Heating Element Control

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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby MisterSteve124 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:47 pm

No, the multi meter showed 1 because exactly why I said it did. The breaker was in the wrong position and was using 2 hots of the same phase. Got everything working now though thankfully.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby Odessit » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:37 pm

MisterSteve124 wrote:...was using 2 hots of the same phase. Got everything working now though thankfully.
LOL
Excuse me, all my posts is on-line translation.
-----------------------------
50L Keg with Heating Elements 0-4.5 kW
1.5m Column SS 2"
packing - SS SPP 3.5x3.5mm
1,8 liter/h of azeotrope
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby MisterSteve124 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:01 pm

I finally got around to replacing my breaker which was the problem. Now I'm getting 240V and when I flip the on switch on my element controller the breaker keeps tripping. I have tried disconnecting as many components as I could to fix the problem but I couldn't get it to work. Do you guys think maybe I have a bad PSR?
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby MuleKicker » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:44 am

If the psr was shorted when u flip the breaker, it would explode. Trust me, I know. Take your ohm meter and check resistances. Do you have a plug wired wrong, or shorted inside?
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby ExpatLad » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:41 pm

Wow, just wow; That was a mammoth read! :crazy: But definitely worth it, so much good information though I must attest that a goodly chunk of it went over my head.

Now that I *think* I know whats going on, I really need to ask a couple of questions to get my footing before my build can begin.
Please bare with me, your patience and assistance is much appreciated.

Some info:
- I've only got 120v easily available to my working area, I have two 15amp circuits existing.
- Ultimately... I'm targeting a 15.4 gallon (58.6L) sankey keg as my boiler

Plan:
Two 1500w immersion elements (~12.5 amps each) on two 15 amp circuits so neither will be overloaded. One element to be directly connected (on off switch only), the other to be regulated; and as others have planned, heat up on both elements then shutdown one and dial back the other for spirits run.

So i'm thinking a triac based controller... specifically a variant of Snuffy's rig would both meet my needs and is within my skill set to build; Light bulb swapped for the resistor though I think. Any reason why that would be inappropriate or obsolete?

ref: http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=26970
and original:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3342&start=180

Obviously its been some time since that was written, and these appears to have been some discussion (Centar in above link) since then regarding the need for a large resistor as used in some of the other triac designs (75 ohm 25 watt); Honestly this went over my head, for this build is the 75ohm 25watt resistor what I need (in place of the bulb)?

The other component which I'm still concerned about sourcing correctly is the Triac itself; there is a great electronics components retailer near me, but I just want to be sure I know what to ask for.
From the threads " 25A unit rated at 400 volts" is that correct for this build.

Dimmer, shell, receptacles, heat sink, thermal grease etc I have on hand in plenty; so no problem.

Last question, and I think its one that hasn't been covered in any thread I've found thus far.... What gauge of wire would be safe for use within the build itself? solid core or twisted or either.

Much appreciated for any and all feed back; and thank you again for your patience in reading. :thumbup:
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby maheel » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:25 am

ExpatLad wrote:Much appreciated for any and all feed back; and thank you again for your patience in reading. :thumbup:


mate i reckon if you dont want to fork out the $50->100 for a psr-25 have a look at one of these V-SSR

so much easier than building your own...

i built a triac one, worked but looked like a POS
ended up bying the psr-25 from rs-online

then these V-SSR started poping up (i think they are triac based units but not sure)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SSR-Solid-St ... 5ae8ee8bca

or even this (although is 240v)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/140730716566 ... 1423.l2649

both might need a cooling fan
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby Old MacDonald » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:47 am

ExpatLad wrote:Last question, and I think its one that hasn't been covered in any thread I've found thus far.... What gauge of wire would be safe for use within the build itself? solid core or twisted or either.


You want all wiring to be able to handle maximum current draw so use something rated for 12.5-15A. Solid-core or multi-strand makes no difference.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby newts » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:43 pm

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/140730716566 ... 1423.l2649

Ive used one of these enclosed in an ali project box for last 6 boils good control, easy to intall & use definately dose not get hot using my 1000w element ,no noise I think that it would work better with an element closer to the max wattage. I can control my output from 0 to full stream seamlessly
If you are not confident with electricity get a tradesman to set it up. still cheap & effective
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby ExpatLad » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:19 pm

Apologies for the delayed response; I've been crushed by work :thumbdown: :( :thumbdown:

I'm not really understanding the difference between going the PSR route and the Triac based designed I linked. Can they control the full range from zero to full without a bypass?

I see some SSR's on ebay which arn't all that expensive;

Would something like this be correct?
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Solid-State-Relay-SSR-40A-40-Amp-fr-PID-Temperature-Controller-Heat-Sink-30-240V-/120968078151?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c2a426347#ht_682wt_966
Definitely seems overkill for my needs (~13 amps, 110-120v)... but would this and a 500kohm pot be sufficient?

