Heating Element Control

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:40 pm

Budapest8485 wrote:Anyone see this thing for $25: https://alexnld.com/product/4000w-ac-22 ... hermostat/

The 220v heaters I see are 5500 watts...not sure if there's a way to make this work.
Likely the answer is no good. Even at 4kw 220v I suspect that the cables aren't going to last very long before they melt. The connectors are certainly not any standard I've seen for this V and A load.

4000w @ 220v is 18A.... and 5.5kw is going to be 25A. This means that all of the parts should be spec'd to at least 30A as they'll be in continuous use. 10awg wires/connectors are a heck of a lot thicker than that.

For reference here is a example build for the SSR based controller I mentioned in your other thread.
viewtopic.php?f=85&t=56390

Edit: it doesn't have to as complicated as shown. Here is a pic of the one I built. It was about an hours work to assemble.
download/file.php?id=57688&mode=view
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:27 pm

Expat wrote:
Budapest8485 wrote:Anyone see this thing for $25: https://alexnld.com/product/4000w-ac-22 ... hermostat/

The 220v heaters I see are 5500 watts...not sure if there's a way to make this work.
Likely the answer is no good. Even at 4kw 220v I suspect that the cables aren't going to last very long before they melt. The connectors are certainly not any standard I've seen for this V and A load.

4000w @ 220v is 18A.... and 5.5kw is going to be 25A. This means that all of the parts should be spec'd to at least 30A as they'll be in continuous use. 10awg wires/connectors are a heck of a lot thicker than that.

For reference here is a example build for the SSR based controller I mentioned in your other thread.
viewtopic.php?f=85&t=56390

Edit: it doesn't have to as complicated as shown. Here is a pic of the one I built. It was about an hours work to assemble.
download/file.php?id=57688&mode=view
Thanks for the links. My plan is to go off of my clothes dryer outlet...220. I'll follow your example and the hops and barley guy to get it done. It'll be fun and I like the auto-pilot aspect of it.
3 x 60 inch Bokabob, 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Yonder » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:39 pm

:esurprised:
Expat that is one pretty box. Are the schematics posted? I'm looking for a good, easy to build controller myself. It'll run off a 220-30a circuit, plenty of juice available dedicated.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:07 am

Yonder wrote:
:esurprised:
Expat that is one pretty box. Are the schematics posted? I'm looking for a good, easy to build controller myself. It'll run off a 220-30a circuit, plenty of juice available dedicated.
Thanks Yonder, yeah the controller topic is discussed at length in a few different threads which is where I got the design basics.

Grabbed this pic somewhere here, can't recall which thread in particular, but it pretty accurately describes the wiring design I used.
box.jpg
The biggest difference is that I included a neutral from source so the 12v supply (which powers my fan) runs black/white. I wanted the ability to run 120 just in case there were accessories in the future that need it.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:54 am

Expat wrote:
Yonder wrote:
:esurprised:
Expat that is one pretty box. Are the schematics posted? I'm looking for a good, easy to build controller myself. It'll run off a 220-30a circuit, plenty of juice available dedicated.
Thanks Yonder, yeah the controller topic is discussed at length in a few different threads which is where I got the design basics.

Grabbed this pic somewhere here, can't recall which thread in particular, but it pretty accurately describes the wiring design I used.
box.jpg
The biggest difference is that I included a neutral from source so the 12v supply (which powers my fan) runs black/white. I wanted the ability to run 120 just in case there were accessories in the future that need it.
Trying to get this right. I'm under the impression I want heat control that doesn't cycle the power on and off; rather it turns down the power to keep the temperature where I set it.

PID: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0195 ... C4YQ&psc=1
Inkbird: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MC ... 8V04&psc=1

These together are going to give me on/off cycles, or power reduction to keep a static temperature? I'm sorry I ask some many questions...I'm good at mechanical stuff, but understanding electricity eludes me...
3 x 60 inch Bokabob, 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:52 am

You're in the right ballpark but that controller is a PID. It measures temp and adjusts input to the SSR controller. Probably one of the most important things to learn at this stage is that a still cannot be controlled by boiler temp. So to control the SSR you want a simple dial, rather than the electronic setup.

You still need the SSR but this one is designed for use with a PID and that won't work as I described.

