question on solenoid for co2 dispensing

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tony8404, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. tony8404

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
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    Hello guys, I have a situation where i am strapped for cash but i need a solution to my problem and the only way, i can see me getting through this, is by doing it myself.

    I am still learning electronics so I am not sure how easy or if this is even possible but i am not far enough to do this all by myself i believe.

    Okay, what it is I am trying to accomplish, is this, I make my own beer. I have taken one of those small refrigerators and turned it into a dispensor, I can place two 5 gallon cylinder kegs into it. I bought a two way tap that you install into the frig, there are two hoses that connect to the cylinder that then connect to the double tap. Well, to keep the kegs pressurized I use a co2 tank that connects into the frig into the hoses to dispense the co2 or to keep the cylinders charged with co2.

    Well, what i wanted to do was make the co2 system dispense itself. They sell a regulator with a solenoid and bubble counter so you can put the solenoid on a timer to dispense co2 on a timely matter. Except i already have the regulator and the co2 tank, so buying a whole system is out the question. So is just buying a co2 solenoid because the cheapest one i can find is like 60 dollars.

    I had found a site on google that you can make your own diy co2 dispensor but it requires a piece of equipment that is like 100 bucks, if i am lucky to find one for 50. Except i do not have the money, so this is why i am here now.

    I do not know much about solenoids yet, I have not gotten that far in my reading. But I have found, a solenoid you can buy at lowes or homedepot, here is the link http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053 it is only like 8.00 dollars. Except i am not sure i can use that one for dispensing co2. I thought if i was to get that solenoid i could get a fitting to attach to the regulator and be done.

    If anyone knows that solenoid will not work please let me know. If anyone knows of a way to design or make my own solenoid please let me know. My brain hurts from trying to think of something to work for me. thanks guys. I could probably wait to save some money up but i am the type of person that when i think of it i want to do it NOW. lol
     
  2. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
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  3. dachikid

    Member

    Oct 19, 2007
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    BillB3857 is correct, the Home Depot solenoid is incomplete.

    In addition to the suggested valve, which is ~$60 have a look around on sites like ebay.You're looking for a solenoid which is safe for your beer (i.e. won't introduce contaminants) and capable of low pressure gas control. I would look for a stainless steel(food grade) valve and whatever electrical specifications you plan on using to control the solenoid.

    You might check your local "junk" surplus store too, if there's one available in your area.

    Best of luck! :)
     
  4. tony8404

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    98
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    opps did not know it was incomplete. i was thinking i could buy fittings to attach it to my regulator but i guess that wont work right?

    The thing is i can buy it from ebay i just wanted to save like 60 dolars. I do not mind using the manual way either, I just thought it would be something cool to do since i am trying to learn electronics i thought i could try this as a project. but again i do not know much about solenoids so maybe i will wait till i get more into electronics or into the solenoids then maybe i can see what i am trying to do.

    I just thought i could get the one from home depot and finish the rest or somehow get it to work with my regulator,. I was just gonna put the solenoid outlet plug into a timer that does more then hour settings and let it dispense co2 into the keg every 5 or 10 minutes to keep it carbonated at all times.

    Like i said i was just trying to be creative, i thought it would be something cool to toy with...
     
  5. SIcam

    Active Member

    Aug 9, 2008
    61
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    A solenoid is nothing more than a coil of wire with a rod in the core of it that can move in and out. This is usually connected to something like a valve. A valve could be manually opened and closed but connected to the solenoid allows automatic opening and closing of the valve.

    A regulator allows a precise controlled change in pressure. So if your tank is pressurized to 750 PSIG it is not a usable pressure. The regulator allows to reduce the pressure to what you need - 10-12 PSIG. A double gage regulator allows you to read both the CO2 tank pressure and the output pressure after the regulator to the keg.

    If you want CO2 pressure on your keg then why not just leave the keg on constant pressure instead of using a timer to open and close a valve between the CO2 tank and the KEG. If your losing CO2 the electronic valve will not stop it since timer will try to repressure the keg every 5-10 minutes.
     
  6. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
    4,170
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    What is the output pressure from regulator? I assume a relative weak flow-a L/min+_ ? Looks like just solenoid without valve ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  7. tony8404

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    98
    0
    I wanted to leave the timer running 24/7 because when i leave the pressure on, the beer becomes too charged up with co2 and when you try to fill a glass, you end up getting a huge foam head on it. But if I turn the co2 off then the beer has some charge but takes forever to fill a glass, then at times it is hard to find that right spot that charges the beer just right.... Not to mention that after a few beers, it becomes even more difficult to try to get the co2 correct because i make my beer pretty stong.

    I was just thinking there would be some way to make something electronically for my situation since i really do not want to spend the money since my regulator at the time and the tank were a pretty penny. I guess i will keep an eye out on ebay.

    I was just hoping to get a solenoid, then attach it to the regulator.
     
  8. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    2,400
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    Check here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solenoid_valve and look at the drawings. That pretty well explains the function of the part you originally found as well as the additional parts you would need to make a working valve.
     
  9. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
    141
    You might be able to adapt a sprinkler solenoid valve to do what you want. When I built my sprinkler system, they were about $10 apiece; no doubt they're a bit more expensive now. They're typically 24 VAC, so you'll need a transformer and relay. You can build the timer from a 555. You'll want to test that the valve works OK with a gas (my sprinkler valves will open and close with compressed air) at the pressure your regulator is set to.
     
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