Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

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Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:26 pm

Here are some pics of one of the steam generators I picked up off the curb:
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:29 pm

And some more:
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:58 pm

You will need to identify the heaters, as it is set up for 3 phase 208v. I'm sure that you can rewire for single phase 240v using 2 of the 3 elements (unless you have 40A available, then you can use all 3 elements). You will also need to identify which phase is used for house keeping power and be sure that it is energized. What does the control circuit look like?

edit:
power clarification.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:03 pm

Thanks, Redwood, here is a better photo of the ends of the elements. The 3 wires went to the lugs with the red nuts.
image.jpeg

I'll need to learn up a bit on the wiring for sure before trying this thing out.
Looking at this end, would each of the wires have powered 4 elements?

Looking online I believe the element is something like this:
steamist element.jpg
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:14 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:You will need to identify the heaters, as it is set up for 3 phase 208v. I'm sure that you can rewire for single phase 240v using 2 of the 3 elements (unless you have 40A available, then you can use all 3 elements). You will also need to identify which phase is used for house keeping power and be sure that it is energized. What does the control circuit look like?

edit:
power clarification.

I read your comment more slower and I think I might be getting it. The 3 sets of elements are running on the 3 phases across them.
To rig up for single phase 220v I would end up with 2 supply wires and I'd need to re-wire some of the jumpers. Assuming I have the 40A to run it.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby shadylane » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:20 pm

I've been head scratching, trying to figure out the wiring on the elements, Kinda hard to do sober :lol:
Looks like 6 heaters. Wired in a delta configuration. With each phase having 2 elements in parallel.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:40 pm

shadylane wrote:I've been head scratching, trying to figure out the wiring on the elements, Kinda hard to do sober :lol:
Looks like 6 heaters. Wired in a delta configuration. With each phase having 2 elements in parallel.


Now that I have pictures, I agree. Looks like a delta config with 2 elements in parallel per phase. There are a few ways to reconfigure this to a single phase 240v system. It all depends on how much power is available. Most people only have 30A available, which at 80% gives 24A continuous. This says that on a 30A circuit you could run 2 of the 3 phases in parallel. Maybe 5.5KW would be enough, but if more power is available, but 8KW - 9KW would be better.

BTW, I have noticed that the common heater elements are NTC, i.e as they get hotter, their resistance goes lower thus increasing power. My 5.5KW elements start pulling 5600W and as the temp increases they pull 6000W.
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and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby shadylane » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:43 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:You will also need to identify which phase is used for house keeping power and be sure that it is energized

Look at the wires on the line side of the contactor.
There's two red wires going to the circuit board.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:53 pm

shadylane wrote:
RedwoodHillBilly wrote:You will also need to identify which phase is used for house keeping power and be sure that it is energized

Look at the wires on the line side of the contactor.
There's two red wires going to the circuit board.
posting with RHB


Good catch, I missed that.
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The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:58 pm

Thanks for the advice, guys!
I took the jumpers off and this is what it looks like, 6 elements, 3 power lines:
image.jpeg
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:03 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:
shadylane wrote:
RedwoodHillBilly wrote:You will also need to identify which phase is used for house keeping power and be sure that it is energized

Look at the wires on the line side of the contactor.
There's two red wires going to the circuit board.
posting with RHB


Good catch, I missed that.

Yep, the red wires go to the circuit board. There are also two black wires with the reds that go down to power the tank pre-heater, through a thermostat switch.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:09 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote: It all depends on how much power is available. Most people only have 30A available, which at 80% gives 24A continuous.

So I would need 40A to run one of these units, 80A to run both at the same time? Maybe overkill? Too much of a good thing? :wtf: :oops:
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby shadylane » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:10 pm

6 heaters 208v drawing 12kw
So each heater draws 2kw on 208
We need someone to figure how much power each heater will dissipate and the current draw on 240v :lol:
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:10 pm

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
RedwoodHillBilly wrote:
shadylane wrote:
RedwoodHillBilly wrote:You will also need to identify which phase is used for house keeping power and be sure that it is energized

Look at the wires on the line side of the contactor.
There's two red wires going to the circuit board.
posting with RHB


Good catch, I missed that.

Yep, the red wires go to the circuit board. There are also two black wires with the reds that go down to power the tank pre-heater, through a thermostat switch.


Pre-heater? What gives you that impression? Not trying to start a pissing match, but I don't see anything that implies a pre-heater.
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The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby shadylane » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:12 pm

MichiganCornhusker wrote:There are also two black wires with the reds that go down to power the tank pre-heater, through a thermostat switch.

Preheater? I missed that
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:14 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:Pre-heater? What gives you that impression?

