SFE thermal runaway syndrome

Here is a very simple tip for anyone having constant problems with their closed loop CO2 extractor.

Your run starts out fine, but then your condenser chiller temperature starts rising, the chiller works harder to keep up, the room heats up, AC cant keep up, pressure rises in your system, separator pressures rise. You might turn up your separator temperature to stop it from flooding (as Eden recommends). This is a positive feedback loop that can only be stopped by stopping your pump, wasting time and money.

A higher separator pressure raises the boiling point of CO2, causing hotter CO2 gas to need to be condensed, making the chiller work unnecessarily hard.

Stopping this problem is so simple, just release some pressure from the system as everything gets up and running and starting to stabilize. Keep your separator pressure and temp as low as possible to still have some liquid CO2 in the separator, and keep things separating. This takes a huge load off of the chiller and will keep the chiller and room cool and stable, and cut down on maintenance and repair of both your chiller and AC. A cooler room also makes for happier lab rats.

As I too have an Eden extractor (20L) I would add to this that insulation in as many places as possible has made a big difference for me. I have added thick foam insulation to all chiller and accumulator tubing and added and additional layer to the accumulator. I took a somewhat unique (maybe?) approach to the separators, I disconnected the second one from the heater. The second separator stays warm but not hot and I still have a nice cool/cold bottom on Sep 1, no carry over or other issues with this setup so far but I have been told by Eden to exercise caution to avoid carry over, so please be cautious :slight_smile:

Yes, insulation seems to help too

Umm… Eden does not recommend just “turn up your separator temperature to stop it from flooding”. Doing so will cause a heating cascade and overwhelm your chiller.

The Eden labs Hi-flo manual states that the machine should be operated in a room temp range of 65F-72F. So the official eden labs recommendation would be to lower your environmental temperature. Eden Labs would also recommend insulation on your system and your co2 lines.

I would not really recommend your solution of venting some co2, because it is a closed loop system, the remaining co2 will just expand to fit the available space and more importantly… Heat back up and build pressure.

@TreeMonsters solution of not heating the second separator is something we have done in testing, and will work, provided pay a lot of attention to not flooding the system.
You can also uncouple your collection cup from the heating, I have seen good results with that approach.

If you can’t keep your facility temp under control, you can run a 2000 watt lab cooler on the accumulator, and the provided 5000 watt Thermofisher on the tube in tube cooling coils.

My Eden is old enough that I think it predates the collection cup. :confused:

I would love to have one and keep it nice and cool for the sake of my extract and ease of terpene collection though.

I really dislike the flat bottom of the separator more than anything, wish it would’ve at least been tapered.

Good pointers none the less, thanks!

Hey Chris,

Sorry, your recommendation might have gotten lost in translation with my coworkers. I have found that running the separator colder and lower pressure definitely takes a load off the chiller, and eliminates the need for more condensing power.

Thanks for you’re help