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jacampb2
07-10-2007, 04:53 PM
Well, I just finished the first phase of my new compressor's aftercooler. I put a ghetto one together for my old smaller horizontal compressor. Here is a picture so you can get the idea.

http://www.rollmeover.com/bronco_fab/cooler_002.jpg

Anyhow, I made this one out of a jeep ZJ ac condenser, and a good coalescing air filter/moisture separator. The intercooler/aftercooler whatever you want to call it, gets plumbed between the compressor pump and the tank and cools the compressed air enough to condense the H20 out. The one in the pic above worked so well that on humid summer days, it would fill the moisture separator in one day. I didn't drain the compressor tank in more than 6 months, until I took it out of service the other day, I got less than 4 oz of water out of it when I drained it. IMO this is a excellent, cheap way to remove most of the moisture from your compressed air.

I got a new, much larger compressor, and the ZJ condenser was not going to cut it, the tubes are way to small for the increased flow. So, I built this today.

http://www.rollmeover.com/bronco_fab/lathe/low_res/odds_n_ends009.jpg

I started with a hydronic heating baseboard. I got it scratch and dent from a local HVAC/Plumbing supplier for free. I cut it up into 4 2.5' sections, and sweated it all together. The brass elbow in the picture is actually meant for bleeding the air out of hydronic heating systems, but it is in my discharge line from the heat exchanger, and will be plumbed up to a small H20 catch tank. I am going to build a sheet metal enclosure for it, and I have a 1700 CFM attic fan that is going to be used to cool it. The copper lines are all 3/4", it ought to flow a nice bit of air :)

I know I am a nutter, but if you have questions, ask, and I will try to explain...

Later,
Jason

HTRN
07-10-2007, 06:47 PM
Oh, now that is slick! I gotta remember that. Buying an aftercooler isn't an option, not at the prices they get for them(Mcmaster has fan cooled ones that start at $300).

Even if one has to go out and buy a new length of baseboard, it's still a fantastic savings. Add in a fan hooked to the pressure switch(so it comes on when the compressor starts pumping), and you have a cheap efficient solution.


HTRN

Your Old Dog
07-10-2007, 10:11 PM
Pretty neat idea. Did you restrict any of the sections to cause air to flow through all the tubes or are they all just full bore? I would think if the tube nearest the input off of the manifold had a 3/4 restriction and each tube on down the line was progressively more open it might cause the air to use all tubes more evenly for even greater efficiency? At any rate, I think you got a neat idea there.

jacampb2
07-11-2007, 07:00 PM
And the moisture separator. The valves were just for pressure check, the only one that will stay behind is the bottom 1" valve. I have no idea how well this will work, but I expect it to do okay.

http://www.rollmeover.com/bronco_fab/lathe/low_res/odds_n_ends.jpg

Later,
Jason

john hobdeclipe
07-11-2007, 07:30 PM
Is that REALLY a cooler for your air compressor, or are you expecting a good corn harvest this year?

Please put some covers on the outlet and switch boxes before the revenuers show up...they frown on those kinds of hazards.

jacampb2
07-12-2007, 08:54 PM
Well, I mounted the heat exchanger. I abandoned the plan to build a shroud/enclosure, namely because like a moron I sent all my light gauge duct work sheet metal to scrap about 8 months ago. A clearer minded thinker would have just pitched most of it, however, I hadn't used any in years, and I was sick of tripping over it. Anyhow, if it doesn't cool well enough how I have it setup, I will buy a bit and put a shroud together.

The HX is not plumbed up yet, I am fighting a leak in my H2O receiver, I didn't have a 2" cap around, so I welded a cast 2"->1.5" reducer to a 1.5" cap. Of course, I didn't have any 1.5" pipe around to just thread it together. The cast is extremely porous, must be cheapies. I have a couple of pinholes that just keep coming back, guess I am going to have to break down and go buy a 2" cap. I also need to find some fittings for the 3/4" soft copper it is going to get plumbed with.

I needed to get the HX in place, and the fan up and running to help cool the compressor pump. Sitting out away from the wall, the built in pulley fan on the compressor did an excellent job of cooling the pump, but yesterday was the first day it ran extensively while up against the shop wall. The fan was starving for air, and the pump was borderline overheating. It was starting to develop an intermittent bog when the pressure was getting up in the tank. I ran it today from 0 psi to full with the 1700 CFM attic fan wired up and online, and it stayed a reasonable temperature.

Here are the pics from today:

http://www.rollmeover.com/bronco_fab/odds_n_ends/odds_n_ends010.jpg

http://www.rollmeover.com/bronco_fab/odds_n_ends/odds_n_ends011.jpg

Later,
Jason

jacampb2
07-12-2007, 08:57 PM
Is that REALLY a cooler for your air compressor, or are you expecting a good corn harvest this year?

Please put some covers on the outlet and switch boxes before the revenuers show up...they frown on those kinds of hazards.

No corn for me, I live in the city, and don't have a farm...

Who the heck are the revenuers, and do they think that getting shot for wandering on private property and letting themselves into my shop is more or less of a hazard than an uncovered 110 vac outlet??? :D

Wareagle
07-12-2007, 09:32 PM
Looks great. Neat idea!

Paint it black, though. Copper does not release it's heat very well, and the paint will make it more efficient. The best would be to use an automotive radiator paint.

jacampb2
07-17-2007, 06:37 PM
I finally got the H2O receiver to pass pressure check. I had to order some copper fittings from Mcmaster carr, so I added what I think is a nice little touch, a level sight glass. And before you go all pressure rating crazy on me, it is polycarbonate tube (lexan), 1/16" wall thickness and rated for 413 PSI. Tomorrow sometime I will be doing the finish plumbing.

Here is the new improved separator:

http://www.rollmeover.com/bronco_fab/odds_n_ends/odds_n_ends012.jpg

Later,
Jason

jacampb2
07-18-2007, 07:38 PM
Well, I got it all plumbed up today, fired it up and it works great. The HX doesn't cool quite as well as the first one I made did, but it does the trick, the H2O receiver caught most of the moisture. I just let it pump up the tank one time, got about 1oz out of the H2O receiver, 0 moisture from the tank. I built a little vortexer to go in the H2O receiver, it forces the air to spin down along the outside of the tube before it can come back up and exit. Works nicely. I should have put the H2O receiver at a lower level than the discharge lines from the HX, I didn't think about it until it was too late. If I have problems with water in the low line, I will put a T and bleeder in there, I think there is enough air flow to cary the moisture through though.

Here is the picture:
http://www.rollmeover.com/bronco_fab/odds_n_ends/odds_n_ends013.jpg

Later,
Jason