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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: phillamb168 on November 30, 2011, 02:13:58 PM

Title: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on November 30, 2011, 02:13:58 PM
I feel like sometimes I post the craziest topics.

For the microbrewery I'm building, it's going to be in a shed in a corner of the yard - regs say it has to be a separate building - and that's pretty far from the basement where I'll be doing the conditioning. It would certainly be easier if, instead of putting fermenters on dollys and wheeling them down to the basement, I could just run a big tube underground and into the basement. What potential issues would I face here? Obviously I'd flush the piping after every brew.

Another potential would be to forego a wort chiller and have the pipe running from the brewery to basement BE the chiller. I'm thinking about this in one of two ways:

First, dig deep enough that I get cold(er) earth, and the wort cools by virtue of heat disippation into the surrounding earth by direct contact of pipe to ground

Second, make a giant counterflow chiller, running water from the basement into the shed via the larger diameter pipe, and running the wort into the basement in the opposite direction. Collected water from chilling could be used for garden water, cleaning, etc.

The final follow-up to this would be, according to code, what distance would I need between a water line and an electrical line, running parallel underground? Elec will be GFI.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on November 30, 2011, 02:17:44 PM
You won't get enough cooling from the ground to matter especially if you used stainless, which is what I'd use and should be required.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Jimmy K on November 30, 2011, 02:56:31 PM
I also don't think your first option will work. The wort would heat the earth immediately surrounding the pipe and without any convection (it is earth after all) cooling would quickly stop.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on November 30, 2011, 03:05:06 PM
What about pumping it in general, post-cooling?
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 30, 2011, 03:34:47 PM
Does it freeze where you are?

Here in Chicago, you typically need to be 3 feet below grade to get under the frost line.  If you're not deep enough, the freeze/thaw could heave the ground and break whatever pipe you put in.

Could you put in a larger diameter PVC pipe and run your liquid lines through that?  This would give some level of protection to the smaller lines, and allow you to pull new ones in the future if you ever needed to.

As far as distance between electrical and water, I have no idea.  Their typically buried at different depths in the streets and alleys, but I don't know how far apart.  Nor do I have any idea of codes where you're at...

Good luck.  You're plans are always ambitious.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on November 30, 2011, 03:39:02 PM
Does it freeze where you are?

Here in Chicago, you typically need to be 3 feet below grade to get under the frost line.  If you're not deep enough, the freeze/thaw could heave the ground and break whatever pipe you put in.

Could you put in a larger diameter PVC pipe and run your liquid lines through that?  This would give some level of protection to the smaller lines, and allow you to pull new ones in the future if you ever needed to.

As far as distance between electrical and water, I have no idea.  Their typically buried at different depths in the streets and alleys, but I don't know how far apart.  Nor do I have any idea of codes where you're at...

Good luck.  You're plans are always ambitious.

"May your plans always be ambitious" sounds like an ancient Chinese curse, lol.

Thanks though - PVC sounds like a good solution. It does freeze here, but not nearly as bad as Chicago winters. I remember our first hard winter night in Chicago and showing my wife the trick of tossing water in the air and it freezing before it hit the ground. Doesn't happen here that's for sure.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: rjharper on November 30, 2011, 03:53:14 PM
Agree with previous posts that heat dissipation through the ground probably wouldn't be fast enough, nor the ground cold enough.

I would also consider line restriction and wort loss.  Are you running 10' or 100'?  Uphill or downhill? If you run too narrow a pipe you'll come up against flow restriction.  But run too wide a pipe and you'll lose a lot of wort in the pipe once your pump runs dry, unless you can rely on downhill siphon.  For example, the dead volume in 50' of 1" pipe is just shy of 2 gallons.