Here is a pic of the SSR I use. You can find them on eBay as a package with everything you need.
rps20180919_094350.jpg
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:27 am

Expat wrote:You're in the right ballpark but that controller is a PID. It measures temp and adjusts input to the SSR controller. Probably one of the most important things to learn at this stage is that a still cannot be controlled by boiler temp. So to control the SSR you want a simple dial, rather than the electronic setup.

You still need the SSR but this one is designed for use with a PID and that won't work as I described.

Here is a pic of the SSR I use. You can find them on eBay as a package with everything you need.
rps20180919_094350.jpg
So you recommend cutting out the PID and instead using a SSR with a dial to control the temperature? I just monitor the temp near the top of column and use the dial to keep it where I want it... That appears to be what you have in the diagram. This will cut down my cost... I'll probably just get a 120v computer fan and skip the transformer.

The auto-pilot aspect of a PID is appealing, but I have no experience and can't say it works as easily as it sounds.
3 x 60 inch Bokabob, 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:36 am

Budapest8485 wrote:...Trying to get this right. I'm under the impression I want heat control that doesn't cycle the power on and off; rather it turns down the power to keep the temperature where I set it.

These together are going to give me on/off cycles, or power reduction to keep a static temperature?...I'm good at mechanical stuff, but understanding electricity eludes me...
Here...read this thread a few times and repeat after me, “I cannot control the temperature of the boil...”.
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=16635

Physics....it’s “the law of the land”.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:10 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Budapest8485 wrote:...Trying to get this right. I'm under the impression I want heat control that doesn't cycle the power on and off; rather it turns down the power to keep the temperature where I set it.

These together are going to give me on/off cycles, or power reduction to keep a static temperature?...I'm good at mechanical stuff, but understanding electricity eludes me...
Here...read this thread a few times and repeat after me, “I cannot control the temperature of the boil...”.
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=16635

Physics....it’s “the law of the land”.
ss
Thanks for the link. I'll read it on my lunch break. I thought the top of the still is what I'm trying to control...keeping it around 180 or so.
3 x 60 inch Bokabob, 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:25 am

Budapest8485 wrote:...I thought the top of the still is what I'm trying to control...keeping it around 180 or so.
You can monitor (and record) it, but you can’t control it. The temperature of the vapor will be the saturation temperature (temperature at which both vapor and liquid phases exist for a given static pressure) for the mixture of constituents in the vapor. It will be what it will be. Measure it...fine, but you cannot control it.

What you can do....is regulate the rate at which the wash boils, that is...the rate of vapor production. That is controlled by the heat input (kW, not temperature). You can somewhat measure it by measuring the current flowing through your electric element, since it is a known (measureable resistance).

Power (watts, or joules per second) is P = I x I x R = V x I. You can measure the element’s resistance with an ohmmeter and the current flowing with an ammeter. Then, calculate the power at any time with the above equation.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:43 am

A proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller measures the scaler temperature with a thermocouple and calaculate the difference between the measurement and a “set temperature”. As the temperature approaches the setting, the power is proportionally reduced so the target is attained (and stable) in the asymtote....it slowy approaches the set temperature and “holds” it there.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for distillation because as the power is reduced (as the temperature approaches the setting), the vapor production is also reduced, making it stop boiling. Only if, and when the temperature falls below the setting bandwidth will the current start flowing again. And even then, at a very slow, slow rate.

This is exactly how the thermostatic controls on a hotplate result in the cycling on and off of the heat to the stove top. It will cause a cycling: pulsing of the vapor production which will make and keep the still unstable.

PIDs would be perfect for controlling fermentation temperatures, especially if it had control of both the heating and cooling cycles.

And there is just a device many here use...the STC-1000 (https://www.amazon.com/STC-1000-All-Pur ... 2306&psc=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow). They work fantastic for maintaining a steady controlled environment.

Help?
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:33 am

still_stirrin wrote:A proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller measures the scaler temperature with a thermocouple and calaculate the difference between the measurement and a “set temperature”. As the temperature approaches the setting, the power is proportionally reduced so the target is attained (and stable) in the asymtote....it slowy approaches the set temperature and “holds” it there.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for distillation because as the power is reduced (as the temperature approaches the setting), the vapor production is also reduced, making it stop boiling. Only if, and when the temperature falls below the setting bandwidth will the current start flowing again. And even then, at a very slow, slow rate.

