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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Controlling 2 240VAC elements
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default Controlling 2 240VAC elements

Right now I'm getting ready to wire up my control box, that will be controlled by a BCS460. I used to have it controlling two pumps and one 2000W 120VAC element in the HLT. but for ten gallon batches it was getting a bit slow to heat my strike/ recirculating / sparge water. I'm now going wire the HLT up with a 240VAC 5500W element.

as of right now I will still use propane to boil my wort, but in the near future I will like to have an all Electric set up. Like a lot of us I have been following Kal's Electric brewery design. My neighbor just finished his following Kal to the T...It's awesome.

But to the point. I plan on manually selecting the Kettle or the HLT element to avoid accidentally running both elements at the same time.

My question is, should I use 1 SSR to control one hot leg, and a mechanical relay for the other hot leg (Like Kal has) for each element. With a 3position switch controlling the two mechanical relays?

Or can I run two SSR's for each element with a switch between the 5vdc coming in from the BCS460 that controls the SSR's? Basically block the signal from the BSC to the element I want off.

I'm leaning to using the mechanical relays.

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Old 08-18-2011, 01:14 AM   #2
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My question is, should I use 1 SSR to control one hot leg, and a mechanical relay for the other hot leg (Like Kal has) for each element. With a 3position switch controlling the two mechanical relays?

Or can I run two SSR's for each element with a switch between the 5vdc coming in from the BCS460 that controls the SSR's? Basically block the signal from the BSC to the element I want off.

I'm leaning to using the mechanical relays.
Tagging for Kal's response, but the way I see it both accomplish the same thing, except the SSRs would be more expensive and generate more heat. And there is the safety aspect, if I recall SSRs never completely shut off, thus the element have potential to be charged at points you wouldn't expect it to.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:51 AM   #3
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FWIW, I'd always put a mechanical switch/contactor/relay on my element if I was able to. If an SSR fails it will likely fail open and that could be an issue.

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Old 08-18-2011, 01:53 AM   #4
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I used a three-way switch to select both the element being controlled AND the thermocouple being read by my one PID. I had the same requirement as you: I couldn't afford to have both elements on at the same time. Break-before-make switch is important.

I used dual SSRs to ensure both legs of the 240V element were open. I also have a mechanical switch to turn off all 240V output. This system has served me very well. After brewing on it for 2+ years, the only thing I'd change is to add some lights to see when stuff is on.

Here is a link to my schematic. Perhaps it only makes sense to me, as I've never gotten a question on it.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/240...l-pics-184296/

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Old 08-18-2011, 02:11 AM   #5
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Just to give you some ideas - take a look at this diagram I made a while ago. You can eliminate the circuits for the RIMS and it will fit your final setup.
(click on the image for a full scale diagram that is printable on Tabloid paper 11" x 17")



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Old 08-18-2011, 02:32 AM   #6
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Passdown- Thats a good Idea about switching the thermo coupler with the element. Luckily the BCS lets you assign the temp probe to the output.

P-J thanks for the schematic , I think I'll scan my wiring diagram I drew up to make you guys laugh.

I will most likely go with the SSR plus a relay.

Thanks for the input.

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Old 08-18-2011, 03:09 AM   #7
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I thought SSRs tended to fail closed. That is why you should have the contactor between the heating element and its power source.

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Old 08-18-2011, 10:14 AM   #8
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PJ's diagram is right on! It was drawn for me, it was easy to wire and works like a charm. I think its a great resource for the OP and if the OP needs any info on parts and such just PM me. PJ - I still owe you a build thread! I have tons of pics but working 3rd shift and a crazy 3 y/o have gotten the better of me.

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Old 08-18-2011, 04:21 PM   #9
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How important do you think the individual breakers are in the DIN rail? I have a 30A GFI cord that will power the whole system?

Right now, the only protection I have for the 120VAC components is a 7A fuse as shown on Kal's set up. I like the idea of individual breaker's though. I will have quite a few pumps on my set-up, so it might be nice to have them isolated on individual breakers. (mash-recirculating, HLT transfer, HLT-recirculating, and chill water recirculation).

PJ, have you looked into adding a touchscreen to the BCS control panel ? for right now I plan on using an old iPod touch through my wireless router I have it hooked up to. but eventually id like to have a stand alone touchscreen integrated in to it.

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Old 08-18-2011, 04:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
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PJ, have you looked into adding a touchscreen to the BCS control panel ? for right now I plan on using an old iPod touch through my wireless router I have it hooked up to. but eventually id like to have a stand alone touchscreen integrated in to it.
For a touchscreen you actually need a computer or something similar that can log in to the BCS Web Interface, I'd probably go with a small Windows XP Tablet/Notebook computer for that. You could set it next to your brewstand and plug it in to your control panel to charge, then if you wanted to head to another area of the house you could bring it with you to monitor your temps and such.

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_from=R4...All-Categories
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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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