Howdy out there,
I am a relatively new extractor operating in the CA market and I’m frustrated beyond all hell with the lack of open source collaborative development in the space. To give a bit of background let me begin by saying that most of my experience has been within a corporate framework. I was the director of engineering at a mid sized (500 employee) manufacturing company for the better part of the last decade, and throughout my time there I found that the most successful projects ( at least in terms of innovative and novel designs) were those with the most collaborators and those with the most diverse pool of collaborators.
The extraction community is by far one of the most diverse groups I’ve ever been a part of and I suspect that if organized properly, open source design projects could leverage the decentralized collective knowledge base to create innovative and efficient designs that move the industry forward as a whole. I firmly believe that the people who will survive in this industry will be those who are able to focus on their core competency while developing relationships with other operators whose core competencies are in line with but not entirely overlapping their own. For instance, I focus on wholesale distillate because I am an engineer and a manufacturer with no experience in the retail and branding side, so I seek to align myself with companies that have these aspects covered but are in need of some help on the back end. I can’t logically dedicate my time to tasks that will require me to learn a new skillset or I am just wasting valuable time.
That being said - I have really been itching to design and build a dual effect falling film evaporator for bulk ethanol recovery and I believe it is the perfect project to open up to the community. At this point I have started to do rough calculations regarding the energy and heat transfer requirements to facilitate the evaporation and condensation of 20 gallons of ethanol in 1 to 1.5 hours.
The first task is definitely going to be a comprehensive list of target performance specs for the system and we will work backwards from there.
Before I dump more of my time and energy into the project, I want to gauge the level of interest and ask the extraction community what they are willing and able to contribute in terms of the design.
Here is what I plan to contribute:
-CAD modeling of system using SolidWorks
-Full set of technical drawings, including assembly drawings and BOM with supplier PNs if standard parts
-Optimization of design through CAD simulation of thermodynamic system
-Development, prototyping and testing of many types of custom parts (CNCs, Mills etc. at my disposal)
-Organization/delegation of tasks and general project management
Again, I really believe that all of us is better than any one of us and I’m stoked to see what we can make happen. I’ve put together a collaborative dropbox folder that currently contains some scholarly articles pertaining to analogous FFE systems for review. Feel free to send me anything you think is relevant to the project and I can add it to the dropbox for now until I can grant write access to contributing parties.