Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

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Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby raketemensch » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:23 am

I've got a Groen steam kettle here that is intended for 3-phase. They list a kit for converting it to single phase, and it basically just has a "larger terminal block" to handle the increased single power source.

I can't seem to find the kit anywhere, and Groen's not been helpful about it.

Has anyone else converted one of these before? Is there a better DIY way to handle the larger terminal block?

The lid is with my welder right now, adding a 4" ferrule to it :]

I also need to work out how to seal the lid. I'm thinking that several laps of PTFE tape around the rim will do it.
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby shadylane » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:08 pm

What's the make and model of the steam kettle.
What's the voltage and watts of the heaters
What voltage are your wanting to run it on.
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby HDNB » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:16 pm

and does it have a mixing motor @3 phase?

(you want a mixer, get the welder to put another flange on the lid, at a bit of an angle to clear)
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby shadylane » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:29 pm

By chance, would it be 1 of these
Be for warned, the download was slow
http://www.unifiedbrands.net/media/1105 ... f_0711.pdf
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby rubelstrudel » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:41 pm

The dokument Shadylane linked to tells how to do a conversion on page 18. This should work for any 3 to 1 phase conversion. It is not really rocket science since all you do is patch all heaters in parallell.

threetoonephase.png
Thre phase to one phase


All you have to do is move X1 to L1, and X2 to L2. Then feed your 1 phase power through L1/L2.
You will need a much bigger breaker though, to run this full blast.
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby raketemensch » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:28 am

shadylane wrote:By chance, would it be 1 of these
Be for warned, the download was slow
http://www.unifiedbrands.net/media/1105 ... f_0711.pdf


It is indeed, good call.

rubelstrudel wrote:The dokument Shadylane linked to tells how to do a conversion on page 18. This should work for any 3 to 1 phase conversion. It is not really rocket science since all you do is patch all heaters in parallell.

threetoonephase.png


All you have to do is move X1 to L1, and X2 to L2. Then feed your 1 phase power through L1/L2.
You will need a much bigger breaker though, to run this full blast.


Any idea how big the breaker would need to be? That diagram is great, but it also mentions the kit (170960) that I've been unable to find...

Thanks to everyone for jumping in, this place is just incredible.
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby shadylane » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:06 am

raketemensch wrote:
Any idea how big the breaker would need to be? That diagram is great, but it also mentions the kit (170960) that I've been unable to find...

That info is on page 6 and depends on how big the kettle is
You can figure out how many gallons the steam kettle is by using the dimensions on page 5
The kit is nothing more than a larger terminal strip need because the unit pulls more current on single phase.
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby raketemensch » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:40 am

shadylane wrote:
raketemensch wrote:
Any idea how big the breaker would need to be? That diagram is great, but it also mentions the kit (170960) that I've been unable to find...

That info is on page 6 and depends on how big the kettle is
You can figure out how many gallons the steam kettle is by using the dimensions on page 5
The kit is nothing more than a larger terminal strip need because the unit pulls more current on single phase.


Are you running yours without the kit?
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby googe » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:22 am

Was looking into this on the weekend and found this dude, great video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UcDM3hm0XM
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby shadylane » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:06 pm

raketemensch wrote:
shadylane wrote:
raketemensch wrote:
Any idea how big the breaker would need to be? That diagram is great, but it also mentions the kit (170960) that I've been unable to find...

That info is on page 6 and depends on how big the kettle is
You can figure out how many gallons the steam kettle is by using the dimensions on page 5
The kit is nothing more than a larger terminal strip need because the unit pulls more current on single phase.


Are you running yours without the kit?

My steam kettle is manufactured by Shadylane's Junkpile
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby shadylane » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:24 pm

googe wrote:Was looking into this on the weekend and found this dude, great video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UcDM3hm0XM

Thanks for the link Googe
Anymore it's easier to buy a cheap VFD "variable frequency drive"
Having said that, I've got an old 3phase motor that's used as a rotary phase converter.
The motor starts on single phase with a pull rope, like a lawn mower :roll:
Once it's spinning, Ya close your eyes and flip the switch. :lol:
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby rubelstrudel » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:02 am

If you do not have any idea about what the effect of each heater is, then measure the resistance over a single heating element with a mulitmeter.

If the resistance is, say 10 Ohm, then you can calculate the effect by applying basic electricity laws:

U= R * I
and
P = U * I

=>
P = U^2 / R

So with 220V the heater will draw 22A and produce 4840W
With three of those in parallell you'd need a 66A breaker. Thats a BIG one.

Three phase is different. I'll let the guys who understand it work that out.
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Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby raketemensch » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:19 am

shadylane wrote:
raketemensch wrote:
Any idea how big the breaker would need to be? That diagram is great, but it also mentions the kit (170960) that I've been unable to find...

That info is on page 6 and depends on how big the kettle is
You can figure out how many gallons the steam kettle is by using the dimensions on page 5
The kit is nothing more than a larger terminal strip need because the unit pulls more current on single phase.


Meh, they want >$100 for the kit.

I guess I need to figure out how big it needs to be, and find a stand-alone one that can handle the power.

I’m getting the feeling this thing is going to brownout my neighborhood...

Oh, and HDNB, you’re totally right, I should’ve had a mixer port installed. Bleh.

[edit]101 amps! Yikes!
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby shadylane » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:36 am

Here's a cheaper terminal strip that might work https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Positions ... tion&psc=1

Also, If you don't need full power, it would be easy to not connect one or more of the heaters
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby raketemensch » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:56 am

shadylane wrote:Here's a cheaper terminal strip that might work https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Positions ... tion&psc=1

Also, If you don't need full power, it would be easy to not connect one or more of the heaters


Thanks, I managed to pick up something similar on eBay that can handle the load. I'm going to sort out disabling a couple of the elements today, and hopefully get it wired up.

The lid is done, and I can pick it up this week. That leaves picking up some distilled water to fill it with, and getting a new breaker to run it. It's on a sub-panel, so I'll have to do some math to figure out how many amps I even have available. A good chunk of the kitchen runs on that panel too, so....

Oh yeah, how did you seal your lid? I was thinking about picking up some PTFE tubing and slitting it, then running it around the rim as a gasket. With the flute on top it should be enough weight to seal it down, but I might add some extra time weight as well, since it doesn't clamp.
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby shadylane » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:49 am

My homemade rig uses a water seal on the lid.
It works good, but can't hold back more than 3" of WC pressure.
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby raketemensch » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:03 am

So shady, if you see this... a question.

I always thought that adding a stirrer to these kettles was kind of a convenience for mashing and maybe efficiency during a run, but it hit me the other day — is it a requirement to avoid scorching while distilling on the grain?
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Re: Anyone ever convert a 3-phase steam kettle to single?

Postby shadylane » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:58 am

I'm not sure if scorching would be much of a problem with a steam kettle.
Don't forget, stirring also cuts down on smearing :lol:
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