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Old 11-23-2012, 01:55 PM   #1
mosstradamus
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Default Control Panel: Too Much Power?

Has anyone used separate 240V and 120V power sources/circuits as inputs to a control panel?

In an effort to make the design for my new E-Herms as complicated as possible, I was thinking about using two separate power sources (separate cicuits) to provide the greatest amount of flexibility. I currently have 30A 240v outlet in my garage, in addition to my 120V (GFCI on both 120 & 240). My current set up is a 240v/4500w keggle with PWM control.

I would like to run a BCS, one pump and one of the 120v/2000w elements off of the dedicated 120 circuit, and use the the 240v side to run one of the 5500w elements and a pump(using one leg of the 240). The BCS would control both sides with everything in one control panel.

HLT : 120v/2000w and 240v/5500w elements
BK1: 240v/5500w element
BK2: 120v/2000w element

Being able to run 5500w and 2000w elements at the same time would allow me to:

Spend a lot of money on a capability I may not use
Heat the HLT quickly with 2 elements at the same time
Boil a 12 gal(240v) & 6 gal (120v)batch at the same time
Boil 12 gal with 240v while maintainig HERMS with 120v
Sous Vide somewhere other than my basement using 120v only

I have looked through a ton of P-J diagrams and haven’t found anyting similar to what I am considering. Has anyone seen this done anywhere? Is there a good reason I should abandon this plan and just do a standard design?

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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As long as you keep the circuits (lines/neutral) separated, I don't see why this wouldn't work. Just build two systems but house them in the same control panel?
I'm sure there are some Code concerns to deal with here, but I am not an electrician....

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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From a theoretical standpoint, I can't see why it wouldn't work, as long as you keep the systems separated as Ryan George said. Would it be easier to swap the 30A 240V to 50A? Can you confirm what wire size was installed? How far of a run is it? Or, have you already considered all of that and decided that going for the most complicated setup possible was your cup of tea?
-Kevin

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Old 11-23-2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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Ryan George...thanks, keeping "both sides" separate is definitely on at the very top of my list.

Kevin... It is a short 10 gauge run, about 6 feet from the breaker box. I am using the inline GFCI extension cord that is rated at 240v/30amp.

I am currently renting a house, and would prefer to work with what I have. Having lived in 11 different places in the last 22 years, it would be nice not to have to pop in new breaker and a new run every time, but it may be cheaper & easier than having a complicated control box.

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Old 11-23-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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If it's a rental, you have to weigh that. On the one hand, popping out the breaker and throwing in a 50a and running a section of 6ga wouldn't be too hard, but it would require you to modify the existing setup more than you may want to do. As far as moving and using your setup elsewhere - you have just as much chance of your next house having a 50a circuit as a 30a and a nearby 120, right? Or maybe not, if you've had experience with the 30a 240v plugs before.

An important question that wasn't asked - is your 30a outlet in the garage 3 prong or 4 prong?
-Kevin

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Old 11-23-2012, 07:19 PM   #6
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Kevin,
It is currently 4 wire to the outlet.

Switching to an entirely 240 based system by installing a new breaker and spa panel may be cheaper than the extra wire, connectors, SSRs and heating element of a "dual system". Running larger elements in all the vessels also changes my options on doing closely staggered large batches.

Here is a pic of what I have to start with....the 3 kegs on the right are cut upside down (sanke side down). The keg on the left is what I currently use with a PWM ammo box.

Once I settle on a the control box configuration, I can figure out which kegs, pots or coolers to use.


Chris

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Old 11-24-2012, 02:06 AM   #7
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Looks like you're quite well set up! Good luck with the decision there.

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Old 11-24-2012, 05:04 AM   #8
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I have 50A to my HLT, 30A to my BK and a 20A/120V for pumps etc... I have wired many non-brewing control panels with multiple power feeds. You won't have an issue as long as you keep everything separated as suggested.

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Old 11-29-2012, 03:02 PM   #9
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I am considering doing something similar so that I can run elements in my BK and HLT at the same.

I'd like to use my 120V 15a source to power my HLT and my 240V 30a source to power my BK.

Wouldn't there be an issue with grounding the box if I have 45a coming into it and the max AWG ground that I have is 10AWG (although there will also be a 14AWG there)

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Old 11-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chugmaster View Post
I am considering doing something similar so that I can run elements in my BK and HLT at the same.

I'd like to use my 120V 15a source to power my HLT and my 240V 30a source to power my BK.

Wouldn't there be an issue with grounding the box if I have 45a coming into it and the max AWG ground that I have is 10AWG (although there will also be a 14AWG there)
Wouldn't the 120V and 240V be completely separate in the panel, grounded separately, with 14AWG and 10AWG respectively?
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