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View Full Version : How would you do it? Cascade System.....



Gdaaym8z
April 17th, 2013, 08:25 PM
Okay, so I am wanting to maximize my fill station.....I currently have 9 "J" bottles 3500psi (Probably the wrong term for the bottles....please see photo below) that are plumbed into three storage banks (3,3,3) and I have a 4 whip fill station. I just recently purchased a Buaer K-20 compressor and I'm going to add 4 more fill whips for a total of 8.

I am wondering how you would set up a system with the components I listed???

One large cascade?

I'm filling on average 60 AL80 bottles a week....

I'm interested to hear your ideas.......

Thanks.

152783

Akimbo
April 17th, 2013, 08:46 PM
Define optimize. Optimized labor? Optimized wear and tear on hands? Optimized fill time? Cascading from every bottle that is at a higher pressure than the tank you fill will minimize the number of times you run the compressor.

KD8NPB
April 17th, 2013, 09:07 PM
Why aren't you using copper pigtails?

Also, have you considered adding some el-cheapo 2400 psi T-cylinders as a "low pressure" cascade? They're a dime a dozen, and take a lot of wear & tear off your compressor.

Gdaaym8z
April 17th, 2013, 09:10 PM
Define optimize. Optimized labor? Optimized wear and tear on hands? Optimized fill time? Cascading from every bottle that is at a higher pressure than the tank you fill will minimize the number of times you run the compressor.

I want to be able to get the most fills without running the compressor all the time.....

So would I be better off with more individual bottles than the three banks of three that I have now? or one larger bank (say 3 bottles to fill majority of volume) then a three two bottle banks?

Hopefully I'm not coming across like a complete idiot....I assure you I'm just your average idiot. LOL

Superlyte27
April 17th, 2013, 09:15 PM
Forget the 2400 lb bottles, that's just goofy talk. He's right about the wear and tear on the compressor, but phooey on taking up space with lower capacity bottles. :)

I'm guessing most of your scuba tanks are going to be filled to 3200'ish psi. I'd make three banks of 3 bottles. So, when you start the week, you can hook up 8 bottles and open bank one. If I do the math, I'm guessing Bank 1 at 3600'ish PSI starting pressure will just about fill all 8 tanks. Unhook and hook up the next 8 tanks. Fill until you equalize Bank 1 then close Bank 1 and open Bank 2. Bank 2 will certainly fill all 8 tanks. Close all banks, hook up 8 more tanks. Open Bank 1, equalize. Open Bank 2, equalize. Open Bank 3, equalize. Wash, rinse, repeat. I could do the math, but I'm guessing you could probably fill 30-40 tanks without ever starting the compressor.

KD8NPB
April 17th, 2013, 09:26 PM
Forget the 2400 lb bottles, that's just goofy talk. He's right about the wear and tear on the compressor, but phooey on taking up space with lower capacity bottles. :)

I'm guessing most of your scuba tanks are going to be filled to 3200'ish psi. I'd make three banks of 3 bottles. So, when you start the week, you can hook up 8 bottles and open bank one. If I do the math, I'm guessing Bank 1 at 3600'ish PSI starting pressure will just about fill all 8 tanks. Unhook and hook up the next 8 tanks. Fill until you equalize Bank 1 then close Bank 1 and open Bank 2. Bank 2 will certainly fill all 8 tanks. Close all banks, hook up 8 more tanks. Open Bank 1, equalize. Open Bank 2, equalize. Open Bank 3, equalize. Wash, rinse, repeat. I could do the math, but I'm guessing you could probably fill 30-40 tanks without ever starting the compressor.

We have our cascade in a 20 ft shipping container. 12 x 3500, 24 x 2400. Guess how many times I run the compressor in a month? 12 cfm compressor too, so it doesn't take very long when I do...

Not to mention that the owner is addicted to store buyouts and surplus auctions. We have a backup compressor next to our primary service compressor, plus a backup for the backup.

Superlyte27
April 17th, 2013, 09:55 PM
I'd prefer to just have 3 sub ballast bottles.

superspeed
April 17th, 2013, 10:03 PM
The more you separate them the more fills you will get....but the more work opening and closing valves. I would do 3x3 and be happy, maybe add some more bottles and do 3 banks of 4 tanks. Million ways to do it really, but for what you have now, 3x3 would be the way I would do it.

Farback
April 17th, 2013, 10:11 PM
Forget the 2400 lb bottles, that's just goofy talk. He's right about the wear and tear on the compressor, but phooey on taking up space with lower capacity bottles. :)

I'm guessing most of your scuba tanks are going to be filled to 3200'ish psi. I'd make three banks of 3 bottles. So, when you start the week, you can hook up 8 bottles and open bank one. If I do the math, I'm guessing Bank 1 at 3600'ish PSI starting pressure will just about fill all 8 tanks. Unhook and hook up the next 8 tanks. Fill until you equalize Bank 1 then close Bank 1 and open Bank 2. Bank 2 will certainly fill all 8 tanks. Close all banks, hook up 8 more tanks. Open Bank 1, equalize. Open Bank 2, equalize. Open Bank 3, equalize. Wash, rinse, repeat. I could do the math, but I'm guessing you could probably fill 30-40 tanks without ever starting the compressor.


From a fire department fill operator, I agree with this suggestion.

Pedro Burrito
April 17th, 2013, 10:14 PM
What are the hydro dates on all of those bottles? Can you actually see the stamps for all of the bottles? How are you going to get the one in the back out when it is due for hydro? Must you bleed the system every time one of the bottles needs to be pulled out? Oftentimes this isn't thought about until the bottle in the back has to be sent out for hydro.

Gdaaym8z
April 17th, 2013, 10:15 PM
Why aren't you using copper pigtails?.

I had sh*t ton of HP hoses and they work just fine.

KD8NPB
April 17th, 2013, 10:16 PM
I'd prefer to just have 3 sub ballast bottles.

Funny story, we actually have 4 of them! They used to be our high pressure cascade.

However, they started leaking from the end caps, so we pulled them from service.

Gdaaym8z
April 17th, 2013, 10:18 PM
What are the hydro dates on all of those bottles? Can you actually see the stamps for all of the bottles? How are you going to get the one in the back out when it is due for hydro? Must you bleed the system every time one of the bottles needs to be pulled out? Oftentimes this isn't thought about until the bottle in the back has to be sent out for hydro.

I had them all hydro 12 months ago....so when one goes...they will all go. =)

---------- Post added April 17th, 2013 at 09:19 PM ----------

I appreciate all the input.......

Akimbo
April 17th, 2013, 10:40 PM
I want to be able to get the most fills without running the compressor all the time.....

So would I be better off with more individual bottles than the three banks of three that I have now?

Yep, but as mentioned, it is more work. You could do it now the hard way just by opening cascade cylinder valves sequentially, no plumbing changes needed.

It would probably a worthwhile exercise for you to run the numbers yourself if you have a spreadsheet or online calculator. See how long it will take to get your 9th cascade bottle down to 3000 PSI versus other combinations.


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