Cider equipment development: kicking into high gear

Recent progress:

  • I ordered a 4″x30″ hydraulic cylinder and a 2-stage hydraulic pump from Burden Surplus Center for the pedal-hydraulic press.
  • Today I McMastered a bunch of parts for the upgraded apple grinder
  • I got a surplus SCBA tank that my dad had lying around to use as an accumulator to add some “spring” to the pedal-hydraulic press, so it can keep squishing even if the operator momentarily stops pedaling.
  • Keith and I have started to think about a general-purpose rear-wheel “PTO” to be used on the bike hydraulic pump and other pedal applications
  • When I was in Maine I scoped out some scrap timber to be used in making the crossbeams for the new press.  Two white pine 6x8s are available, which is probably marginal by itself, but I have a notion to laminate some 5/4 oak to the tops and bottoms to form super-strong (and attractive) “sandwich beams”.

One Response to “Cider equipment development: kicking into high gear”

  1. Matt Dorson Says:

    The SCBA tank for an accumulator is a good idea for smoothing out the power output on a longer time scale than the flywheel. However it lacks a couple of the critical features of a hydraulic accumulator. Typically you want to pre-charge the system at about 1/3 of the peak operating pressure to get an effective amount of energy storage out of the given volume. Also the rubber bladder serves to separate the gas and oil to keep gas out of critical places like pump cavities. A third advantage is that you can stuff the dry gas bladder full of elastomeric foam and raise your short time scale round trip energy efficiency from around 70% to up in the high nineties. The foam adds a great deal of thermal mass to the gas side, reduces the temperature rise and prevents the heat of compression from leaking away quite as quickly.

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