This is exactly how the thermostatic controls on a hotplate result in the cycling on and off of the heat to the stove top. It will cause a cycling: pulsing of the vapor production which will make and keep the still unstable.

PIDs would be perfect for controlling fermentation temperatures, especially if it had control of both the heating and cooling cycles.

And there is just a device many here use...the STC-1000 (https://www.amazon.com/STC-1000-All-Pur ... 2306&psc=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow). They work fantastic for maintaining a steady controlled environment.

Help?
ss
Yes, that helped. The link was very useful in understanding the concept I'm trying to achieve. I see the point of skipping the PID in favor of the dial to make fine adjustments based on the chemistry of the mix in the boiler. I wouldn't have come to the conclusion you have this is a better way to go than being able to use a computer to keep things where I need them to be. I thought I'd have to tweak the PID higher and higher as I go to keep the product coming off. This is like having a nob, but instead of turning on and off, I keep a steady heat input in the boiler. I'm starting to get it...

I guess this all works with the concept of the column and reflux. It's all going to boil at some temp under 212 and the column is where the separation is enhanced...water dropping out of the vapor and alcohol continuing to rise and eventually making its way to the condenser.

At this point with no experience I'm going to trust the advice I'm given and go the recommended route. I'd rather be doing things the best way possible right from the start than have to make changes down the road...and spend money I don't need to learning from my mistakes.

Thank you!
3 x 60 inch Bokabob, 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:54 am

Using my dryer outlet, 240. It's 4 prong - 2 hot, 1 neutral, 1 ground.

I see how to wire the heat controller with three wires coming in (2 hot, 1 ground), but when there's a neutral, what do I do with it? I've learned about two phase and how the hots alternate switching to neutrals. Do I just put a wire nut on the white and proceed with the two wire diagrams I see everywhere?
3 x 60 inch Bokabob, 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:42 am

You'd only need the neutral line if you were planning on having a 110v segment within your box. I have one which powers my cooling fan, it's up to how you design it.

If you're not using the neutral it should be ended with a marret or otherwise safely secured.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:37 am

Expat wrote:You'd only need the neutral line if you were planning on having a 110v segment within your box. I have one which powers my cooling fan, it's up to how you design it.

If you're not using the neutral it should be ended with a marret or otherwise safely secured.
Ahhh... With your post, I finally understand how all this works! The neutral comes into play with a single phase to complete the circuit back to the panel...but with two phase the alternating phases serve the purpose! Yay! :clap:

Thanks again Expat! I owe you a jug of shine!
Last edited by Budapest8485 on Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by NineInchNails » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:49 am

Budapest8485

The Auber DSPR220 acts like a PID Controller in one mode and a variable power controller in another mode. This is a brilliant little unit because it only requires one Solid State Relay to run.

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:55 am

NineInchNails wrote:Budapest8485

The Auber DSPR220 acts like a PID Controller in one mode and a variable power controller in another mode. This is a brilliant little unit because it only requires one Solid State Relay to run.
I bought this SSR: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-KYOTTO-AC- ... 2749.l2649

My intention was to wire up a switch, fan, receptacle, and maybe an amp meter... Do I need the controller you mention? I plan to just dial it up and down based on my temp reading near the product output.
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3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:16 am

No problem, glad I could help. :thumbup:
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:22 am

Budapest8485 wrote:
NineInchNails wrote:Budapest8485

The Auber DSPR220 acts like a PID Controller in one mode and a variable power controller in another mode. This is a brilliant little unit because it only requires one Solid State Relay to run.
I bought this SSR: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-KYOTTO-AC- ... 2749.l2649

My intention was to wire up a switch, fan, receptacle, and maybe an amp meter... Do I need the controller you mention? I plan to just dial it up and down based on my temp reading near the product output.
This is a useful little kit, I bought two when I built my controller so I'd have a spare if needed. The only thing you need to add is a heat sink for the SSR and a fan to cool it.

I also added an ammeter but it's not a requirement, only a nice to have.

