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OfflinePhreakFakt0r
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Registered: 09/25/14
Posts: 246
Last seen: 1 month, 7 days
Sankey Keg boiler TEK * 2
    #22689962 - 12/23/15 12:13 PM (5 years, 5 months ago)

Today’s tech is part of a series of related TEKs.  I decided to follow RR’s 55 gallon boiler description found at http://www.mushroomvideos.com/55-Gallon-Drum-Sterilizer. ; Boilers are REALLY handy devices if one needs to generate steam in an effort to heat something.  In my case I will eventually be routing said steam to two 30 gallon, 316 stainless, 2mm wall thickness, with clamp on lids former wine storage barrels.  These two stainless barrels are the MOST expensive part of my design but their build up will not be covered in *THIS* TEK.  Only the boiler build up is covered here.  The difference in this TEK and RR’s is that in *this* TEK I’ve scaled down the boiler sizing and scaled *UP* the materials I use.  What I mean by this is that the barrels RR use in the above mentioned URL are mostly mild steel.  This is fine and will do a good job for good amount of time *BUT* over time, in a pressurized, heated, steamy environment that mild steel will learn to love oxygen at a faster than resting rate.  What this last statement means is that as rust begins to form from the mild steel oxidizing the pressure holding structure will weaken.  This, in turn, could result in ever increasing maintenance cycles.  To avert this I chose to make the entirety of my implementation out of 316 stainless.  First things first let’s get you a parts list for this boiler build ->

1 -- Sankey keg (I found mine by doing an eBay search for “15.5 Gallon Stainless Steel Beer keg)
1 -- 6" Tri Clover Compatible Tri Clamp Ferrule - AMP Long Style (Found at http://www.brewershardware.com/)
1 -- 6" Tri Clover Compatible Cap (Found at http://www.brewershardware.com/)
1 --  6" Tri Clover Compatible Clamp (Found at http://www.brewershardware.com/)
1 -- 6" Tri Clover Compatible Gasket Silicone (Found at http://www.brewershardware.com/)
1 -- Apollo Valve 13-202 Series Bronze Safety Relief Valve, ASME Steam, 10 psi Set Pressure, 1" NPT Male x Female (Found by searching amazon.com)
1 – Copper threaded coupler for Apollo valve (found at Lowes)
1 – Length of copper tubing to solder into copper coupler to route any steam blow away from nearby humans (found at Lowes)
1 -- All American pressure cooker vent pipe for regulator
1 -- All American pressure cooker regulator weight
1 -- All American pressure cooker steam gauge
1 – ½ inch NPT thread Brass check valve for boiler water supply (found at ebay.com)
1 -- ½ inch NPT thread stainless 90 degree street on boiler water supply (found at Lowes)
2 -- ½ inch NPT thread, 12 inch long stainless pipe on boiler water fee side (found at Lowes)
1 – ½ inch NPT threaded coupler on boiler water fee side (found at Lowes)
1 – ½ inch NPT stainless valve on boiler water fee side (found at Lowes)
1 – boiler liquid level sight glass (found on eBay)
3 – ½ inch stainless NPT nuts with O-ring register (found at bargainfittings.com)
3 – ½ inch high temp silicone O-rings (found at bargainfittings.com)
1 – one inch stainless NPT nuts with O-ring register (found at bargainfittings.com)
1 – one inch high temp silicone O-ring (found at bargainfittings.com)
1 – Female water hose coupler on boiler water fee side (found at Lowes)
1 – Solar stainless steel welding flux (found at http://www.solarflux.com/Pages/Productinfo.html)
To get things started here are a couple of images of the keg-converted-to-boiler completed.  As you can see there are multiple overlapping safety systems in place.  Boilers are VERY DANGEROUS and will kill you, and maybe your neighbors, if you do not include safety pressure release features in their design.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.  Here are those pics to get you started ->





In the above pics you see the sankey keg (aka standard USA beer keg), pressure cooker regulator weight set to 10PSI on the pressure cooker vent pipe (kind of a safety feature), the pressure cooker steam pressure gauge showing both pressure and temp (a parameters and measurement feature), the feed tube that routes steam to the not described here wine barrel autoclave cavities, and most importantly the Bronze Safety Relief Valve that is designed to open at 10psi.  I plan to set the pressure cooker regulator weight to 10-psi on the boiler and the pressure cooker regulator weights on the two win barrel / autoclaves to 5 psi.  What this means is that the boiler’s safety systems are set 5 psi higher than the autoclave’s running psi.  My idea here is that should by system breach its design pressure by 100% (i.e. go to a sustained 10 psi) I want ALL of my safety features to go off and release pressure from the system.  Further, with the boiler set to handle 10psi but the autoclave vessels’ regulator weights set to 5psi (not shown in this TEK) the steam will be highly motivated to leave the boiler through the autoclave vessel steam feed tubing and seek an exit under the 5psi pressure cooker regulator weights on the autoclave vessels 5psi (not shown in this TEK).

