows many output styles, like the 4-20ma used in proportional valves. One really cool feature it allows many input types, like the RTD  temperature probe, which allow the controller to monitor Dephlegmator out temperature and control a constant temperature. This controller also accepts 4-20ma input.

So say you wanted to monitor the output gravity from the still and either do an automatic proof cut, or a constant proof output by gradually increasing the reflux in the Defleg.  The SL4848-CR could be configured to do that.

 

The biggest problem I have found is the proportional valve. So I'm  In hopes we can collectively find the perfect Proportional valve.

I have had fantastic results with a manually operated needle valve from McMAster Carr found here: http://www.mcmaster.com/#flow-control-needle-valves/=14fp965

only issue is that it is manually operated and needs adjusting about every 15 minuets . I have tried the ball valve controllers which don't have fine enough control since they go from full off to full on in only 90 degrees of movement.  I think Silk City Distillers above has hit the nail on the head. We need a Globe valve positioner which would allow many turns of the valve to allow a finer vernier adjustment.

In my opinion a solenoid valve would be the wrong type of valve since it only allows two states, full on or full off, causing the Defleg temperature to crash (under temp) followed by a gradual warm up.

As Silk City Distillers has pointed out the valve Cv value for the valve is going to be the most important value to consider. If a person could measure their coolant flow in the Defleg at max desired reflux, you may get a better handle on the size of the proportional valve needed.

 

Water hammer shouldn't be an issue since we don't want to go from full flow to no flow in the defleg, we want a slow constant flow that varies very slowly over time.

 

Sorry for the spelling errors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, lokibrew said:

Anyone using these for dephlegmator control??

 

Not that brand. Have tried similar types of valves, and generally the thermal mass and response time are not appropriate for dephlegmator control on smaller stills. Might work with larger ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mechanical temperature control valves work very well for condenser temperature control, but they are not very useful in a dephlegmator control scenario, where you want to be making changes to the dephlegmator set point thus impacting the reflux ratio/output proof.

We have great experience with both the Johnson and Belimo proportional ball valve actuators on our still.  We are using them for both dephlegmator and product condenser temperature control.

For the Johnson Controls, The 9104-GGA-2 is a nice actuator, proportional control for the smaller valves.  It's a 60 second swing valve, which is fast enough for condenser control - during the run they barely move once they have a set position.  The 9108-GGA-2 is nice for larger valves if you are running a recirc setup and need to swing a big 1-1.5" three way.  For the Johnson valves, the GGA is critical as this represents the proportional control models.  Nice thing about the 9108-GGA-2 is that it's faster, about 25 seconds full swing.

Harder to find, and very expensive, are the Belimo high speed actuators.  I have the LRQB24-MFT - this is 5 seconds full swing, with some incredible positioning capability.  The slower LRB24-MFT are also very good, but very slow (good for PC, probably not so good for dephlegmator).

All these actuators are paired with the appropriate ball valves, 2 or 3 way, in numerous sizes and different CV sizing.

eBay is a great place to find these, you can get them for as low as $30-50, and sometimes you luck out finding the actuator already paired to the right size valve.

Good electronic globe valve positioners are incredibly expensive.  For example, the Siemens Landis MXG magnetic positioners.  This is a Rolls-Royce positioner.  Nearly instantaneous positioning (less than 2 seconds full swing) with something like 1000:1 rangeability.

We're using all of these in a pumped/recirculating setup.  I have played around with numerous types and sizes of proportional valves, so just ask, I've probably played around with it.

Hardest part of this is valve sizing and then tuning your PID control, picking up an actuator and plumbing it in is very easy.  Solenoid systems are much easier to dial in initially, but have some downsides, like hammer,noise, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some time ago at the ADI convention in Seattle WA. Artisan Still Design was showing a still with proportional valves. Fantastic looking setup as is all of their work. Hopefully we might get a comment from them here.

We are currently using an Asco proportional valve (very expensive for us at least, at around $875.00) Found here: http://www.ascovalve.com/common/pdffiles/product/8290_r5.pdf

The valve works fine, but I'm not real happy with the temperature control I'm able to get. The valve has a 3% reputability and a 5% hysteresis, which means the temperature in the Defleg will oscillate as the valve hunts for the correct location.  

