Band heater vaporizer.
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  1. #1
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    Default Band heater vaporizer.

    I have been working on a 120 volt band heater vaporizer that can vaporize a hive through a 3/8" clearance hole at the back of the hive that has the hole plugged with a piece of 7/16" dowel until you need to vaporize. The first unit I made was temperature controlled with a mypin TA4-RNR and a type K thermocouple. The band heater was from Amazon, a110v-300w, 25mminternal diameter for about $8. Total cost about $50. I found pre heating for 5 minutes then inserting into the hive turning upside down putting on the cap with the 2 gram charge of OA then turning the unit the right side up vaporizing would take place in less than 1 minute. At this time a second cap could be loaded with OA to go again when the unit is moved to a new hive. So in theory after heating the device for 5 minutes a hive could be completed almost every minute thereafter. However I have found that when working in a yard with a cold breeze blowing this seems to rob some of the heat from the device and slow things down a little. I have also made a second vaporizer without the temp controller at a cost of little more than $10 and as I now know where the temp goes to I find the controller not necessary. I have used this in the yards from a battery and a $40 inverter and it works fine.PIC_1690.jpgPIC_1694.jpg More info to follow as I progress with this project.
    Johno

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    To try to reduce heat loss to the device I have insulated the hot area with glass wool covered with woven glass tape and will try this out on a few hives later on this week. The vaporizer gets up to about 470F in 4 minutes when it normally took about 5 minutes, so it appears the insulation has increased the efficiency some.IMG_1031.jpg
    This high temperature does not seem to break down the OA as the particles can clearly be seen during test vaporizing also the temperature drops rapidly to around the 340F area while sublimation is taking place.

  4. #3
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    Aug 2014
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    Houston, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    Thanks for the update. I've been working on a similar device, but went with the 35mm size. The local big box stores don't stock 1.25 copper parts, so had to order them. We'll see how it does on temp when I get it together. Did you try heating the actual cap instead of the tube?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    My starting point was the 25mm band heater so I had to go with 1" copper pipe which is about 1 3/16" or about 30mm which allowed me to open the band heater a little to allow for the 3/8"piece of pipe to protrude from the front. The band heater would probably be better closer to the bottom but then to find the right size band heater would be next. I could use the end cap plus a coupling to make up the chamber and still have the 1"pipe inside holding it all together, as the top caps I made from some 1" OD aluminum tube and they fit neatly into the 1" pipe and this helps seal the top. Also this was large enough to hold 2 to 3 grams of OA and the purpose was to do 1 hive at a time.
    Johno

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Santa barbara, CA
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    johno-
    I've been following your progress on the forums. I purchased some Tempco band heaters (NHL00158) that are 1-1/4" and 250 watts (120v AC). They fit over the 1" copper pipe caps perfectly although the price is ~$25 each http://www.tempco.com/Catalog/Sectio...ica%20Band.pdf
    I'm going to try and use some silicon rubber corks on mine and see if they can withstand the heat. I've got some PID temperature contollers and thermocouples I'm playing around with also. I'm powering mine with a 750 watt inverter and a 22ah battery. I guess we'll see if the temperature contollers are necessary...
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    Having the heat up the sides a bit may prevent the crusting over and hanging up on the sides on some evaporators. Should help keep some heat on the exit pipe to prevent redepositing there too.

    I like it!
    Frank

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    Hi Dynemd,
    I hope the silicon corks work for you, will you be able to hollow them out so that you may be able to load the OA into them? This I think is the big advantage of the system, loading the OA into the hot container without any vapor escaping. Let us know how you progress.
    Johno

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    Hi Crofter,
    I would not mind if the heat source was closer to the bottom, as this is where the sublimation takes place and if the outlet pipe is not too high up and not too long the conductivity of the copper should keep it hot enough so as not to allow the OA to crystalize. As I mentioned one has to start somewhere and a cheap band heater is where I started. It has worked out OK as the 1" copper pipe and the 1" OD aluminum tubing made making the caps possible. The formica layer on the ply I used is standing up to the heat pretty well.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    It looks like there are several manufacturers or stocking distributors for the band heaters in Que. Canada. I would say it is a much less involved construction than the tray types. Especially so if you can do without readouts or max temperature control.
    It is a big plus to be able to vaporize without having to push something into the entrance of a colony and cover and uncover openings. The single tray type I am using is getting a bit of a pain to do a dozen hives a number of times for a series of treatments. It is getting a bit "old"!

    I have reduced dwell times by dumping the charge into the tray while it is still hot enough to just start the initial fizzing but not yet much smoke. Do you have any reservations about how much you can push in this direction without compromising the effectiveness of the treatment. It really is hard to qualify the smoke, fog, vapor, or whatever it really is, solely by appearance.

    Are you silver soldering or sil phosing the cap to the length of 1" copper?
    Frank

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    Crofter, I have been using glow plug heated wands on my hives for a couple of years and it does become a pain removing entrance reducers to do the treatment frying a few bees while doing it and worrying if one of those fried might be the queen and then having to replace the entrance reducer when done. The last time I treated some hives I used a paper mask, one of those you get from your local hardware store and exposed myself to some of the vapor to see if it was as I suspected tiny crystals of OA as I observed while doing tests, result of that was not even a whiff of oxalic acid or even formic acid so I do not go along with the theory that high temperature in this type of system breaks down the OA. I think that the boiling and sublimation of the OA absorbs so much latent heat that it drags the temperature down to sublimation temperature. If the OAV was contained and did not escape that might be a different outcome. I used the silver copper alloy that most refrigeration folks use on copper to copper welding no flux is required.
    Johno