As much as I love the ambition, and the coolness, it's probably cheaper, easier and more flexible to put fermenters on a dolly.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on November 30, 2011, 04:35:04 PM
@RJ NB: this is for 1- to 2-barrel batches, hence my desire to avoid dollys at all costs (the basement is only accessible by steep stairs  :o )

I'll be making sure to keep the pipe at a downward grade, and will be using this pump: http://morebeer.com/view_product/12010//March_Nano_Brewery_Pump_-_Stainless_230V - will flow restriction still be an issue in this case? I'm thinking 3/4" copper, although stainless would be much better, although of course it would be MUCH more expensive.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: morticaixavier on November 30, 2011, 04:39:09 PM
@RJ NB: this is for 1- to 2-barrel batches, hence my desire to avoid dollys at all costs (the basement is only accessible by steep stairs  :o )

I'll be making sure to keep the pipe at a downward grade, and will be using this pump: http://morebeer.com/view_product/12010//March_Nano_Brewery_Pump_-_Stainless_230V - will flow restriction still be an issue in this case? I'm thinking 3/4" copper, although stainless would be much better, although of course it would be MUCH more expensive.

I wouild think that if you go with the PVC conduit idea the copper will be just fine as it won't need to resist the moisture and high/low Ph of the soil. I think it's a cool idea as long as you can work out a sure fire way to sanitize.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 30, 2011, 04:43:53 PM
"May your plans always be ambitious" sounds like an ancient Chinese curse, lol.

You could always just dig a tunnel and put in a lift to move the barrels up and down...

Sorry.  Not helpful, but I couldn't resist.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on November 30, 2011, 04:55:20 PM
"May your plans always be ambitious" sounds like an ancient Chinese curse, lol.

You could always just dig a tunnel and put in a lift to move the barrels up and down...

Sorry.  Not helpful, but I couldn't resist.

Nah, I live near a swamp, water table is a problem. The question is, does this tell you that I have already considered an elevator as an option? I'll let you decide that.  ;D
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Slowbrew on November 30, 2011, 04:57:08 PM
"May your plans always be ambitious" sounds like an ancient Chinese curse, lol.

You could always just dig a tunnel and put in a lift to move the barrels up and down...

Sorry.  Not helpful, but I couldn't resist.

I almost posted the same kind of thing but decided against it.  My wife and I always joke the "mythical house" on the "myhtical acreage" and my "mythical brewery".  I decided a long time ago that all buildings would be connected to the house by a tunnel system.  Never having to go outside in Iowa Winters and late Summer months is very appealing.  8^)

As far as the original question goes, excavation can be really expensive so a long tunnel might be cost prohibitive.

Paul
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 30, 2011, 05:00:48 PM
The way to deal with the water table is to drive sheet piling!
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: tschmidlin on November 30, 2011, 05:15:01 PM
Phil, why not just run a hose flexible food-grade hose above ground to move the wort from the shed to the basement?  It will be easily accessible in case something goes wrong, and doesn't require any digging.  I've seen these kinds of hoses in breweries a lot, with tri-clamps they are easy to move from tank to tank.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on November 30, 2011, 05:21:14 PM
Phil, why not just run a hose flexible food-grade hose above ground to move the wort from the shed to the basement?  It will be easily accessible in case something goes wrong, and doesn't require any digging.  I've seen these kinds of hoses in breweries a lot, with tri-clamps they are easy to move from tank to tank.

... party pooper!

I guess that'll work. I guess standard brewery hose will work. Of course, there's still the issue of running electricity and potable water out there. Elec must be able to handle 60amp +, 18kW. Big gauge stuff, no?
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: morticaixavier on November 30, 2011, 05:24:44 PM
Phil, why not just run a hose flexible food-grade hose above ground to move the wort from the shed to the basement?  It will be easily accessible in case something goes wrong, and doesn't require any digging.  I've seen these kinds of hoses in breweries a lot, with tri-clamps they are easy to move from tank to tank.

... party pooper!

I guess that'll work. I guess standard brewery hose will work. Of course, there's still the issue of running electricity and potable water out there. Elec must be able to handle 60amp +, 18kW. Big gauge stuff, no?

get some solar panels for the brewery. There must be some good incentives there... or maybe not I forgot that France is a big nuclear country isn't it? potable water is harder. Maybe a rain catchment? nah probably not consistant enough quantity.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: tschmidlin on November 30, 2011, 05:55:45 PM
Maybe a water tank that you can fill using that same hose we talked about? ;D

For electric . . .