I went online and got the installation guide for the unit.
There is a pre-heater to keep the tank water at a high temp all the time so that steam can be created within one minute.
Here is a pic of the thermostat switch and the surface mounted heater band:
image.jpeg

Sorry, I thought I posted an explanation of what I think I'm seeing on this thing.
It has a 2-prong water level sensor, the tank pre-heater, a drain pipe, a safety blow off pipe, and a main steam supply pipe.
There is also a switched water supply valve, and the circuit board.

I don't have a controller for it. Not sure if I will need to buy one or if I can figure out a way to "hot-wire" it.
I think I can find controllers on eBay, but they look pricey.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby shadylane » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:19 pm

I see the temp snap switch
Looks like the band heater has rotted away
I was wondering what the hell that was :lol:
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:21 pm

OK, having the manual helps.

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
RedwoodHillBilly wrote: It all depends on how much power is available. Most people only have 30A available, which at 80% gives 24A continuous.

So I would need 40A to run one of these units, 80A to run both at the same time? Maybe overkill? Too much of a good thing? :wtf: :oops:


You don't have to have 40A, this would only be needed if you want to run all 3 phases. You can de-rate it to 30A by running 2 of the 3 phases. Bottom line, if you want more power out, you need more power in. D'oh
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and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:23 pm

shadylane wrote:I see the temp snap switch
Looks like the band heater has rotted away
I was wondering what the hell that was :lol:

Yeah, this is the rusty unit, the other one seems to be in good shape.

The tank is stainless and doesn't seem to be damaged by the rusted heating belt.
I don't think I will need to mess with the belt because I'm not going to be too concerned if it takes a couple more minutes to come up to steam temp.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:26 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:You don't have to have 40A, this would only be needed if you want to run all 3 phases. You can de-rate it to 30A by running 2 of the 3 phases. Bottom line, if you want more power out, you need more power in. D'oh

I'm not sure I will have access to 3-phase.
How should I think about hooking up the elements if I need to run single phase 220v? Or maybe this is something that only really works well with 3-Phase? I don't mind dimming the lights...
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:28 pm

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
RedwoodHillBilly wrote:You don't have to have 40A, this would only be needed if you want to run all 3 phases. You can de-rate it to 30A by running 2 of the 3 phases. Bottom line, if you want more power out, you need more power in. D'oh

I'm not sure I will have access to 3-phase.
How should I think about hooking up the elements if I need to run single phase 220v?


Use 2 elements in parallel for a 30A circuit, 3 elements in parallel for a 40A circuit.
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The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:32 pm

Awesome guys, thank you for the info! I feel like I just got a masters class in steam generators in 2 hrs! :D
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:39 pm

Btw, I owe many thanks to copperlover1 for posting his thread on this whole steam generator idea, without him I would have never know what I was looking at on the curb.
viewtopic.php?f=92&t=66569
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby shadylane » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:41 pm

Wiring the heaters is the easy part
Now you got to figure out the water inlet
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viewtopic.php?f=92&t=66569
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby ShineRunner » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:56 pm

shadylane wrote:Wiring the heaters is the easy part
Now you got to figure out the water inlet
posting with mch
viewtopic.php?f=92&t=66569



Instead of trying to figure out how to time the circuit for filling the tank, perhaps an analog sensor would work? I'm thinking of a toilet bowl filler type rig. Now sure how it would fit into your tank, but there are surely several types that could work for a constant flow of inlet water as opposed to the "cycling" that copper lover was seeing?

Just a thought.

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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:59 pm

I like that idea, ShineRunner, maybe something like a carburetor needle & seat valve?
The idea that it would be mechanical, and analog, gradual, rather that on/off, seems well suited for this.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby yakattack » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:27 am

Mch here is a setup that's been around for a while. I'm building one myself actually. You can incorporate the same system design adapted for those awesome steam generators.

And you don't need to run above atmosphere pressure.

https://www.stilldragon.org/uploads/Fil ... 7f001f.jpg

Basically add a secondary tank with 2 float sensors and a soliniod valve. This will help smooth out the steam generation. Still a good idea to add a check valve just before where the steam head connects..still will want a safety vent and a purge valve and a psi gauge which will tell you right away if there is a problem.



Just one potential solution for you to consider.

Yak
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby Swedish Pride » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:09 am

yeah that is the neatest setup I've seen for steam.
the lad using it is running a micro distillery and uses the steamer for both mashing and in a continuous stripper so if built right it's very versatile.

you'll need a new shed with all the gear you're accumulating yak
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:50 am

I like that idea yak, kinda like a toilet tank reservoir next to the steam machine.
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Re: Dual Steam Generators for Mashing

Postby yakattack » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:14 am

Ya, just make sure if you do it that there is a bit of distance between the two tanks. Otherwise in an extended run your stillers well will end up boiling and ffecting the float and soliniod valves. Atleast thats what those smarter than me have stated from experience.
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