500k ohm Pot
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/500K-Ohm-B500K-Taper-Potentiometer-Pot-17mm-Shaft-/140698504761?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c248ce39
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby peanutaxis » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:58 am

Sorry to barge in. Does anyone know of a way to measure the output of a phase angle controller or motor speed controller? I tried using my voltmeter but it just said 240 volts of course!
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby rad14701 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:08 am

peanutaxis wrote:Sorry to barge in. Does anyone know of a way to measure the output of a phase angle controller or motor speed controller? I tried using my voltmeter but it just said 240 volts of course!

I wrote a Power Controller Wattage Chart Calculator which should help... Your element should reflect lower voltage across the terminals and if you know the voltage and wattage rating of the element you can calculate it manually... A 240V element won't read 240V all the time if the controller is working properly because the element is only receiving a portion of the AC sine wave...
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby 1bottler » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:51 pm

E-Bay has some phase angle controllers US$18. !!
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby bentstick » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:31 pm

1bottler wrote:E-Bay has some phase angle controllers
1bottler

Yes try MK here pm him!
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby mildly fanatical » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:37 am

It seems to me there may be an easier way to control your temperature , the same way most industrial machines do it ,using electronic's designed for the job

there are a wide range of digital temperature controllers available for a reasonable price
here is an example

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100V-240V-PID-D ... 4abbc1f52a

hook this up with a solid state relay turning your element on and off and you have precise temperature control

you can place the thermocouple where your thermometer would normally go and your still is automatic

set your parameters to preheat at a given time

has an alarm function you can use to turn on a second element if temperature is more than x-amount below desired level

if you want to get more accurate buy a unit that can set the temp to 0.1 of a deg and use a variable control SSR (4-20 ma control ) ,that way when your temperature is low element comes on at full power and as it nears it's set point it will run the element at a fraction of it's reted output power.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby peanutaxis » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:04 pm

mildly fanatical wrote:It seems to me there may be an easier way to control your temperature , the same way most industrial machines do it ,using electronic's designed for the job

there are a wide range of digital temperature controllers available for a reasonable price
here is an example

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100V-240V-PID-D ... bbc1f52a...


Alright I guess it's my turn :lol:

You can't run a still by controlling temperature. viewtopic.php?f=46&t=16635#p6848104
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby thegenerallee » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:15 am

So I finally got my controller built based on the design outlined at viewtopic.php?f=46&t=17383&p=6966044 and it's acting a little funny. The 30A meter isn't actually reaching 25A if I turn it up to the max. It's maxing out at about 18 or 19 amps in terms of what the meter reads. The only time I saw it get to 25A is when it was turned up to the max (unplugged) then plugged in the power cord. If from that point I dialed it down, it would go back up to the level and would occasionally get stuck at some number between 15 and 20 amps and wouldn't reset unless I unplugged it.

Any thoughts on this? Defective amp meter? Wiring problem?
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby MuleKicker » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:36 pm

If the control module is grounded, and rated for 25A+ and you have a 55oow element, it is going to be a bad psr module. Have seen a few stick and not respond to input changes, unless unplugged.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:19 am

Mule can jump in..but if you have the wire switched on the REALLAY side, then the control circuit could be feeding threw the element?
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby Pyewacket » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:57 pm

It has taken a while to read through this post. I have decided on Panda's SSR plan with the following purchased from uxcell:

a11052300ux0061 85L1 AC 0-250V Rectangle Analog Volt Panel Meter Gauge 1
a11062400ux0101 Solid State Relay SSR Voltage Resistance Regulator 40A 24-380V AC + Heat Sink 1
a11121400ux0233 Replacement 6mm Shaft Dia 470K Ohm 2W Pots Potentiometer w Knob 1

I would like to put a fan as part of this circuit. I found the following for 10bucks.
Dimensions: 80mm x 80mm x 25mm
Fan Speed: 2300-2700rpm
Air Flow: 24 CFM
Noise Level: 33 dBA
Bearing Type: sleeve Bearing
Rated Voltage: 220V AC
Power Consumption: 11 W
Power Connector: 2PIN

This appears to be an easy thing to do since it is a 220V fan. Would you folks recommend this? Is there a better/easier way? If this makes sense, where would you place it within Panda's schematic? Is there any other component that should be included to do this properly?

Thanks
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby MuleKicker » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:29 pm

I have built alot of PSR based controllers. I have a 4x4 aluminum heat sink with about 1.25" fins, open to the air. I have never used a fan on it, and havent needed to. I think it is overkill, unless you are going with a tiny heat sink stuffed up in a box with no air movement.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby WIski » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:17 pm

PSR module and SSR Module are being used and confused within some of the element controller threads. Is there a difference?????
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby sambedded » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:33 pm

I believe that voltmeter will be pretty much useless . To get proper reading you need voltmeter marked as"True RMS"
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby Pyewacket » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:39 pm

Thanks Mule, I was going to mount it inside an old computer Power supply case, but I will just use an electric box...cut a hole and stick the fins outside of the box...er something to that effect. Sounds like I was making more difficult than it had to be.