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gFr4PRmOBRU/TTtCUG8fB_I/AAAAAAAAAEA/FPP9LFr6LpU/s1600/40-mr_fusion.jpg)
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on November 30, 2011, 07:14:28 PM
Phil, why not just run a hose flexible food-grade hose above ground to move the wort from the shed to the basement?  It will be easily accessible in case something goes wrong, and doesn't require any digging.  I've seen these kinds of hoses in breweries a lot, with tri-clamps they are easy to move from tank to tank.

... party pooper!

I guess that'll work. I guess standard brewery hose will work. Of course, there's still the issue of running electricity and potable water out there. Elec must be able to handle 60amp +, 18kW. Big gauge stuff, no?

get some solar panels for the brewery. There must be some good incentives there... or maybe not I forgot that France is a big nuclear country isn't it? potable water is harder. Maybe a rain catchment? nah probably not consistant enough quantity.

Solar panels that would amount to anything would cost as much as the brewing equipment. Although, I heard that you can get some good deals at Solyndra. :D
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: morticaixavier on November 30, 2011, 07:22:45 PM
Phil, why not just run a hose flexible food-grade hose above ground to move the wort from the shed to the basement?  It will be easily accessible in case something goes wrong, and doesn't require any digging.  I've seen these kinds of hoses in breweries a lot, with tri-clamps they are easy to move from tank to tank.

... party pooper!

I guess that'll work. I guess standard brewery hose will work. Of course, there's still the issue of running electricity and potable water out there. Elec must be able to handle 60amp +, 18kW. Big gauge stuff, no?

get some solar panels for the brewery. There must be some good incentives there... or maybe not I forgot that France is a big nuclear country isn't it? potable water is harder. Maybe a rain catchment? nah probably not consistant enough quantity.

Solar panels that would amount to anything would cost as much as the brewing equipment. Although, I heard that you can get some good deals at Solyndra. :D

as will the power to run the elements, running power lines to the brewery etc. it's an up front vs long term expense.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on November 30, 2011, 07:26:29 PM
Phil, why not just run a hose flexible food-grade hose above ground to move the wort from the shed to the basement?  It will be easily accessible in case something goes wrong, and doesn't require any digging.  I've seen these kinds of hoses in breweries a lot, with tri-clamps they are easy to move from tank to tank.

... party pooper!

I guess that'll work. I guess standard brewery hose will work. Of course, there's still the issue of running electricity and potable water out there. Elec must be able to handle 60amp +, 18kW. Big gauge stuff, no?

get some solar panels for the brewery. There must be some good incentives there... or maybe not I forgot that France is a big nuclear country isn't it? potable water is harder. Maybe a rain catchment? nah probably not consistant enough quantity.

Solar panels that would amount to anything would cost as much as the brewing equipment. Although, I heard that you can get some good deals at Solyndra. :D

as will the power to run the elements, running power lines to the brewery etc. it's an up front vs long term expense.

Sorry, but electrical work isn't that expensive and if he's knowledgeable and allowed to, he can do a lot of it himself. Taks a look at what it costs to develop 4-6 Kw of solar power.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: morticaixavier on November 30, 2011, 07:33:03 PM
[Sorry, but electrical work isn't that expensive and if he's knowledgeable and allowed to, he can do a lot of it himself. Taks a look at what it costs to develop 4-6 Kw of solar power.

yeah I guess solar just isn't cost effective. that's probably why walmart is converting all of there stores to solar right? Those notorius big spenders.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on November 30, 2011, 08:05:53 PM
[Sorry, but electrical work isn't that expensive and if he's knowledgeable and allowed to, he can do a lot of it himself. Taks a look at what it costs to develop 4-6 Kw of solar power.

yeah I guess solar just isn't cost effective. that's probably why walmart is converting all of there stores to solar right? Those notorius big spenders.

It may be just for advertising that they're "Green". That seems to mean, so much to some people.

