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Boutelje Filter Centrifuge


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this doesn't need any introduction. its been on the market for a long time.

now we have a new one installed and i thought i would do a small review.

 

Filter_Centrifuge_-_open_1.jpg.250x150_q

 

this replaces our old beetech spinfloat (pre hummer). while it worked great, it was a nitemare to run and its was getting worn.

like most spinfloats, the beetech always had issues with cutting wax. it seams to be the common cause of problems. which is why we went with Boutelje as it doesn't cut wax at all.

its simply fills up and needs to be stopped and cleaned every so often.

peter tells us it needs to cleaned every 90 boxes or so. i find this ridiculously inaccurate. we have done 200-300 box runs, completely packed frames, 8 framers (tons of wax of those) and all i've had is about 1-2" of wax caught in it. i've yet to get past half pressure.

what is accurate is its quick to pull apart, clean and reassemble.

it operates the same as a spinfloat. the wax floats and honey goes out under the gate. its not adjustable and has no need to be. no drain ports and very little honey is left in (tho there is tricks to that)

the early version had a "gate" on the inlet side. thats now been removed and i don't see the need for it.

honey flow in through a really small inlet through the union so its not suitable for capping's. we already had a mesh filter on the sump to stop big chunks blocking the heat exchanger which stops stuff from blocking the spinfloat.

even with the small ports we still have enough flow. we have been putting a lot of bursting full boxes through and its kept up.

the odd thing with this compared to other spin floats is the outlet is in the centre and pumps through the other union. however this means its all contained and no 2nd pump is required to pump it to the tank.

 

whats different to the one pictured is the rotary unions. afaik they now make them themselves and they are a special bit of kit. full marks for that.

the unions are the weak point, they need to be regularly lubed and very importantly require honey flowing through them when they are in use.

this means you cannot stop the pump, eg if you go to lunch, you have to pump honey through it and then back to the pump. ie a return system. this means a bit of additional pipe work back to the sump. downside is you cannot run out of honey to pump. need to watch the sump level.

so to help with that we installed an air operated butterfly valve (thanks HDProcess) and run it off a couple of float switches.

whenever the honey level goes low it opens the return valve so honey goes back to the sump, so it keeps it flowing through the Centrifuge.

 so handy for those days when you process 200 boxes for 1 drum of honey.

 

we used a progressive cavity pump (HDProcess) which performs well. i expect a drop in flow as the pumps under a lot higher pressure compared to the old spin float setup. but so far its kept up.

 

the downsides.

heating. like all spinfloats they work better with warm honey. but with the return system you have to watch the honey doesn't get overheated as its gets recirculated through the heat exchanger over and over.

vibration. not as scary or dangerous as the beetechs, but still has enough vibration to rattle the outside of the shed. i suspect it needs far better bracing and the rear union might not be straight. slowing it down a tad helps.

the first run we did it threw an error message as someone forgot to program the braking resistor. easy fix.

also it started to sequel from one of the unions. i think someone didn't grease them when they built them.

speed control was really touchy. it was full speed in about 1/4 turn. peter sent us the wiring diagram. the unit wasn't wired exactly the same, but that wasn't the problem.

the diagram was actually incorrect. they had the pot wired to the 24v rail instead of the standard 10v pot connection. 

(if anyone finds their one is really touchy, check it has a 10k or 5k pot installed and correctly set on the vsd, and its wired to the standard pot connection 10v not 24v).

the butterfly valves supplied are hex/rjt nut which i have had issues with vibrating loose. i don't know why they didn't use the cheaper tri clover clamps which don't require tools and don't come loose,

height. the unit needs to be high enough to drain back into your sump (and sump high enough to drain into your pump).

 

one recent catch that nearly got me was the safety lockout works on time, not pressure. so once you stop the machine it waits a while to let pressure drop.

trouble is sometimes the outlet gets blocked and the pressure doesn't fully drop. i found the nuts hard to unscrew and noticed there was still pressure on the gauge.

while it was very little, that amount spread over the size of the outlet plate, and that the air in it is also pressurised, not sure if i want that firing back at me after taking the bolts off.

backing up the pump until pressure fully drops fixed that. 

 

overall, its a fairly simple machine that does the job well. honey comes out clean and what i like most is it doesn't threaten to fly around the room like the old beetech.

 

 

 

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to add, 333 boxes extracted today, new record for us (for a normal working day). still didn't fill the Centrifuge.

yes you can put scrapped comb+honey into a spin float (assuming its big enough). the catch is they generally do not like ingesting large chunks of wax and high amounts of wax. a lot of the proble

no worries with capping through my crystech heat exchanger into the hummer  

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Nice .

 I got quite enthused when reading , but then when you got to the part about 'it doesn't do cappings' , that sort of finished it for me.

