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"plate cooler" from dairy use as plate HX for heat storage

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by pybyr, Aug 22, 2008.

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  1. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Hello all--

    had an idea earlier this AM--

    some dairy farms use a device called a "plate cooler" to both cool newly-milked milk and in the process preheat water

    for background on what they are
    http://www.cetonline.org/FarmBusiness/plate_coolers.php

    it occurred to me that these are none other than big plate heat exchangers -- just like some of us are looking at using for non-pressurized storage tanks

    Are there any dairy farmers/ dairy equipment suppliers on the group, or others who could point us to specifications on the heat transfer characteristics and other details on these, as well as whether their gasket material can take 180F plus water?

    they're certainly _not_ cheap new, but it crossed my mind that if they turn out to be suitable for wood heat storage purposes, I might be able to scrounge up a second hand one

    thanks

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  2. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    Yes, they would probably work fine... BUT, they will probably cost you more used than a brazed plate will cost new... Anything "food grade" is VERY expensive.....

    Plus, the gasket material is an issue too..... maybe.......
  3. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    1. They use o-ring type seals between the plates and could pose problems with deterioration
    2. Most are not rated for antifreeze unless ordered that way
    3. They most certainly are not rated for boiler temps
    4. Price is about 5 times an equivalent brazed plate HX

    They do provide one nice feature and that is they can be disassembled and cleaned.

    My Brother-in-law runs a dairy supply business that sells loads of Alfa-Laval plate HX's and I did a little research with him on this very topic. We both rapidly came to the conclusion that was not a do-able thing. Stick with the brazed plate design.
  4. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    I kinda wondered that............
  5. applewood

    applewood New Member

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    Kind of suprised that its not do... able. I know they are not cheap but they do work great. I have Alpha plates in my apple cider pasteurizer running 170-175 degree water from a propane boiler on one size and acidic apple cider on the other. Then when we're finished for the day we cycle caustic cleaner at more than twice the pump volume and cycle between 120 and 180 degrees on the cleaner.
  6. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic Minister of Fire

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    Hey now, that's some seriously good info.............
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