Also, you know that if Wal-Mart is doing it, they're getting great discounts, possibly some for free, just so the manufactures can advertise that fact. If I was starting a new brewery, I'd concentrate on the many  things you have to have to brew beer. Creative power can come later. Also, you still have to run electrical lines to those many panels on the roof. If you plan ahead, a lot of your electrical work can be converted later.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: rjharper on November 30, 2011, 08:14:39 PM
Getting back on thread, what kind of distance are we talking about here? Because that's what will determine if 3/4" pipe / tubing and the OP's pump will make it.

As far as water and power, you could look at running an "umbilical" from the basement to the brewery.  You could run permanently fixed power, water (and wort if you want) lines above ground.  This would be closer to the OP's original plan, without digging, and as long as the ultimate outlet of the pipe is lower than the inlet, siphon could still be used.  You could also combine ideas, with a manifold at the brewery, and short length of tubing that lets you select which you;re coming from / going to.  Biggest issue I see is the pain of sanitizing before, and cleaning afterwards.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 30, 2011, 08:18:38 PM
Walmart may be getting tax credits or other benefits for doing it.  Their stores also have an enormous foot print so they're getting a lot more panels on there than you would on a typical-sized building.

On some of the newer residential "green" buildings, you can get enough power to run an electric hot water heater.  But the payback in savings vs. upfront cost is not really there.  Grants and other "free money" also are out there to help, but they also do not cover the full cost.

Geothermal is a more effective source, but also cost-prohibitive.

As bo says, a lot of times it's done just to be "green" or perhaps to get LEED certification as a marketing tool.  Or because people truly believe that the investment is making a difference.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on November 30, 2011, 08:27:32 PM
Distance = about 15-20 meters, diagonal.

Solar = a great idea but won't provide nearly the amount of power I need with the roof size I'm going to have. 8 m^2 won't do for four 4,5kilowatt heating elements, let alone the pumps. In the new house, whenever that gets built, of course I'll throw some panels on because yes, there are plenty of credits, but the best thing to have is wind turbines.

As far as digging the trench goes, I'll do it by hand, it's not very far, and I've got a post hole digger that'll make it easier than with a shovel alone.

Could you give me more details on what an umbillical would look like? I'm concerned about above-ground because I don't know what gauge I'm going to be needing for that kind of power draw, and I'm nervous about having the water line next to the power line, fraying, etc...
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on November 30, 2011, 08:34:42 PM
A 20 meter, flexible cable, capable of supplying the power for 18kw of heating elements is going to be one big mother.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: rjharper on November 30, 2011, 08:45:54 PM
75' x 75A (18000W / 240V) needs minimum #6 gauge wire, or 126/0.4 in Europe
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Jimmy K on November 30, 2011, 09:45:41 PM
Maybe a water tank that you can fill using that same hose we talked about? ;D

For electric . . .

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gFr4PRmOBRU/TTtCUG8fB_I/AAAAAAAAAEA/FPP9LFr6LpU/s1600/40-mr_fusion.jpg)


This and a Delorean would really help with time management.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on November 30, 2011, 10:14:04 PM
75' x 75A (18000W / 240V) needs minimum #6 gauge wire, or 126/0.4 in Europe

Not to be picky, but Europe is mainly 220, so that's a little more than 80A and that's only the heaters. An SO #2, 3 conductor flexible cable has an NEC rating of 95amps and I wouldn't go any less than that for 81 amps.

 Is that all you're needing power for, because even that doesn't leave you with much excess capacity?
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Slowbrew on November 30, 2011, 11:09:10 PM
75' x 75A (18000W / 240V) needs minimum #6 gauge wire, or 126/0.4 in Europe

Not to be picky, but Europe is mainly 220, so that's a little more than 80A and that's only the heaters. An SO #2, 3 conductor flexible cable has an NEC rating of 95amps and I wouldn't go any less than that for 81 amps.

 Is that all you're needing power for, because even that doesn't leave you with much excess capacity?

I would think once you add in lighting and possibly heating and cooling of the shed you will be looking at well 100A (Full Disclosure: I did not do any actual math on paper).  I don't think temporary flex cable would be up to the job.  Or I should say, I don't think I would be up to moving that pile of cable too often.  8^)  I'd go with something buried just to avoid anymore items in the PITA category.

