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Old 06-25-2010, 05:21 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Please publicly point out whatever misinformation is in here for the betterment of the community and to correct anyone who might be doing something unsafe in their own system.
Fair enough.

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Originally Posted by mattmauriello View Post
...
now, looking at the drawing, that is set up to get 2 seperate 240V lines fed to the control box, so you can run both elements at teh same time, but notice the breakers are 20 amps. you need 30 amps for your 5500W elements. do you actually have 2 separate lines available?
...
Only one line is run from the main panel. 240V 4 wire (120V A phase, 120V B phase, Neutral and Ground) The line and outlet must be rated for the ampericity of the breaker in the main panel. The diagram first shown is for 2 - 4500W elements using a 50 amp GFCI breaker in the main panel. This in not suitable for 5500W elements.

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Originally Posted by AiredAle View Post
...
since your 4500 W elements will draw 19 to 20.5 amps at 240 v 0r 220 v depending on your house voltage.
...
A 4500W 240V element will draw 18.75 amps at 240V. The resistance of the element does not change so - at 220 volts it will only provide 4125 watts of power or draw about 17.19 amps.

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... you should consider fuses on the hot line feeding each of your 120 v devices, they are cheaper than replacing a component that you have let the smoke out of.
Thank you for that. The latest diagram shows fuses (1A) in the PID power lines.

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Originally Posted by Tiber_Brew View Post
Indeed, I did start with that diagram, but modified it quite a bit, including relocating the S1 and S2. No longer require the heavy duty switches.
This is not a good idea. You really need to have switches to kill power to the elements. This is a serious safety issue.

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Originally Posted by SweetSounds View Post
...
Lose the home type of breakers. They have to be installed in a special panel, and are not really available in smaller amperages.

Install a DIN rail in your enclosure, and use DIN mount breakers like these:
The wiring doesn't change, but it'll be safer just because they mount securely, and the connections are behind plastic to keep your fingers out.
...
Excellent suggestion. I show standard breakers for illustration purposes. (I snatch images from the web to illustrate the concept)

Ok.. That's some of it (BTW most have been corrected and/or mentioned in the thread)

A new drawing that might help:


(Click the image for a larger picture)

Switches 1 & 2 are rated for 30A 240V. I chose these particular switches (DPDT - Center Off) as they cost about the same as one rated the same in different versions. This way the same switch can be used in various configurations. It is relative small as well.



I hope this all helps and any changes that the OP would like to see, I'll try to accomodate.
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:15 PM   #22
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Just a thought...

When selecting parts for my system, I came across panel-mount circuit breakers that had nice illuminated rocker switches on them for ON/OFF. If you used those, that would combine the breaker and element kill switches into a single component.

I think I saw the panel mount rocker activated breakers at mouser.com.

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Old 06-25-2010, 07:18 PM   #23
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Wow, lots of good stuff posted here since I've last been on! I'll try to address some of the things best I can.

Let's see here...

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Originally Posted by P-J View Post
What do you need that is different. The diagram you posted was planned and drawn by me. I'd be more than willing to make any changes that you need for your setup.
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Originally Posted by P-J View Post
Ok.. Just finished reading the thread.
Tiber_Brew - we really need to talk. I want you to have it right and safe. There is a bit of mis-information posted in this thread.

Please tell me what your overall objective and design plan calls for. I can help.
Thanks for offering your help! Basically, what I want to do is heat the HLT and BK with 5500W elements. I want to control them with PIDs and double pole SSRs (kind of like using two SSRs per element). I want to be able to manually power off the elements with the PIDs still on. I also need to switch on/off two March 809 pumps on 120VAC. I'd like to use illuminated switches if possible for everything so I can get a visual clue from a distance if needed. The mashing will be done single infusion in a 10gal round cooler.

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Originally Posted by SweetSounds View Post
A couple other things I'd change (Or at least recommend)
Lose the home type of breakers. They have to be installed in a special panel, and are not really available in smaller amperages.

Install a DIN rail in your enclosure, and use DIN mount breakers like these:
The wiring doesn't change, but it'll be safer just because they mount securely, and the connections are behind plastic to keep your fingers out.

They will also enable you to put the appropriate breakers on your pumps. 15 amps is way too much for a 1.4 amp motor. Use 2 amp "D curve" single pole DIN breakers.
(Think of "B Curve" as fast blow for resistive loads like elements, and "D Curve" as slow blow for inductive loads like motors)
I was looking at panel mount breakers that screw into the front or side panel of my enclosure, but yours is a good idea too. I'll have to look into that. What's involved in putting in a DIN rail? Where do you get them? Thanks!

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The other thing I'd do is install an SSR on both legs of the elements (So a total of 4 SSRs). It's personal preference for me, and many here have used just one. But if you manage to touch the wire after a single SSR, even if it's off, you risk completing the circuit to the un-switched side. Ouch.
See above. I'm using double pole SSRs, so that's essentially like using two SSRs per element like you're suggesting. Both legs will be switched by one SSR, for both the BK and HLT. I agree that it's a good idea to not have a hot leg left closed to the element(s).