Edit: I'll be swapping out my ammeter for a better one this weekend, I can take a few pics of the setup if that would be of interest.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:43 am

Expat wrote:
Budapest8485 wrote:
NineInchNails wrote:Budapest8485

The Auber DSPR220 acts like a PID Controller in one mode and a variable power controller in another mode. This is a brilliant little unit because it only requires one Solid State Relay to run.
I bought this SSR: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-KYOTTO-AC- ... 2749.l2649

My intention was to wire up a switch, fan, receptacle, and maybe an amp meter... Do I need the controller you mention? I plan to just dial it up and down based on my temp reading near the product output.
This is a useful little kit, I bought two when I built my controller so I'd have a spare if needed. The only thing you need to add is a heat sink for the SSR and a fan to cool it.

I also added an ammeter but it's not a requirement, only a nice to have.

Edit: I'll be swapping out my ammeter for a better one this weekend, I can take a few pics of the setup if that would be of interest.
Pictures are very good! I learn a lot from pictures.

I found this DIY instruction PDF in an earlier post on this thread. I like how simple it is. Mine will have four wires...one neutral coming into the box for the fan. I'll just wire it directly to the heating element on the output side and be done with it. I'll probably still add the switch for convenience verses having to unplug it to turn it off. I can add a plug and an amp meter later if I want to.
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3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:36 am

The wiring diagram for the SSR and pot is correct. Essentially the SSR sits on one leg (either red and black) going to the element, inline with it as they say.

If you do add an ammeter or such, it's recommended that they be before the SSR.

The box layout is entirely up to you. Personally I don't like the design. My heatsink is wider that the SSR so my design was to put the heatsink and fan on the outside of the box. Helps keeping the heat outside of an enclosed space. This also means I didn't have to drill lots of holes in the box, leaving it closer to close to water tight.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:47 am

Expat wrote:The wiring diagram for the SSR and pot is correct. Essentially the SSR sits on one leg (either red and black) going to the element, inline with it as they say.

If you do add an ammeter or such, it's recommended that they be before the SSR.

The box layout is entirely up to you. Personally I don't like the design. My heatsink is wider that the SSR so my design was to put the heatsink and fan on the outside of the box. Helps keeping the heat outside of an enclosed space. This also means I didn't have to drill lots of holes in the box, leaving it closer to close to water tight.
I find it interesting an ammeter can read amps through the wire insulation, surrounding it...

Interesting... So you cut a hole about the size of the SSR and attached the heat sink to it on the outside. That makes a lot of sense for keeping things cool inside and not having to vent the box itself. You mention watertight...must be you caulked up the SSR opening (and other openings) to seal things up.
3 x 60 inch Bokabob, 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:12 am

Actually, many ammeters have an internal shunt so you're effectively wiring them inline with the current. The wiring sheathing is essentially transparent to the magnetic field generated by the current in the conductor wire, so no issues there.

I say near watertight, because I didn't bother sealing the individual perferations in the box. That said asside from submerging in a bucket there is little chance of water getting in. Certainly wouldn't have any issues with a spray of water or perhaps an overflow of distillate on a work surface (never happens.... Right? Lol)

Much better than having a ton of vent holes anyway.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Budapest8485 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:20 pm

Two small fans in the control box I salvaged from failed DVR systems. Wondering if I should put both blowing on the heat sink or put one blowing in and one blow out... Probably doesn't matter. These little fans don't push much air, so I might figure out regardless I need to upgrade.
3 x 60 inch Bokabob, 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

3 inch pot still head, reduce 2, then to 48 inch 1/2 condenser. 8 gallon boiler, 4500w

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by fizzix » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:36 pm

Budapest8485 wrote:Two small fans in the control box I salvaged from failed DVR systems. Wondering if I should put both blowing on the heat sink or put one blowing in and one blow out... Probably doesn't matter. These little fans don't push much air, so I might figure out regardless I need to upgrade.
TIP: Many computers have no pass through fans, but all have a CPU sink fan. Blow onto the heat sink. :thumbup:

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Yummyrum » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:07 pm

Budapest8485 wrote: I find it interesting an ammeter can read amps through the wire insulation, surrounding it...
.
Yes , a traditional Ammeter is inserted in series with the curcuit ...IE , you have to cut the wire , strip off the insulation and connect each bare end to the ammeter terminals .

