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Thread: Glycol Piping Design

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    US
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    13

    Glycol Piping Design

    Who normally does the glycol pipe design? The mechanical engineer under the architect or someone else who specializes in this?

    Thanks,
    Paul

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Auburn, WA / Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    262
    Depending on the size and complexity of the project, we work with many of our customers, directly, their engineering, or mechanical contractor to help with piping design. Brewery glycol loops can vary differently than many other glycol piping projects that most engineers might be exposed to (unless they specialize in breweries).

    Although we don't provide "stamped" glycol piping design as a service, we understand the operating success (and life) of the equipment we provide depends on a properly designed glycol piping system- because of this we will gladly provide input and review of customers drawings upon request- we are often brought into planning meetings with customer's engineers to answer any questions or provide clarification on any aspects they aren't familiar with.

    So to answer your questions, we are contacted by customers directly, by their engineers, and sometimes by mechanical contractors who provide us detailed, or sometimes very basic, drawings and ask us to provide input and guidance- which we try to do. Hope this was helpful.

    Good Luck,

    Jim VanderGiessen
    Pro Chiller Systems
    jimvgjr@prorefrigeration.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    416
    I am currently running 12 tanks 15, 30, 60 bbl tanks and we had a "designed" system for us and it was a mess full of 90's and it zig zaged all over the place a real mess. I called my chiller supplier
    and he simply said this, make 2 loops one supply and 1 return, make all the connections as short as possible never use 90's unless absolutely necessary get it professionally wrapped to insulate and you will be fine" lo and behold we did just that and all my cooling issues was solved. Obviously there are other considerations but it worked well for us, plus it looks damn nice.
    Mike Eme
    Brewmaster
    Cheboygan Brewery
    Cheboygan Michigan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    US
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by beerguy1 View Post
    I am currently running 12 tanks 15, 30, 60 bbl tanks and we had a "designed" system for us and it was a mess full of 90's and it zig zaged all over the place a real mess. I called my chiller supplier
    and he simply said this, make 2 loops one supply and 1 return, make all the connections as short as possible never use 90's unless absolutely necessary get it professionally wrapped to insulate and you will be fine" lo and behold we did just that and all my cooling issues was solved. Obviously there are other considerations but it worked well for us, plus it looks damn nice.
    What materials did you end up using for pipe and insulation? I assume you still used 90s, but just minimized them.

    Thanks

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    41
    Check out George Fischer Systems. They will send a Rep from your area to discuss. They have an engineer that plan it out for you and add additional drops for growth. Very nice insulated system that you lock together and install yourself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville Beach, Fl
    Posts
    165

    chiller pipe

    I have used different materials including copper and SCH 40 pvc, The one in our brewpub is a SCH 40 PVC simple loop system with 6 drops and a balancing valve at the end of the loop. Worked fine for 5 years cost about $400 to build. I just replaced it because I have fewer tanks in the brewpub now, just 4, 10bbl. also I ran it close to the floor which made things heard to clean I ran the new ones overhead, way better obviously. It was 1.5 inch with 3/4 inch drops but I replaced it with 1 inch header and 3/4 inch drops chills like a champ. Insulated with Armaflex, that was another couple hundred bucks plus the time to do it. But the real workhorse is Jim's chiller that is running it. I have replaced various parts on it including the compressor but most of the problems with that were technician induced. Took me a while to find one that really knew how to work on a chiller and do it right, surprising how hard it is to find a tech that really understands it and is also a good mechanic with attention to detail. The nice folks over at Pro Refrigeration found this tech for me. I highly suggest you get yourself a mechanical contractor with lots of experience with these types of chillers. Cant say enough good things about the folks over at Pro Refrigeration.

    On the material side there are many options including Aquatherm and several other brands that are basically the same thing as Aquatherm. It all depends on your budget. Generally the more money you spend on higher end materials that are purpose designed for the application for example Georg Fischer pipe, the less maintenance and better performance you will get. If your budget doesn't allow for it or you are stubborn and cheap like me, you can build it yourself with Home Depot materials and it will work just fine but you'll have more maintenance. If you have a large complex system with dozens of large tanks then the lower end materials and DIY are obviously not an option. YMMV.
    Luch Scremin
    Engine 15 Brewing Co.
    luch at engine15 dot com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Clackamas OR
    Posts
    20
    I recomend a first in-last out glycol loop, this involves a 3 line header. more valves are better than not enough. you should be able to isolate a tank, and plan for expansion. also, there should be a high point to bleed off air, pressure gauges, Y-strainer (valves to clean it), and a kunkle valve pressure relief. you don't want to dump a bunch of glycol when you have to break it apart when it leaks. I recomend preasure testing it with air or CO2 first. you can do it yourself out of Schedule 80 PVC and insulate it and save some money, or you can pay a ton for the Cool-fit. I recommend using unistrut or superstrut as a mounting hardware, and recommend mounting it to a wall and not the ceiling. YMMV