You’ll notice I chose a standard 316 stainless beer keg for my boiler vessel.  This is because stainless tends to resist the seduction of the high temp and vaporized water molecules well, is very durable in a heat cyclic environment and is MUCHO durable in regards to pressure retention.  In the restaurants beer kegs are normally run between 10 and 20 psi and are pressure tested up to 45 psi for safety before they’re released from their factory.  As a SWAG of a statement I’d bet that these vessels have 100% head room above that 45 psi test point (aka could probably stand 90 psi).  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near one of these at that pressure BUT theoretically the material and vessel geometry *should* be able to handle that pressure.  All of this to say that my 5 psi system with a 10 psi safety release point will in no way stress the keg material or keg shape.  Another nice thought is that after speaking with a union steam fitter who’s worked at numerous TVA steam plants said “PhreakfFaktor …. You’re only running 5 psi in your autoclave …. DAMN SON, you can’t even spray paint well at that PSI.”  He further said that should the barrel covers pop off on the autoclave barrels there would be barely enough energy to push the tops horizontally 2 feet.  Sure, you might get nicely toasted by the steam BUT you wouldn’t be cut in half by an energetically flying wine barrel top.
You’ll see that the pressure safety relief valve is that LARGE brass thing on the side of the boiler with the copper tubing.  One can purchase those devices in many preset values and I chose 10 psi.  I chose this value because any pressure system that deviates from its design pressure by 100% MUST IMMEDIATELY be relieved by a safe pressure release.  Think of it this way, if my 5 psi system is so F^<K3D up that a stabilized 5 psi is not possible and rises to and past 10 psi I want everything related to pressure retention to stop and safely drop to 0 psi.  As part of this stem release I want the evacuating steam to be routed away from where the human is most probably going to be so the human doesn’t get cooked.  Thus the copper tubing clearly routes the steam away from the front / sight glass side of the boiler.

As we review the boiler welds we see that they're nice and organized AND the back sides of the weld areas look like they are painted in a grey looking slurry.  That is a back shielding flux that is specifically designed for stainless welds.  One uses that “flux” to “shield” the back side of the stainless weld pool.  The thing about stainless is that if you do not shield the back side the weld will initiate oxidation and the finished / cooled weld will be more porous that it otherwise would have been.  This, in turn, translates to a weaker weld.  As you might guess, that is NO BUENO in terms of a weld on a pressure holding boiler.  The way the flux does its job is that as the weld puddle penetrates to the rear of the weld the flux slurry, which is nothing more than powdered glass, flows to liquid glass and separates the liquid stainless from any oxygen sources.  Another way to achieve this is to back purge the weld with argon BUT a keg is a large area and would have been a PITA to back purge.  Thus the flux was used.  In the following weld pictures you can see the flux and see where it has turned to liquid glass and “refrozen” as a layer of black solid glass.






On the water feed side of the boiler you see that I went ahead and tapped the ½ inch hole for the feed tubing.  That’s right …. I TAPPED THAT.  My goal here was to make the feed connection as snug as possible to resist leaks.  As part of my feed system you see the ½ inch all brass check valve, stainless steel water feed valve and the female water hose connection.  Also, the following pics you see my boiler sight glass installed.  I could not tap the boiler sight glass holes because the sight glass has to be installed as an assembled unit and not partially fitted together as its individual parts are installed.  This meant I could not thread in the top and bottom brass parts. ->







Finally here are some additional pics showing various stages of completion ->







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OfflineGr0wer
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Registered: 09/16/03
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Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: PhreakFakt0r]
    #22690196 - 12/23/15 01:48 PM (5 years, 5 months ago)

dam cool, only downside is 99% of us don't have easy access to a tig or mig welder with all the equipment to weld SS. I bet it would work well as a pressure cooker as well with just the top mods. Probably fit 3 rows of 10-12 quart jars, bags probably wouldn't work as well with such a small opening unless your using small or medium bags. 