Paul
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: rjharper on November 30, 2011, 11:10:24 PM
75' x 75A (18000W / 240V) needs minimum #6 gauge wire, or 126/0.4 in Europe

Not to be picky, but Europe is mainly 220, so that's a little more than 80A and that's only the heaters. An SO #2, 3 conductor flexible cable has an NEC rating of 95amps and I wouldn't go any less than that for 81 amps.

 Is that all you're needing power for, because even that doesn't leave you with much excess capacity?

I'll meet you in the middle. EU countries apparently harmonized to 230V in 2008. I was going off the UK at 240 where I grew up.  But yes, I wouldn't want to go any lower than 100A. You'll need lighting, pumps etc...
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on November 30, 2011, 11:45:44 PM
I didn't know that they went to 230V. Interesting. I agree, 100Amp service minimum. I would NOT do that with a flexible cord, but that's just me. That SO 2/3 is almost 1 1/4" in diameter.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 01, 2011, 09:37:11 AM
Yup, 230V. Sounds to me like 100Amp is what I'll need. Time to talk to the electrician... This just got much more expensive.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on December 01, 2011, 12:54:16 PM
I'd have him run a 100 amp sub-panel. That way you have a little room for expansion. Of course that assumes that your main panel can handle it. If not, then it gets really expensive and you might be better off to run new service directly to your brewing area. Your electrician will hopefully guide you in the most economical direction.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 01, 2011, 02:49:55 PM
I'd have him run a 100 amp sub-panel. That way you have a little room for expansion. Of course that assumes that your main panel can handle it. If not, then it gets really expensive and you might be better off to run new service directly to your brewing area. Your electrician will hopefully guide you in the most economical direction.

I -THINK- that I'm on 100amps at the house right now, would that do, or does it need to be higher? Figure I can't run the oven and blender when I'm brewing, which is no biggie. I put in a call to an (ENGLISH SPEAKING HALLELUJAH) electrician so we're gonna see how it goes. I'd like the whole project to cost less than $5k, does this sound reasonable? Note that this includes me pouring a slab and doing the framing/roofing/tiling/etc myself, so cost other than electric is going to be materials. I'm getting pretty excited about this, as it seems that it's entirely doable and is one big step towards a "real" brewery. Might even have to get a TV in there.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on December 01, 2011, 02:59:54 PM
You can't run a 100 amp sub panel off of a 100 amp main panel. There are calculations that determine the normal load based on the appliances, HVAC, etc. you have in your home.

Something to think about is that you're running 2 heaters in your HLT and 2 more to your boil kettle. At least I thought I saw that some place. Do you need to run both of them at the same time? It would certainly be good to have that capability, but you're probably going to need to upgrade your main panel and it starts getting expensive when you do that. It could possibly eat up a lot of your $5k.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 01, 2011, 03:30:53 PM
You can't run a 100 amp sub panel off of a 100 amp main panel. There are calculations that determine the normal load based on the appliances, HVAC, etc. you have in your home.

Something to think about is that you're running 2 heaters in your HLT and 2 more to your boil kettle. At least I thought I saw that some place. Do you need to run both of them at the same time? It would certainly be good to have that capability, but you're probably going to need to upgrade your main panel and it starts getting expensive when you do that. It could possibly eat up a lot of your $5k.

I don't have to run them both at the same time, no, at least not if running them both at the same time means I'd have to pay an extra $3k. But I see what you mean. Is it technically possible to split off the line from the utility company trunk and have two separate meters? I could see how that would potentially be expensive, but perhaps it'd be less than the first option...
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on December 01, 2011, 03:47:11 PM
You can't run a 100 amp sub panel off of a 100 amp main panel. There are calculations that determine the normal load based on the appliances, HVAC, etc. you have in your home.

Something to think about is that you're running 2 heaters in your HLT and 2 more to your boil kettle. At least I thought I saw that some place. Do you need to run both of them at the same time? It would certainly be good to have that capability, but you're probably going to need to upgrade your main panel and it starts getting expensive when you do that. It could possibly eat up a lot of your $5k.