Quote:
Oh, And use terminal strips. Buss bars are not insulated in any way. They can short to you, or they can short to the enclosure. Neither is a good place to be. At least terminal strips are insulated from whatever you are mounting them to.
I've seen some bus bars that are insulated from the chassis (enclosure in my case). Would you still not recommend that? Why? Thanks.

I'll try to address more soon.

TB
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:25 PM   #24
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I just noticed this. I don't where you were going with the "5500/2=2750W" and then "2750W/120V" calculations above.

To figure amp draw, you just divide the power by the voltage.

5500W/240V = 22.9A

You accidentally arrived at the right answer because you first divided by 2 and then divided 120V, which is mathematically the same as dividing by 240V, but something is wrong with the thought process you were using there.
Here's my thinking:

Each leg is 120VAC, and each has its own breaker. And the element draws its 5500W from the sum of the two legs. So, one leg @ 120VAC supplies half the power to the element. (5500/2)/120=22.9 amps. I'm addressing each breaker, not the total system.

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From what I have read, SSR's can fail in the "ON" mode. If that happens, then the switches you put in to kill the SSR control signal from the PID won't accomplish anything and the lines going to the heater element will be live.

You are better off actually killing the 240V hot lines rather than the SSR control signal from the PID.

And... if you are really wanting to keep it as safe as possible, I personally wouldn't use a big DPST toggle switch to directly control the 240V lines. There will be a lot of current flowing through those switches . I thought about using big burly toggle switches like that in my system but then realized that there would be 23A flowing through that switch and I would be directly touching it... possibly with wet hands.

not only that, but my switches are on a hinged door. If I would have used big toggle switches capable of handling the 240V/23A, I would have had to run very heavy gauge wiring to that switch on the panel. Opening and closing the door would have been more difficult.

So... I opted to use a 2-pole contactor to pass the 240V through to the elements, and that thing (along with the large wires) is down in the belly of my control box. The contactor is triggered with a 120V signal (and draws only 0.5A). So, I have a 120V illuminated switch on the door with a small wire that feeds down into the contactor to enable it.
Can you tell me more about the contactors? How are they wired? How is the toggle wired? What voltage and current ratings are required for each? I like that thinking...the more separation between me and a deadly stream of electrons the better.

Quote:
The contactors take up a lot of space, but I really didn't want to touch a big 240V/23A toggle switch. (The contactor was the same price as the Big Switch, too.)
You've got my attention now!

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Old 06-25-2010, 07:40 PM   #25
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Here's my thinking:

Each leg is 120VAC, and each has its own breaker. And the element draws its 5500W from the sum of the two legs. So, one leg @ 120VAC supplies half the power to the element. (5500/2)/120=22.9 amps. I'm addressing each breaker, not the total system.
That's not how AC current works. BOTH legs will see the full load. If a 220v device pulls 20 amps, both legs will pull 20 amps.
BOTH legs of a 220v device are 220 volts! 220v AC is about the potential between conductors. You must understand this. There is no 110 volt wire in your 3 wire 220v element.
220v single phase has 4 conductors. 2 Hots, a neutral, and a ground.
Your element is wired to H1, H2 and ground. The potential between H1 and H2 is always 220v!
Nothing should ever be attached to ground, except for the ground for a device (The flange in your elements, in this case)
H1 and H2 = 220v
H1 and Neutral = 110v
H2 and Neutral = 110v
H1 or H2 to ground = big sparks at best - I don't have to tell you about worse...


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Originally Posted by Tiber_Brew View Post
Can you tell me more about the contactors? How are they wired? How is the toggle wired? What voltage and current ratings are required for each? I like that thinking...the more separation between me and a deadly stream of electrons the better.
Contactors are just really big relays. You use some low current signal to "pull" the contactor closed to connect a high current load.
In my rig, I'll be using 25 amp contactors to connect the 220v feed, to the input of the SSRs. This way, if the contactor isn't closed, there isn't any voltage, even to the SSRs.

Quote:
I was looking at panel mount breakers that screw into the front or side panel of my enclosure, but yours is a good idea too. I'll have to look into that. What's involved in putting in a DIN rail? Where do you get them? Thanks!
DIN rail just bolts to your enclosure, and rail mount devices (Like the breakers, contactors, SSRs, and any other thing you can think of) just snap on and "grab" the DIN rail.

Quote:
I've seen some bus bars that are insulated from the chassis (enclosure in my case). Would you still not recommend that? Why? Thanks.
I guess I've never seen them like that. When you say buss bar, I think grounding buss in a breaker panel. Strip of metal with holes and screws.
I'd use terminal strips like these, or these. (Appropriately sized for your current load, of course)
But, if you decide to install DIN rail and go that route, then you can use these!
They pretty much rawk. There's a reason these are what you find in every industrial automation cabinet. They are pretty much the standard when it comes to building things like this on a factory floor.