Back purging kegs is really not that bad, i've done it when building my keg brewery. Seal up the keg and run your regulator into the keg for about a minute and you're good. Mig welding with tri mix and SS wire works really well especially since kegs material is fairly thick. A good pointer when welding SS is use only SS wire brushes or wheels that have been used on SS. If you use a SS brush or wheel that was used on carbon steel it will introduce carbon to the SS and induce rusting. You can also cheat and just use regular wire and gas on SS but it will rust over time, nothing a little paint can't fix.


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OfflinePhreakFakt0r
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Registered: 09/25/14
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Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: Gr0wer]
    #22690334 - 12/23/15 02:25 PM (5 years, 5 months ago)

True all of DAT!  on another note, and something I forgot to mention is how to remove the top of the keg and the keg tube.  Here's a good description of how to do that ->


PhreakFakt0r


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OfflineMad Hatter
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Registered: 12/21/18
Posts: 169
Last seen: 8 months, 16 days
Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: PhreakFakt0r]
    #26027186 - 06/01/19 03:30 PM (2 years, 21 days ago)

I am currently planning a build and I am looking into tapping an all american steam gauge and vent pipe into the lid of a 55 gallon stainless steel drum.

I do not own a tap kit but plan on getting one. The problem I am having is that I want to figure out the type of threading and the TPI of these 2 parts to make sure I buy the right tap kit.
Having trouble finding that info online.
Also I have never tapped anything before so I am also searching for a bit of reassurance before I start drilling into the lid.


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OfflineQuadman
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Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: Mad Hatter]
    #26027211 - 06/01/19 03:45 PM (2 years, 21 days ago)

No comment, on using 55 gal barrel. Steam gauge ia NPT which stands for national pipe thread. You need much more than sheet metal to tap. Just get diameter correct, threads per inch are standard. I sincerely hope you know what it is your doing.


Edited by Quadman (06/01/19 04:06 PM)


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OfflineSHROOMSISAY01
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Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: Quadman]
    #26027821 - 06/01/19 10:29 PM (2 years, 20 days ago)

Quote:

Quadman said:
No comment, on using 55 gal barrel. Steam gauge ia NPT which stands for national pipe thread. You need much more than sheet metal to tap. Just get diameter correct, threads per inch are standard. I sincerely hope you know what it is your doing.




I think he is tapping the all American and piping that to a 55-gallon barrel there will be no pressure so it should be fine as long as he has a vent in the lid of the 55-gallon drum.

As far as this build goes I would put an automatic fill on this with a good quality stainless steel solenoid valve and a stainless steel float switch. That way there is no problem with running out of water. I have my steamer set up so if the water gets to low it turns off my PID and sounds an alarm to let me know the water is to low. I personally would have made it electric with a 5500-watt element and a PID to control the temperature. Then this would have been really nice. But That can still be done I don't know his situation but it would have been Set and forget. Good build my friend.


Edited by SHROOMSISAY01 (06/01/19 10:39 PM)


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OfflineSHROOMSISAY01
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Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: SHROOMSISAY01]
    #26027864 - 06/01/19 11:01 PM (2 years, 20 days ago)

I forgot to mention I found this last night. I will be trying one to see if it will make my steel drum last longer without rusting. It is rated at 300F and made of polypropylene. This might help people save some money and not have to buy Stainless steel drums..

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=65833


Edited by SHROOMSISAY01 (06/02/19 01:54 PM)


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OfflinePitcherCrab
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Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: SHROOMSISAY01]
    #26028637 - 06/02/19 01:11 PM (2 years, 20 days ago)

Quote:

SHROOMSISAY01 said:
I forgot to mention I found this last night. I will be trying one to see if it will make my steel drum last longer without rusting. It is rated at 300F and made or polypropylene. This might help people save some money and not have to buy Stainless steel drums..

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/shoppingcart.aspx?clickid=cartpopup




Can you repost the link? The one you have there is bad, it goes straight to an empty shopping cart.


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“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear


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OfflineSHROOMSISAY01
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Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: PitcherCrab]
    #26028714 - 06/02/19 01:51 PM (2 years, 20 days ago)

Here you go if you buy it please let us know how it does...

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=65833


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OfflinePitcherCrab
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Registered: 12/02/06
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Re: Sankey Keg boiler TEK [Re: SHROOMSISAY01]
    #26028928 - 06/02/19 04:23 PM (2 years, 19 days ago)

Quote:

SHROOMSISAY01 said:
Here you go if you buy it please let us know how it does...

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=65833




Thanks! I for sure will.


--------------------
PC's LAGM 2021 (TOC & TWC)
P. natalensis Growlog 2021
Trade List

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear


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