Sambedded, heck you are probably right...I know very little about such things. I was just hoping for some basic way of knowing what sort of output I was pumping through the element. Just a visual cue so that I can get a basic setting of the dial...not a true measurement of voltage...
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby sambedded » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:08 pm

Let say you set full power - and voltmeter shows 220v. Everything is correct. Then you start decreasing power, turn you knob 10 degree, 20.. 30.. What the f.. It still shows you 220V ! You can probably think - my controller doesn't work, but no. This voltmeter will show you constantly 220 V on 100%-50% of power interval. And only when your heating element starts getting less than 50% of power - voltmeter reading start declining.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby rad14701 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:47 am

sambedded wrote:Let say you set full power - and voltmeter shows 220v. Everything is correct. Then you start decreasing power, turn you knob 10 degree, 20.. 30.. What the f.. It still shows you 220V ! You can probably think - my controller doesn't work, but no. This voltmeter will show you constantly 220 V on 100%-50% of power interval. And only when your heating element starts getting less than 50% of power - voltmeter reading start declining.

On every power controller I've ever built the voltmeter gives an accurate reading over the entire power range... Not sure where you got your information from but it surely doesn't match my real world findings... If you really want an accurate voltage reading you can connect it to the two power terminals on the element itself, but across anywhere in the output circuit should provide the same readings...
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby sambedded » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:03 am

rad14701 wrote:On every power controller I've ever built the voltmeter gives an accurate reading over the entire power range... Not sure where you got your information from but it surely doesn't match my real world findings... If you really want an accurate voltage reading you can connect it to the two power terminals on the element itself, but across anywhere in the output circuit should provide the same readings...


Sorry I din't provide enough details. little bit of theory. There are 3 basic methods of AC voltage measurement - Amplitude, Average and RMS (ROOT MEAN SQUARED).
Most of analog voltmeters uses Amplitude or average method. In case of sinus wave thee is linear dependency between all 3 values. Vrms=0.707Vamp, Vavrg = 0.637Vamp
If we talking about power the only Vrms gives us correct value to calculate it (P=Vrms*Vrms)/R). So all voltmeters (doesn't matter which method is used) calibrated to RMS for sinus wave. So all 3 types of voltmeters will show you accurate value.
But in case phase-angle controller we don't have a sinus wave. Scenario I described applicable for amplitude voltmeters. Most analog voltmeters either measured amplitude or average. If you are measuring average - it will behave differently. It will show you voltage change immediately as you start rotating your knob, but value will be inaccurate.

Today I created dangerous experimental setup (don't try it at your home :) ) to demonstrate a difference.
I connected 2 voltmeters to the load powered by phase angle controller. One voltmeter is chip one and measure average voltage, another one is True RMS.

On firs picture I set full power - sinus wave is un- cutted and both voltmeter shows almost the same voltage.
On second picture I significantly decrease a power and you can see a difference!

DSC00133_s.JPG
Pic 1
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Reason: Embedded images inline for proper ordering...
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby rad14701 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:58 am

So, the moral of the story is don't use a cheap multimeter, which I never have... Thanks for documenting the quirk, sambedded... :thumbup:
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby Pyewacket » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:56 am

Thanks Rad and Samedded. I will use the cheapo above analog voltmeter for now...I will look for a better solution in the near future. If nothing else, it will tell me that the element is getting power. I am glad I know what I might expect. As you suggest Samedded, I am just the type of person to think everything is broken, that I did something horribly wrong, when I don't get the reading I expect. This probably saved me hours of pointless troubleshooting.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby Resasi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:18 am

Like many no electrician. My friend who is doing this with me had a mate who was going to help us with the controller. He didn't/can't but told my friend to just get the BFM240-13 which as a unit would do the job we wanted. http://www.sutronics.com/acatalog/detail_bfm240_13.html which he has now ordered.

I see from previous posts that this is a burst fire controller rather than a phase angle and normally used with a hotplate, we have a 3KVA heating element which will be mounted in the keg,

Can this still be used to control the element? If so do we have to obtain any other items or can this simply be wired up from the mains then to the heating element and controlled simply by rotation of the knob? If so how does one know how much power is going to the element?

I understand it does have to be mounted onto a heat sink.

Be grateful for some pointer. Thanks.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Postby sambedded » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:14 am

Resasi wrote:
I see from previous posts that this is a burst fire controller rather than a phase angle and normally used with a hotplate, we have a 3KVA heating element which will be mounted in the keg,

Can this still be used to control the element? .


Spec says it use 1 sec interval. So I believe it's OK for our purpose.
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