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Tustin, CA, USA
    Posts
    1
    Hi,
    We at GF Piping Systems gladly help you with piping layout and flow calculations to calculate pipe sizes.
    Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need information.
    We have over 500 brewery customers in the Americas using COOL-FIT Piping for their glycol system.
    Our system is Maintenance free, vapor tight, Energy efficient, UV resistant, can be power washed & chemical washed, easy & quick to install, low tooling cost and training is included on site free of charge.
    We also have a full line of actuated valves both electric and pneumatic.
    Here are some links to brewery case studies:
    http://www.gfps.com/country_US/en_US...-the-brew.html
    http://www.gfps.com/country_US/en_US...s-or-mold.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4xbRelATKg

    Dan Strömberg
    Cooling Market Segment Manager
    Georg Fischer LLC
    Phone: +1 714 368 4196
    Fax: +1 714 368 4197
    Mobile: +1 951 642 2339
    Dan.Stromberg@georgfischer.com

    GF Piping Systems
    9271 Jeronimo Rd., Irvine, CA. 92618
    United States
    www.gfps.com/us

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville FL
    Posts
    85
    Try to avoid getting a ME involved in glycol. If they don't have experience with brewery specific design they WILL fuck it up and they will also charge you a bunch of money as a bonus. If its a small system, you should be able to design it yourself with a little input from your chiller manufacturer and/or experienced brewers here. If it is a bigger system you would do well to get someone from one of the vendors who replied to this thread to come out in person and help you. If the city is insisting on ME stamped plans then you have to do what you have to do, but even then you should have someone who actually knows what they are doing look them over, we had some plans for glycol drawn up by an engineer once and it was just asinine what he thought we needed to do.

    It is also, as mentioned above, really important to find a good mechanical contractor. You will find that there are a lot of people out there who are licensed to do this kind of work who really don't know what they are doing, esp HVAC contractors. Often an HVAC company's license will allow them to do chillers and boilers, but most of them should not be trusted to work on those systems.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    443

    Re: " Try to avoid getting a ME involved in glycol..."

    Quote Originally Posted by nickfl View Post
    Try to avoid getting a ME involved in glycol. If they don't have experience with brewery specific design they WILL fuck it up and they will also charge you a bunch of money as a bonus. If its a small system, you should be able to design it yourself with a little input from your chiller manufacturer and/or experienced brewers here. If it is a bigger system you would do well to get someone from one of the vendors who replied to this thread to come out in person and help you. If the city is insisting on ME stamped plans then you have to do what you have to do, but even then you should have someone who actually knows what they are doing look them over, we had some plans for glycol drawn up by an engineer once and it was just asinine what he thought we needed to do.

    It is also, as mentioned above, really important to find a good mechanical contractor. You will find that there are a lot of people out there who are licensed to do this kind of work who really don't know what they are doing, esp HVAC contractors. Often an HVAC company's license will allow them to do chillers and boilers, but most of them should not be trusted to work on those systems.
    Nick VERY well said man. I can tell you some real life horror stories of Engineered Systems I had to " debug " and sort out that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range to correct. All because of " Rotten " engineering. Its all about linking up with people that have run Glycol before and understand the specifics regarding that type of loop. The best Engineers are the very few and far between who go out in the field and lay hands on their designs to actually understand, correct, and better their work. Also the ones that can admit when they are wrong and are willing to meet you half way and actually correct things that do not work.
    The best HVAC Instructor I ever had was an EE guy from the old school.
    Look for a book called " Pumping Away."

    All the best

    Star
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Stockton, Ca. 95203. USA
    Posts
    53
    I would have to also agree with that, What Nick said !!! We try to doing most of our own designing and engineering, In house, for our factory & projects. What we do is, do some good research, talk to the vendors, suppliers, review the teck. details, figure the engineering out, do CAD drawing, and build it ... Make adjustment as needed !!!!

    Seams everything we used a outside ME, things went bad, both cost wise and not working as planned..

    Finding a good ME, is few and far between, there lots that say they can do it, but few know how to do it !!!!

    Gregg Culhane

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