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  1. #1
    Bill D is offline Titanium
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    Default how much Cu pipe to cool air compressor flow

    I did a search and did not find this. I have a 5hp air compressor and I would like to make a air cooling radiator of copper pipe. I have several 4 four foot long pieces of 1/2". I know it should be sloped so water can drain by gravity to a blow down valve.
    Is it better to run the air in parallel or series. seems like parallel might really just flow through part of the pipes, choose the path of least reistance. How long a pipe run should I use so it is cool enough for water separator/filter to do it's job.
    Bill D.

  2. #2
    MichaelP is offline Titanium
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    Default

    Check my posts (#2 and #36) in this thread: Setting up air dryer/filters - The Garage Journal Board

  3. #3
    starbolin's Avatar
    starbolin is offline Stainless
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    Default

    Not enough information. What is the expected flow rate? Continuous or intermittent?

    For normal shop use you just need enough pipe to store the air you need for the next tool use. The air for the next use cools in the pipe and the pipe is refilled with hot air as you use the cold stuff.

    20' would do a lot to cool the air. Try it, if it doesn't work copper is easy to splice

  4. #4
    Shadon's Avatar
    Shadon is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default

    The amount of uncondensed moisture that travels down the line is dependant on line size, line tempature and line length. After it condenses is a different story, you will need a drain at that point and not before.

  5. #5
    cg285 is offline Cast Iron
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    Default

    not using any scientific calculations i have made radiators at my last 3 shops - but using 1" black pipe - and as much as the space dictates. approx 10' lengths with an overall height of approx 12' (about 12 cross sections). since i first starting using a home made radiator i have not gotten any noticeable water @ any of the drum drips in the shop area (central fl area).
    i use an 8" dia drum drip @ the radiator + the 2 storage tank drains. 1 5hp, 1 20hp. not sure i understand why the lines would not be anything but in series

  6. #6
    CalG is offline Titanium
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    If you want to loose heat by radiation, use iron pipe, or paint the copper.

    Better emissivity numbers.

    If you think the cooling will be by conductance, copper is good and paint acts as a barrier.

    Cheers

  7. #7
    surplusjohn is offline Diamond
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    Default

    a simple way of doing this is to run the copper pipe [ideally a coil] into a 55 gallon drum. The drum has a toilet filler valve and a line running via gravity to your bathroom. the air gets cooled by the water and the water gets circulated out when the toilet is flushed. This works better if you have women in shop. but even if not, the water to air will cool much better than air to air.

  8. #8
    gmatov is offline Diamond
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    John,

    "This works better if you have women in shop."

    I guess that is saying that women will flush every time, and, for some reason, maybe to "mark their territory", men often don't.

    Other than that, I think you have a good idea.

    Of course, if the OP could afford it, he really should look to buy a refrigerated air dryer, if he needs really dry air.

    Norgren water separators might help, also, but someone has to drain them regularly.

    Cheers,

    George

  9. #9
    rke[pler's Avatar
    rke[pler is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    "This works better if you have women in shop."

    I guess that is saying that women will flush every time, and, for some reason, maybe to "mark their territory", men often don't.
    I suspect that he's suggesting that women will make more trips to the can and therefore will perform better in the cooling department.

  10. #10
    Dave D is offline Hot Rolled
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    "... therefore will perform better in the cooling department"

    Not necessarily, what if they are "hot women".

    (Sorry, its been a long day).

    Dave

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default

    I built air to air intercoolers that go between the head and the tank using a 50 foot coil of 3/4" copper tubing. Testing with an infrared thermometer shows that the temperature drops over 100F before entering the tank.

    Also constructed an air to air aftercooler the uses 80 feet of steel pipe with a drain at the bottom of each loop.

  12. #12
    Cole2534 is offline Titanium
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    Default

    Perhaps you could incorporate the coil tubing idea and the compressor's fan for a little better heat transfer?

    That waste heat could probably be put to good use, perhaps an espresso machine.

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