First, let me give you some background about my setup and background:
I currently have a seperate lagering fridge and a keg serving fridge (both smallish mini fridges, type unimportant).
I am designing a fridge controller. Yes, I know many exist, and I know there are many custom ones (most built on the Ardiuno platform) that people use.
This is the limited feature list (not all implemented) so far:
- Multiple temperature sensors and work based on average temperature
- Currently investigating measuring fridge cooling rates and determining fridge time constant in order to build a better control system then the normal "turn on, wait until cold enough, turn off, wait until warm, etc" that most fridges use. Will help save motor cycles if successful
- Controller will have the option to replace fridge temperature controller rather than just plugging the fridge into it (currently still investigating whether this is worth it)
Lagering Fridge Mode:
- Set lager temperature schedule via PC software
Serving Fridge Mode:
- Maintain set temperature (with some hysteresis to save cycles on the motor)
- Give amount remaining in keg (based on weight)
Now the question:
What user features do you wish your fridge controller had?
What do you wish it could measure?
What do you wish it could do?
Also, just so that your not thinking "Oh here comes some random guy who doesn't know what he is getting himself into":
I have a degree (three in fact) in this sort of thing, so the electronics and embedded system stuff is no problem.
For the beer expertise, I have only done a single lager, kegged 3 ale batches, bottles 6 others (all extract brews). Thats why I came here, to fill in missing knowledge, well before the PCBs are sent out (not cheap).
Also, if this is relatively successful, making one board is not much different in terms of cost then making a whole bunch, so I would be willing to sell them cheap and sell unsoldered kits cheaper.