The valve will  start to open as the set temperature is approaching, then as the temperature is reached the valve starts to modulate, but is only capable of holding the temperature  at +3 degrees at which point the valve opens one more step and the temperature crashes to -6 degrees below the set point. Over all the best performance we can get is the Defleg temperature swings 10 degrees constantly as distillation progresses.

This is a plunger type valve

 

With the manual needle valve mentioned earlier we are able to get the constant flow we need to maintain a steady temperature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

During steady state operation (collecting hearts for example) we maintain about 1 to 2 tenths of a degree variation, it holds pretty rock solid.

We see a little bit more variation running in 100% reflux at startup, but it's usually less than plus or minus one degree.  I chalk this up to the valve having a little bit less control when it's opened wider.  It's typically in 3/4 open during this, versus 1/4 open during hearts collection (higher dephleg temp).

Setpoint changes are a little bit slower, taking about 5 minutes before all oscillations are damped, but we never usually see more than 1 degree of overshoot.  We can dial in faster responsiveness with the PID, but it's at the expense of larger overshoot.  With the slower response, it's more of an "ease-in" to the new setting.

I would look at your controller settings if your oscillation is high, it took us quite a bit of time to dial-in settings so that we weren't dealing with a system that went crazy with temp swings and oscillation on my input change (change of steam pressure, for example).

We're really liking this, as it can respond to huge increases in our reservoir temp over the course of a run, at least +20-30F.  You would never know it based on the setpoints/controls.  In a manual valve situation, you would be constantly adjusting the valve to keep a steady setpoint.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOW! Very impressive control.

Is that from a ball valve, or a globe valve? If it is a ball valve, what does the  hole in the ball look like? A round hole, or is the ball designed to have a tapered portion that as the valve closes the passage way gets progressively smaller?

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Hell, give it a try, especially if it's working well.  Something like a Watts LF150A?

 

 

Yup, that's exactly what I had in mind. Supplyhouse.com has them for about $30.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Silk City Distillers said:

I wish Supplyhouse was around when I was remodeling my house, that place is spectacular.

I cant say enough good things about them.  Plumbed most of the distillery and my entire garage/brewery/distillery/man cave with their parts and support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, ArtisanGrain said:

The controller part is easy. the perfect controller is available from Automation direct, and may be found here: https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Process_Control_-a-_Measurement/Temperature_-z-_Process_Controllers/1-z-16_DIN_Size_(SL4848_Series)/SL4848-CR

 

really want to write the control software myself but for $100 (plus RTD) I simply cant justify it. Thanks for the link. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buy this instead, same price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Temperature-process-PID-OMEGA-CNi16D53-Ei-1-16-DUAL-DISPLAY-CONTROLLER-/162219520896?hash=item25c5097380:g:lrwAAOSw~gRVsF-

Ethernet for remote monitoring and data logging.

Omega CNi16D53 (this specific model) - has proportional output AND a relay output for whatever other function you want.

Or this one, I'm not sure if the other one has the panel mount bracket:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OMEGA-CNI16D53-EL-TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLER-90-240VAC-50-400HZ-5W-/171745734644?hash=item27fcd7eff4:g:Bo8AAOSwymxVIr7S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone here I picked up a LRQB24-MFT Belimo high speed actuator off of eBay for around $75 shipped. Need to head over to supplyhouse.com for a valve body and then to automation direct for the controller + other bits and bobs to complete this project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Be really careful about your valve body selection on municipal - especially considering supply pressure is going to have a big say in this equation, as well as your input water temperature.

You can use a manual valve to throttle back some flow if you find that you have extremely cold water, very high pressure, etc - but this isn't really ideal compared to sizing correctly.

What's your dephlegmator flow rate look like today?  Input temp, output temp, gallons per minute?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: muni supply -- that's a huge problem for us.  If someone is in the crapper or washing dishes our flow really drops which results in a predicable drop in ABV. Also groundwater temp -- mid 50s in the winter, low 70s in the summer. Chiller & reservoir are in our near-term future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...