I don't have to run them both at the same time, no, at least not if running them both at the same time means I'd have to pay an extra $3k. But I see what you mean. Is it technically possible to split off the line from the utility company trunk and have two separate meters? I could see how that would potentially be expensive, but perhaps it'd be less than the first option...

They probably sized the feeder lines based on your meter base, so no, they couldn't expect them to carry twice the current. However, unless the transformer that feeds you house, and likely others, is not at it's capacity, then they could run new lines to a new meter base.

Look at you bill and see if they hit you with a customer charge each month. I get popped with $20 so another meter is automatically an additional $20 even if I didn't use even 1 kwhr.  Not a deal breaker, but it all adds up.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: denny on December 01, 2011, 04:39:43 PM
Taks a look at what it costs to develop 4-6 Kw of solar power.

You might want to clue Sierra Nevada in....

http://www.sierranevada.com/environment.html
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 01, 2011, 04:46:28 PM
Our base electric scope for retail spaces is a 200 amp service.  This covers lighting, hot water heater, HVAC, etc.  Everything is electric.

For a 1000 SF Subway sandwich shop, we upgraded to 400 amp.  Again, everything is electric including their ovens.

I'm not sure how big your brewery is, but you don't want to go and size the electric to the minimum you need.  You ought to plan on excess capacity as adding it later is expensive.

You are correct that this is not the type of power you want to be hooking and un-hooking with temporary cables.  Set aside the risk of electrocution, those would massive cables that require special connections.  I doubt running these as a temporary umbilical above ground would meet any sort of code.

FWIW, adding 400 amps right now, going from a main electric room to switch gear and a meter bank, is going to cost us over $5000 alone.  There's a lot more power and equipment there than you need and it is also requiring ComEd engineers to layout and approve.  If the switch gear is too far from the electric room, the main lines need to be encased in concrete.  My point being, electric can snowball.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 01, 2011, 04:46:41 PM
then they could run new lines to a new meter base.

That sounds $$$$$$$$$$$$$
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 01, 2011, 04:50:57 PM
Our base electric scope for retail spaces is a 200 amp service.  This covers lighting, hot water heater, HVAC, etc.  Everything is electric.

For a 1000 SF Subway sandwich shop, we upgraded to 400 amp.  Again, everything is electric including their ovens.

I'm not sure how big your brewery is, but you don't want to go and size the electric to the minimum you need.  You ought to plan on excess capacity as adding it later is expensive.

You are correct that this is not the type of power you want to be hooking and un-hooking with temporary cables.  Set aside the risk of electrocution, those would massive cables that require special connections.  I doubt running these as a temporary umbilical above ground would meet any sort of code.

FWIW, adding 400 amps right now, going from a main electric room to switch gear and a meter bank, is going to cost us over $5000 alone.  There's a lot more power and equipment there than you need and it is also requiring ComEd engineers to layout and approve.  If the switch gear is too far from the electric room, the main lines need to be encased in concrete.  My point being, electric can snowball.

I will not be doing anything more than 9kW per vessel, that's for sure - I don't have the storage space for the extra volume that more power would be able to generate. Still, it's good to know a ballpark. If I can say 5k, it's pricey, but at least I know it's doable and not in crazyland.

You own a subway? Man I love those things. Wish there was one closer to my house.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 01, 2011, 04:54:32 PM
I don't own anything, I lease space owned by my company to a Subway as well as other retailers.  Subways, by the way, seem like a license to print money.

FWIW, overhead electric service would be significantly cheaper if they do it there.  The could bring a line from the transformer (assuming it has capacity and hopefully it's close by) and set a meter at your brewery building.

Here, I believe the cost of bringing the overhead line to the meter is not something they can charge you for, as they are obligate to provide the service.  If, however, they "need" to upgrade equipment to provide your service they can and do pass that on to you.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on December 01, 2011, 05:20:26 PM
I don't own anything, I lease space owned by my company to a Subway as well as other retailers.  Subways, by the way, seem like a license to print money.

FWIW, overhead electric service would be significantly cheaper if they do it there.  The could bring a line from the transformer (assuming it has capacity and hopefully it's close by) and set a meter at your brewery building.

