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Keg Washer design

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  • ShTeF
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  • ShTeF
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    I AM using mu own programmable Plc


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  • 2ManBrew
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    Are you using a commercial plc or the arduino pi or similar computer? Trying to help a friend's keg washer that was built with a arduino uno minicomputer and an 8 relay board. I dont have the source code and you cant read it from the computer either. The program runs the wash cycle only 30 seconds

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  • ShTeF
    replied
    In my Plc there is two programs. Emptying and washing. Emptying will calculate based on full keg of beer under 2.5 bars of pressure. Drain and air valve open all the time


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  • 2ManBrew
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    I thought that I would share what I built using some of the insights from Automatic12pro. Rather than hard plumb everything I decided to go the route of sanitary tees, elbows and similar so that any component could be easily removed and replaced without much effort. Agreed that adds to the cost but the cost of stainless sanitary on Amazon was not that much more. The other main change was using motor operated ball valves instead of solenoids on liquid fittings that would be open for extended periods of time. Unlike solenoids the MOVs have almost no current draw when open and have a straight flow through them. While the US Solid stainless MOVs are not the same quality as high end units, at less than $75 a piece I can keep several replacements on the shelf in case I need them. I went with all the electrical parts from Automation Direct since they are quick to deliver and have everything I needed at a very reasonable cost. I used the Click PLC to run the system and operate all the valves. For the pump I decided to use their GS2 VFD to control the pump motor and have a high speed and low speed setting so that it could also clean and sanitize the spear. For the cart I used 2" 304 stainless rectangular tubing that I cut and welded.. I wanted the keg holder to be hinged so that it would fold to 24" wide to store easily and get through the doorways if needed. I have not yet built the tanks and I use one of my kettles for caustic and about anything else for sani. I debated about doing an acid clean cycle but decided to do an acid clean manually on kegs every 3 turns. If I added a chemical injection pump I could replace the sani tank with acid and have sanitizer dosed into the water supply during that cycle dumping it to drain. I am typically using about 30 gallons of sani so I am not too worried about contamination over the 30 kegs I clean on a typical cycle. I've yet to build the stainless tanks for sani and caustic because I needed to get this in service. Welding a stainless tank will take lots of practice on thin material so that will be later this year. At the end of the day; 1) I learned how to weld stainless and got a little better as time went on but still need much more practice and more patience to wait for metal to cool or it will deform; 2) I can grind anything I weld to look like it was done perfectly well; 3)Programming a PLC takes a little more time than you think but the folks on Forum at Automation Direct are super helpful; 4)Create as many trouble shooting screens that you can on your touch screen to see every valve and control to be able to figure out what went wrong and why. Things I would do differently: 1)In hind sight I would build the next one out of 1.5" stainless; 2)Use a larger touch screen to better see what is going on; 3)Use 2 control boxes with one having the power supply & motor control and the other having touch screen and PLC controls; 4) If you have a one-way valve above the pump to keep air and CO2 from going through the pump, you need to add a priming valve to allow liquid to flow into the pump before it starts; 5)Use check valves on the back side of all solenoids (I pulled off the air supply and caustic came shooting out that solenoid since it was on a clean cycle and no, it was inserted correctly, its that pilot thing on solenoids). I will freely share everything I used to design and build this with the caveat that you do so at your own risk. The PLC programming logic is still changing as I find tweaks to optimize settings.
    Attached Files

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  • ShTeF
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    Under construction . Pump with ss valves


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  • dark_s
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    Keg purging is the key imo, as if pump is up to the task it will fill it faster than drain is able to empty it.
    While building semi automatic washer I use CIP to clean kegs with compressed air for purging. I noticed that co2 needs to be at least same diameter as beer port, or it may be be solved with hoses diameter...?

    What hose type and diameter you folks use?
    Specific or regular hose clamps?

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  • 2ManBrew
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    Keg Empty Indication

    I'm curious how you were dealing with an inital keg drain cycle in your logic. Typically you would assume that all the kegs are empty but that may not be the case. The easy approach I suppose is to start with a full keg and see what the maximum time it takes to purge the keg as your timing for that step. I would think that's a simple drain valve open then air valve open and wait until time is over. I thought about looking at a differential pressure reading where lower air pressure = empty keg and higher = still have fluids in keg. Any thoughts about this one? I think all the remaining steps are easy after your first run through when you can time an actual process run at each step to come up with a good delay time for it to be empty. Since I'm also building brewery and fermenter controllers I decided to use the same PLC on all of them and was going with the Click PLC . that means I have to learn ladder logic but I only need to learn that once and use it everywhere. Rather than have the PLC do the PID functions I bought PID's for each temperature control and using the MODBUS 485 connectivity to change setpoints and read the data from the PID. Seemed like a more robust and dependable method and I can keep one PID on the shelf to replace anything that fails.

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  • Automatic12pro
    replied
    Originally posted by jawsfree View Post
    Would you use a 15psi pressure transducer?

    Jason
    This was the one I bought, 3 bar = ~44 PSI.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3266...da524c4djrgUwj

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  • Automatic12pro
    replied
    Originally posted by jawsfree View Post
    Single Return or Double Acting? Looks like this one may work.

    https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...7db13610AdgsIi
    I used single normally closed valves. That way you can get away with a 3 way solenoid vs a 5 way for actuation of the valve. In no way am I a professional in this area, that's just what I ended up using.

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  • jawsfree
    replied
    Originally posted by NHBrewer23 View Post
    8. Use a pressure transducer for pressurizing the kegs with CO2 at the end of the cleaning cycle. CO2 supply varies with every install. Don't rely on time.
    Would you use a 15psi pressure transducer?

    Jason

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  • jawsfree
    replied
    Single Return or Double Acting? Looks like this one may work.

    https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...7db13610AdgsIi

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  • Automatic12pro
    replied
    Originally posted by jawsfree View Post
    where is the best place to source the parts? pneumatic valves?
    I used Alibaba and AliExpress.
    Alibaba is good for package purchases. All the valves or all TC plumbing can be bought and shipped dirt cheap to USA.

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  • jawsfree
    replied
    where is the best place to source the parts? pneumatic valves?

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  • BREWMASON
    replied
    Originally posted by rdcpro View Post
    Most solenoid valves are not direct acting. That is, the solenoid coil open a tiny pilot valve, allowing the process liquid to push against a diaphragm that opens the valve. Since the process liquid is what actuates the valve, they are very prone to clogging, which causes them to fail. The pneumatic angle seat valves are direct acting, in that air pressure pushes against diaphragm or piston and opens the valve.

    Regards,
    Mike
    From all of my research in this area of the keg cleaners. The pneumatic is most reliable and the one that allows, most open internal passage way for flow to pass at the max rate. most efficient and less restrictive. I am using manual ball valves at the moment but dream of building this. Great Job everyone!

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