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    johno-
    What do you use for a torch to braze(?) the sil-fos? Are you using the 15% silver? I'm going to try brazing with a swirl torch burning MAPP gas and see how it works. This one: https://www.amazon.com/Bernzomatic-T...P1V1N5CD9PTRWP
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    Hi Dynemd,
    I have oxy/acetylene so I had no problems, I do not know if you can get hot enough with map gas so it would be a pity to spend so much on the torch and find that you still can't do the job. Maybe someone on the forum would know if map gas can do copper to copper welding. I did a final OAV treatment on some of my out hives yesterday, put fondant on them and treated. I let the insulated unit pre heat for 5 minutes and loaded the OA and vaporized in 30 to 35 seconds, I noticed that when the OA hits the bottom of the vaporizer it flashes off and creates pressure in the vaporizer and blows the vapor out into the hive so the cap needs to be a good fit or vapor will leak out at the top. What I need to do in the spring is run a test on my 20 home hives and see if the vaporizer can maintain a high enough temperature over a longer period of vaporization. If it does not I will redo the unit using 2 band heaters.
    Johno

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    I have done many joints with oxy acetylene but I doubt you could do that size with Mapp gas single bottle torch. The flame has to be large and soft not harsh (oxidizing) for either fluxed silver brazing alloy or self fluxing Sil Phos rod. If you spot overheat areas of the assembly, oxidation resulting prevents the alloy flowing into the joint. If you have to take it to a regular shop it will be too expensive. You will have to hook up with someone who has hobby gear set up at home or do it at work as a "government job".
    Frank

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    I have just completed 3 of these band heaters using the 25 mm bands and 3 1/2" deep electrical boxes. The Mypin temperature controller fits the boxes nicely. A piece of conduit for the handle. The copper bowl and heater are mounted on a piece of phenolic. Less then $50 each. 40-370 degrees in 2.5 minutes. 2 grams of OA vaporize completely in 2.5 minutes (the outside temperature was 40 degrees, so this might be quicker if it were warmer}. 2.4 amps. 288 watts. I'll run 2 at a time from an inverter mounted in the truck and a heavy extension cord. I have 75 hives and have been using the wand vaporizers for several years. I'm thinking that the band heaters inserted through a 3/8" hole in the back of the bottom boards will be quicker to use and much more convenient. At least that's what I'm hoping. Thanks to Johno for the idea
    .DSCN1128.jpgDSCN1139.jpg
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  16. #15
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    Indiankentuck, those look good. where did you get your band heaters, the ones I got from Amazon only draw about 1 amp. Still they preheat the copper to over 500F in 5 minutes and then will vaporize the 2 grams in 30-35 seconds, the temperature drops dramatically during the vaporization due to the latent heat being absorbed and if you look up into the plume of vapor if it is against the sunlight you can see the OA crystals glittering in the sunlight. So I am sure that the high temp does not break down the OA. I am not sure if the band heaters I have will maintain the 1 minute treatment cycle over a large amount of hives, I will check that out in the spring. The internal resistance of my heaters are about 145 ohms which is far too high for 300 watts at 120 volts.
    Johno

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    I am going to test without thermostatic control or temperature readouts. The heaters I have on the way are nom. 300 watts. I have gone to the 30mm dia. which should be right on to fit on the external of the pipe cap and coupling sleeve.

    If these get the vapor effectively into the hive without having to mess around with disturbing the hive it will make the treatments do able quicker and in almost any kind of weather.

    Johno, let us know how the temperature stabilizes when multiple charges are put in and whether boil over and out the spout occurs. I have the option to make the barrel taller and place the second clamp heater on.

    Have you done enough cycles to know whether recrystallizing in the spout is a problem with multiple back to back runs?
    Frank

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    Crofter, in this last week I did a final treatment on some of my out hives with 4 hives per yard so I have not done enough trials. If I get a warm spell a little later in December I may give my 20 home hives another blast and that will tell a tale. If the unit cannot maintain enough heat maybe I could get one of the heaters Indiankentuck uses or else fit 2 of the Amazon ones onto the copper vaporizer.
    Johno

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    I purchased these heaters from Ebay. $3 each and free shipping. The 25mm size fits a 3/4 cap perfectly with no gap.I think this increases the efficiency of the heater. Plus the phenolic isolates the bowl from any heat loss to the box. Without a temperature controller the temperature would be too hot very quickly. I am having no problems maintaining the temperature as vaporization occurs.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    What I have in mind to try for a temperature control (if necessary) is a light dimmer switch. The are rated 600W if I remember correctly. I know a programmed setup would be more fool proof but this old fool feels left out if he doesn't have some knobs to twirl! Perhaps the setup will be near enough to self regulating that it will not need too much external control.

    It would be terrific if the unit can be loaded with say 4 charges and will maintain a reasonable temperature till the charges are sublimated. I had not though that the latent heat of sublimating multiple OA charges would be enough to temperature stall the process but that will become apparent on test runs. I had a cheapie infrared temperature gun that would have been handy but it went for a crap.
    Frank

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Band heater vaporizer.

    I think that the higher temp creates a faster vaporization which increases the pressure inside the copper vessel and blows the vapor out into the hive, and by preheating I can get the 2 grams vaporized in 30-35 seconds with maybe 120watts, I did insulate the copper with fiberglass and that increased the efficiency some. I also have a gap of 2 nuts underneath the copper and then that onto a small piece of 1/4" fiberglass to insulate the heat from the aluminum bar the copper vessel is bolted to.
    I think I will order a few of the band heaters from ebay and try them out. Crofter how is your heater working out can you measure the current draw at 120v or even from you 12v supply, even with the heater I have you can reach 500F in 5 minutes.
    Johno

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