My Winter project -- beer delivery system to my second floor

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  • #1
Bryan2992
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Pneumatic Tube beer delivery system ( Think bank drive threw )
Let me start off by saying that I realize it would be much easier to haul a fridge up stairs into the man cave , but what fun is that.

I have this novel , totally unnecessary project in mind. I want to make a beer delivery system. Something like you would see in a bank drive threw. My man cave is on second floor of my gambrel style 3 car garage, so we’re going to be talking about approximately 10-12 feet of elevation change. Now , I have some blowers laying around from other projects and work I’ve done, and I can handle the plumbing aspect of this , but I’m not sure how I would integrate a fridge into this idea, or how to automatically keep “one in the chamber” so to speak. Obviously , if the beer isn’t cold or if I have to run downstairs to load it in the tube , would defeat the purpose.
Anybody have any suggestions or ideas ?
 
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  • #2
hutchphd
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This is going to require a lot of research....I'll let you know how it goes when I can again see the keyboard. I have always loved those tube things. I guess Elon Musk did also.....
I think you want an impellor (like a sabot for a canon shell) that would carry the can around corners. It could be sent back to automatically reprime with the next beer. And suction is the way to go. Now I need a man cave.
 
  • #3
jrmichler
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Clearly an important project and well worth doing.

There are challenges to using a pneumatic conveyor. You would need a blower capable of over 6 in w.c. static pressure at an appropriate flow rate. Such a blower will be noisy. By the time a beer can bounces around a couple of bends in the pipe, then is shot out into a receiver, it will be well shaken.

A different approach that allows automatic single can feeding, and does not shake up the cans is a vertical (or approximately vertical) conveyor as sketched below:
Beer Conveyor.jpg

The cans are in an inclined rack. A belt conveyor with hooks attached picks up a single can and delivers it without bouncing or shaking. A pair of hooks pass through slots in the inclined rack. A zig-zag rack could hold several cases of cans. The bottom pulley would be inside the refrigerator. The hole in the top of the refrigerator would have rubber flaps to seal against air leakage while allowing cans and hooks to pass through.

McMaster-Carr has conveyor belts in any width and length: https://www.mcmaster.com/conveyor-belts/made-to-order-conveyor-belts-6/. You can buy conveyor belt pulleys (expensive) or make them yourself out of wood. A low speed, low load conveyor such as this does not need precision steel pulleys.

Idea: Search steampunk for some ideas on designing the conveyor and drive if you want to make it look good, and not like a piece of industrial machinery.
 
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  • #4
Bryan2992
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Clearly an important project and well worth doing.

There are challenges to using a pneumatic conveyor. You would need a blower capable of over 6 in w.c. static pressure at an appropriate flow rate. Such a blower will be noisy. By the time a beer can bounces around a couple of bends in the pipe, then is shot out into a receiver, it will be well shaken.

A different approach that allows automatic single can feeding, and does not shake up the cans is a vertical (or approximately vertical) conveyor as sketched below:
View attachment 277934
The cans are in an inclined rack. A belt conveyor with hooks attached picks up a single can and delivers it without bouncing or shaking. A pair of hooks pass through slots in the inclined rack. A zig-zag rack could hold several cases of cans. The bottom pulley would be inside the refrigerator. The hole in the top of the refrigerator would have rubber flaps to seal against air leakage while allowing cans and hooks to pass through.

McMaster-Carr has conveyor belts in any width and length: https://www.mcmaster.com/conveyor-belts/made-to-order-conveyor-belts-6/. You can buy conveyor belt pulleys (expensive) or make them yourself out of wood. A low speed, low load conveyor such as this does not need precision steel pulleys.

Idea: Search steampunk for some ideas on designing the conveyor and drive if you want to make it look good, and not like a piece of industrial machinery.

thank you for your reply.
Right now I’m leaning towards a gravity fed rack, with and actuator that lines up with the bottom can. When the call for beer is initiated , actuator pushed bottom can into tube. Can is seated inside tube , suction starts and pull can up and through.

The gravity rack will position can on its side , and the tube inlet will be coming in the side of the fridge. It will make one bend , and continue straight up to the man cave.
How did you figure out the amount of suction. What was the formula for something like that ?
 
  • #5
Bryan2992
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This is going to require a lot of research....I'll let you know how it goes when I can again see the keyboard. I have always loved those tube things. I guess Elon Musk did also.....
I think you want an impellor (like a sabot for a canon shell) that would carry the can around corners. It could be sent back to automatically reprime with the next beer. And suction is the way to go. Now I need a man cave.
[/

thank you for your reply.
Right now I’m leaning towards a gravity fed rack, with and actuator that lines up with the bottom can. When the call for beer is initiated , actuator pushed bottom can into tube. Can is seated inside tube , suction starts and pull can up and through.