However these electronic type use a Transformer .
The conductor passes through the center of a round core that has several turns of wire on it . The current creates a magnetic field in the core which is detected by the secondary coil . This type only works on AC .
There is another type which detects the magnetic field using "Hall Sensors" which are semiconductor devises that are sensitive to magnetic fields . These will work on both AC and DC

The issue with these "electronic" current meters is that they need electricity to make them work . That is why it is recommended that the power to these things is supplied before the SSR otherwise at low power settings , they have been known to burn out due to the "chopped waveform" The current sense transformer can however be fitted after the SSR if desired as the current either before it or after it will be the same .

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by 6 Row Joe » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:18 pm

Yummyrum wrote:
Budapest8485 wrote: I find it interesting an ammeter can read amps through the wire insulation, surrounding it...
.
Yes , a traditional Ammeter is inserted in series with the curcuit ...IE , you have to cut the wire , strip off the insulation and connect each bare end to the ammeter terminals .

However these electronic type use a Transformer .
The conductor passes through the center of a round core that has several turns of wire on it . The current creates a magnetic field in the core which is detected by the secondary coil . This type only works on AC .
There is another type which detects the magnetic field using "Hall Sensors" which are semiconductor devises that are sensitive to magnetic fields . These will work on both AC and DC

The issue with these "electronic" current meters is that they need electricity to make them work . That is why it is recommended that the power to these things is supplied before the SSR otherwise at low power settings , they have been known to burn out due to the "chopped waveform" The current sense transformer can however be fitted after the SSR if desired as the current either before it or after it will be the same .
Absolutely, inductive pick up amp clamps aren't hard wired in series. Way too much power going through a sensitive meter.
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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by NineInchNails » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:45 pm

Budapest8485 wrote:
NineInchNails wrote:Budapest8485

The Auber DSPR220 acts like a PID Controller in one mode and a variable power controller in another mode. This is a brilliant little unit because it only requires one Solid State Relay to run.
I bought this SSR: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-KYOTTO-AC- ... 2749.l2649

My intention was to wire up a switch, fan, receptacle, and maybe an amp meter... Do I need the controller you mention? I plan to just dial it up and down based on my temp reading near the product output.
It appears you will be using a SSVR (Solid State Variable Relay) along with a potentiometer. That setup will allow for variable control of the heating element.

The unit I linked previously uses a single SSR (Solid State Relay), functions similar to a PID controller (precision thermostat) and also allows variable control of the heating element all in a single, compact little box.

It's a very cool little gizmo, a bit more expensive to build than a basic variable controller, but worth it in my opinion.

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by NineInchNails » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:52 pm

Expat wrote:
Budapest8485 wrote:
NineInchNails wrote:Budapest8485

The Auber DSPR220 acts like a PID Controller in one mode and a variable power controller in another mode. This is a brilliant little unit because it only requires one Solid State Relay to run.
I bought this SSR: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-KYOTTO-AC- ... 2749.l2649

My intention was to wire up a switch, fan, receptacle, and maybe an amp meter... Do I need the controller you mention? I plan to just dial it up and down based on my temp reading near the product output.
This is a useful little kit, I bought two when I built my controller so I'd have a spare if needed. The only thing you need to add is a heat sink for the SSR and a fan to cool it.

I also added an ammeter but it's not a requirement, only a nice to have.

Edit: I'll be swapping out my ammeter for a better one this weekend, I can take a few pics of the setup if that would be of interest.
You can use an ammeter with that Auber unit? I is my understanding that the Auber controller turns the SSR on and off rapidly. Wouldn't that cause the ammeter to flicker on and off with the current?

The reason I ask is because I built a controller that uses a PID with SSR as well as a SSVR with potentiometer. I wired it all up to a rotary switch so I could switch from PID - off - variable. When the controller was selected to PID, the volt/ammeter would turn on and off with the power to the heating element. It only ran steady with running the variable control. I then rewired the volt/ammeter to only function with variable.

I'm curious how you got your ammeter to run steady if the Auber cycles on and off. I'm very curious.

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Re: Heating Element Control

Post by Expat » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:20 pm

No, with the Kyotto SSR kit which Budapest mentioned.

PIDs have no value in this process, I can't really understand why you'd want to add the extra cost and complexity.
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