I got the refurbished Hummer back on Monday and am waiting for a rainy day to install.

The Hummer works well, but we still have issues getting the wax really dry . 

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11 hours ago, jamesc said:

Nice .

 I got quite enthused when reading , but then when you got to the part about 'it doesn't do cappings' , that sort of finished it for me.

I got the refurbished Hummer back on Monday and am waiting for a rainy day to install.

The Hummer works well, but we still have issues getting the wax really dry . 

wax press for capping's. pricking only helps.

 

capping's was a big problem for the beetech. not that it could not clean it, but because it screwed with the flow rate. that causes the wax to get pushed out into the cutters and block the cutters up. once we stopped putting capping's through it, it worked really well.

 

getting dry wax, if i remember your setup thats simply a lack of heat. cold honey does not separate all that well.

downside is can't put capping's through a heat exchanger.

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

why can't you put cappings through a heat exchanger ...?

to big, won't fit. tube in tube heat exchanger, i think i have a 10mm grill to stop big bits getting in it.

we used to have to old school flat style heat exchanger which can take cappings, but it was useless. it never got hot enough. not enough surface area and probably all of 3kw heater (new one is ~24kw gas heater).

with cappings dealt with wax press and a  decent heat exchanger, the spin float worked really well.

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Maybe this question was raised before.

Will it work to put scrapped comb/honey from plastic frames straight into a spin float? I am thinking about a plain spin float and adding the comb/honey manually.

 

Also can someone who knows tell about pricing?

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2 hours ago, Kiwi Bee said:

Maybe this question was raised before.

Will it work to put scrapped comb/honey from plastic frames straight into a spin float? I am thinking about a plain spin float and adding the comb/honey manually.

 

Also can someone who knows tell about pricing?

yes you can put scrapped comb+honey into a spin float (assuming its big enough).

the catch is they generally do not like ingesting large chunks of wax and high amounts of wax. a lot of the problems come from the wax cutting side of things. also you need to heat the honey up enough which can be an issue if the wax is big and chunky.

typically people use wax press to deal with the bulk of the wax then put the honey with the left over fine wax through a spin float.

 

i have no idea on pricing. tho i think i saw Boutelje Filter Centrifuge and pump on TM for $20k or so.

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18 hours ago, tristan said:

btw we ordered a new union bearing as one of the two started squealing a bit. $1500 thank you very much ?

the saga continues.

new union arrived today. mmmmm......there is an o ring sticking out the middle of it, i don't think thats meant to do that.

$1500 part and its put together incorrectly. time to go home worry about it next year.

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15 hours ago, j boots said:

no worries with capping through my crystech heat exchanger into the hummer

 

what sort of heat exchanger is it exactly?

really would like to see how you get a hunk of wax thats 50-100mm in size through a ~10mm tube. 

 

one thing i had thought about many years ago was to make a mincer. something to chop up those large bits of wax to a size that can go through a heat exchanger.

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32 minutes ago, tristan said:

what sort of heat exchanger is it exactly?

really would like to see how you get a hunk of wax thats 50-100mm in size through a ~10mm tube. 

 

one thing i had thought about many years ago was to make a mincer. something to chop up those large bits of wax to a size that can go through a heat exchanger.

What's wrong with the Boutelje auger sump, works very well, cuts all up nicely. Cappings and all honey goes through the Humma spinfloat, no unscheduled stops.

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1 hour ago, Gerrit said:

What's wrong with the Boutelje auger sump, works very well, cuts all up nicely. Cappings and all honey goes through the Humma spinfloat, no unscheduled stops.

i've never actually seen one. tho seen a similar thing with a progressive cavity pump.

the thing i would want, is to make sure the size the bits come out is small enough. a mincer die on the the outlet might work. i never did get to try that out as we went a different direction and what little amount of big stuff we get goes through the press.

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We have a paddle in the sump beneath the uncapper. Extractor honey and cappings meet in the sump and get mushed before getting pumped through yhe heat exchanger to the hummer.

works ok

Here’s another gadget i saw at j brooks yesterday.... an ultrasonic switch that controls a variable speed sump pump.

The faster the honey flows into the sump, the faster the pump rotates.$1100.

1C065708-270C-4821-8B25-FC77657331B1.jpeg

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10 hours ago, jamesc said:

 

Here’s another gadget i saw at j brooks yesterday.... an ultrasonic switch that controls a variable speed sump pump.

The faster the honey flows into the sump, the faster the pump rotates.$1100.

1C065708-270C-4821-8B25-FC77657331B1.jpeg

 

yes please.

boss can i borrow your credit card for a minute.

 

looking at sensors at the moment as the cheap float switches have issues.

 

one good thing of the Boutelje Centrifuge is it can handle sudden flow changes. the old spin float did not like flow changes one bit.

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