Here, I believe the cost of bringing the overhead line to the meter is not something they can charge you for, as they are obligate to provide the service.  If, however, they "need" to upgrade equipment to provide your service they can and do pass that on to you.

That's a good point, Joe. In my area they allow you $1000 dollars worth of installation service. This can include transformers, wires, etc. You are responsible for the rest including the cost of the meter base.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 01, 2011, 05:49:17 PM
Ah, overhead, hadn't thought of that. Everything's buried around here, so I doubt that would work, but it's indeed possible that they'll pay for running some of the line. Sounds like at this point I really can't do anything until I hear from the electrician... I'll be sure to report back with what I find out...
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: bo on December 01, 2011, 06:23:29 PM
Ah, overhead, hadn't thought of that. Everything's buried around here, so I doubt that would work, but it's indeed possible that they'll pay for running some of the line. Sounds like at this point I really can't do anything until I hear from the electrician... I'll be sure to report back with what I find out...

Good luck.

The only advice I can offer is don't scrimp too much on parts. Running a little heavier wire or buying a larger panel may cost a little more now, but to completely replace them later will cost a whole lot more.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 01, 2011, 07:04:54 PM
You can look into aluminum wire, rather than copper.  You need to go with a thicker gauge, but it's still typically cheaper.

I'm not sure if you can use aluminum for distribution, I know it's used for main service lines.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: dak0415 on December 01, 2011, 07:23:49 PM
Phil,
Thirsty_Monk has a home grown electric brewhouse.  PM him and see how he controls his elements.  I think he has 6 in his kettle.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: gmwren on December 01, 2011, 10:37:02 PM
Taks a look at what it costs to develop 4-6 Kw of solar power.

You might want to clue Sierra Nevada in....

http://www.sierranevada.com/environment.html

I always thought the electric car plug in stations under the parking lot array were cool even if they remain largely unused.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 05, 2011, 09:28:49 AM
Back again - So an electrician here says the 100 Amp box doesn't sound right to him, that it's because you guys are thinking in American voltage. Can someone check my math? The heat sticks are 4500 watt 230V, and my power supply is 230V, the calculation for amps required is w/v * 1.2, right? == 23 Amps with safety margin. He said he wasn't sure because he said all houses here are on 60amp, even most big restaurants. 200 amp is almost never seen except for giant factories, and 100 amp is only really used for huge buildings. Does this sound right? I trust the guy, but I don't understand the theory and would like to.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: tschmidlin on December 05, 2011, 10:14:16 AM
Yes, he's right except that you are talking about 4 x 4500W elements, right?  So at 230V that's 92A with all of them running.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 05, 2011, 10:34:45 AM
Yes, he's right except that you are talking about 4 x 4500W elements, right?  So at 230V that's 92A with all of them running.

Does it matter that it's tri-phase and not dual phase?
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: tschmidlin on December 05, 2011, 10:52:35 AM
Yes, you divide by 1.73 (sqrt of 3), so 53A ish.  So maybe a 60A circuit would be ok, if you didn't plan to run much else on it.  Btw, I could be completely wrong, I'd trust the electrician over me on this subject every day of the week. :)
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 05, 2011, 03:29:55 PM
I agree with Tom.  Trust the electrician.  Have a second guy look at it if you think you need another opinion.

I'm neither an electrician nor an electrical engineer.  I'm just going by the service size that's been required by our tenants, but that doesn't necessarily translate to what you need.
Title: Re: Underground wort piping
Post by: phillamb168 on December 06, 2011, 01:38:09 PM
Just got off the phone with the "electrical consultant" (that sounds like a job, eh?) - he says if the house is already 3-phase, we can run a sub panel no problem, but if it's monophase we'll have to redo the run from the street. Thankfully it's only about 3-5 meters total so that won't be a headache if so. Now to price out 16mm cable run. Good thing is, quotes are coming in under 1500, which in real terms is less than 3k, still within budget.

Also for future readers, a GCFI is called a 'differential' in euro-speak. Learn something new every day! http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disjoncteur#Diff.C3.A9rentiel