The gravity rack will position can on its side , and the tube inlet will be coming in the side of the fridge. It will make one bend , and continue straight up to the man cave.
 
  • #6
hutchphd
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I think your engineering analysis is right on but this lacks the quiet efficiency of the pneumatic tube. A vacuum cleaner pulls >0.2 atm so the lift on a beer can would be (3psi) (~4 sq in)=12 lbs at least.
For me the pneumatics has the perfect level of crazy.
 
  • #7
Bryan2992
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I think your engineering analysis is right on but this lacks the quiet efficiency of the pneumatic tube. A vacuum cleaner pulls >0.2 atm so the lift on a beer can would be (3psi) (~4 sq in)=12 lbs at least.
For me the pneumatics has the perfect level of crazy.

I am not formally educated in this type of thing at all. I’m a millwright by trade , so installing and troubleshooting are my specialties. For this application , is something with the suction I need feasible ?
 
  • #10
Borek
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You don't want your delivery system to shake the can too much.
 
  • #11
Lnewqban
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plenty of room in the detached garage 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
thanks for the input
You are welcome. :smile:
Some ideas to consider:




 
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  • #12
jrmichler
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For this application , is something with the suction I need feasible ?
Yes. It will need to be something with about the suck of a shop vacuum. A bathroom exhaust fan or centrifugal blower similar to the photo below will not move the cans.
P2140012.JPG

Use a shop vac that comes with a 2" hose. The smaller vacs might not move enough air.
 
  • #13
Balerander
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I’ve been thinking about this in a bar. Does anyone have luck getting this to work?
 
  • #14
berkeman
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I’ve been thinking about this in a bar. Does anyone have luck getting this to work?
Based on several issues, I would design this delivery system quite differently. Can you see what the biggest problem is with this as envisioned by the OP? (I know, there are lots of issues, but this is the biggest one...)
 
  • #15
hutchphd
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Getting rid of all the plastic six pack rings?
My beloved neighbor Thomas Jefferson (there was a slight timing issue so we never actually met) had his famous wine dumbwaiter at Monticello but then he had slaves in the cellar for autofeed and locomotion. Probably not a good modern design (but the oligarchs are making a comeback!).
Nope I don't see the "gotcha".
 
  • #16
Bystander
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Nope I don't see the "gotcha".
You ever open a beer after it's been shaken?
 
  • #17
berkeman
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My beloved neighbor Thomas Jefferson (there was a slight timing issue so we never actually met) had his famous wine dumbwaiter at Monticello but then he had slaves in the cellar for autofeed and locomotion.
Close. How do you automagically pull beer cans/bottles out of the refrigerator in some efficient way? Answer -- you dont! So don't even try. Instead, think of other beer dispensing modules that can be actuated by solenoids and other beer holding technologies that can be transported vertically with more gentle mechanisms...
 
  • #18
berkeman
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You ever open a beer after it's been shaken?
That's a whole different thread. Don't ask me about the time in deer hunting camp where my not-very-educated hunting buddy insisted that you could prevent beer spewing from a shaken can by tapping on the side of the can, and my expert scientific experiment to prove him wrong failed. Boy, that was embarrassing!
 
  • #19
hutchphd
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You have spurred me to commit a Veritasium. I am chagrinned that I used to worry about shaken soda bottles exploding before watching this.

So your buddy calmed the raging beer ?
Veritasium says easy-peasy.
 
  • #20
hutchphd
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transported vertically with more gentle mechanisms...
When I lived in Maine I obtained (don't ask) about a dozen 5 gal stainless soda pop kegs. I found, after much diligent experimentation, that making a very good IPA (and a good porter) was not that difficult and was trivial if you just had a single 5 gal bottle to fill (and charge with priming sugar) at the end. So there were always a few "bottles" in the basement fridge.
It would have been possible to plumb it throughout the house, but I usually had several varieties so I never took that step. Besides you can't have the yeasties doing all your work.
So perhaps a better method would involve a local brewery, a supply of growlers or perhaps kegs, a cooler and some CO2 and tubing. Wouldn't want to bruise the beer.
Incidentally having beer in kegs makes the questions of portion control a bit ...er.... more fluid. Also making your own beer makes questions of ABV also somewhat less clear......just sayin
 
  • #21
berkeman
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It would have been possible to plumb it throughout the house
No, no, no. Plumbing bad if over a meter. Creative gentle transport in suitable liquid vertical containers good...

Incidentally having beer in kegs makes the questions of portion control a bit ...er.... more fluid
No comment. :wink:
 

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