I recommend lots and lots of research, my friend. 220v @ 50a is enough to send you across the room if you get 1 wire wrong. Not trying to scare you away! This is the DIY forum after all. Lots of us here have done what you are doing. Several of the guys that have replied to your thread here are enjoying a beer brewed on their electric rig. But you gotta know, when you grab onto a wire, exactly what to expect when that wire touches another, or it will bite you in the ass. (Trust me )

In the end, I'm just another hack on an anonymous beer forum, and I'm not an electrician - So take my advice for what you paid for it
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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!

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Old 06-25-2010, 07:41 PM   #26
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Your thinking is not quite right on the amps with 240V. Current will flow from the 120V line that is high all the way down to the 120V line that is low. Yesn it's two poles in the breaker, but the current all flows through both of them.

As for two 5500W elements... 5500W is overkill for a HLT. You CAN use it, but if plan to run both 5500W elements at the same time, you're going to be sucking in 46A. You will probably have issues supplying all of that with a 50A circuit.

If you only want to run one element at a time, you'll be fine. But... 5500W for the HLT isn't really necessary.

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Old 06-25-2010, 07:53 PM   #27
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Your thinking is not quite right on the amps with 240V. Current will flow from the 120V line that is high all the way down to the 120V line that is low. Yesn it's two poles in the breaker, but the current all flows through both of them.
Oooo! (Think "Hercules! Hercules! clap)
Lets talk about phase!

Walker's right
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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:13 AM   #28
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Tiber_Brew,

I spent a little time tonight and reworked the drawing to reflect some of the things that you are dealing with. It now shows the PIDs that you are using:



(Click on the image to see a full scale picture)

Please let me know of any other changes that you would like to see.

EDIT: By the way - the large image is setup and formatted to print on a 11" X 17" sheet.

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Old 06-26-2010, 03:51 AM   #29
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Thanks for putting all this information out there, I've been studying other threads, Walker, Sweetsounds and a few others, but it's all starting to come together for me in this one. This diagram is dead on what I need minus the HLT since I'm going two vessel.

I have officially wasted a lot of time at work and home reading and re-reading this information, and will likely waste much more. If only my ingredients arrived today I wouldn't have to read about beer all weekend and I could have brewed some.

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Old 06-26-2010, 04:14 AM   #30
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That's not how AC current works. BOTH legs will see the full load. If a 220v device pulls 20 amps, both legs will pull 20 amps.
BOTH legs of a 220v device are 220 volts! 220v AC is about the potential between conductors. You must understand this. There is no 110 volt wire in your 3 wire 220v element.
220v single phase has 4 conductors. 2 Hots, a neutral, and a ground.
Your element is wired to H1, H2 and ground. The potential between H1 and H2 is always 220v!
Nothing should ever be attached to ground, except for the ground for a device (The flange in your elements, in this case)
H1 and H2 = 220v
H1 and Neutral = 110v
H2 and Neutral = 110v
H1 or H2 to ground = big sparks at best - I don't have to tell you about worse...
Makes total sense, even to this poor mechanical engineer who slept through circuits and electrical power & machinery courses. Thanks for pointing that out.

Quote:
Contactors are just really big relays. You use some low current signal to "pull" the contactor closed to connect a high current load.
In my rig, I'll be using 25 amp contactors to connect the 220v feed, to the input of the SSRs. This way, if the contactor isn't closed, there isn't any voltage, even to the SSRs.
I understand how they work. How do you wire one? Specifically in my case? I'm interested in using those, since that adds extra safety factor magnitude. Safe is good.


Quote:
DIN rail just bolts to your enclosure, and rail mount devices (Like the breakers, contactors, SSRs, and any other thing you can think of) just snap on and "grab" the DIN rail.
Intrigued. Might look into this as well. Thanks!


Quote:
I guess I've never seen them like that. When you say buss bar, I think grounding buss in a breaker panel. Strip of metal with holes and screws.
I'd use terminal strips like these, or these. (Appropriately sized for your current load, of course)
But, if you decide to install DIN rail and go that route, then you can use these!
They pretty much rawk. There's a reason these are what you find in every industrial automation cabinet. They are pretty much the standard when it comes to building things like this on a factory floor.
Sweeeeet. [rubs his hands together]


Quote:
I recommend lots and lots of research, my friend. 220v @ 50a is enough to send you across the room if you get 1 wire wrong. Not trying to scare you away! This is the DIY forum after all. Lots of us here have done what you are doing. Several of the guys that have replied to your thread here are enjoying a beer brewed on their electric rig. But you gotta know, when you grab onto a wire, exactly what to expect when that wire touches another, or it will bite you in the ass. (Trust me )
I've spent about 20 hours this week alone researching this stuff. That doesn't include the time I spent picking the brains of the electrical engineers at work. I'm learning more and more, and becoming more and more interested in this. I'm also getting more excited. I appreciate all the help I'm getting here at HBT!

Quote:
In the end, I'm just another hack on an anonymous beer forum, and I'm not an electrician - So take my advice for what you paid for it
Haha, you sound alright in my book
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1. Dubbel 2. Oatmeal Amber 3. Ger Pils 4. Pale Ale 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Pils 2. Pils 3. none 4. none 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Lambic 3. Lambic 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Oatmeal Amber Ale, Camp Beer, Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout
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