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Ohio-Ed 12-23-2009 04:53 PM

Electric Question
 
I'm working on a new electric system and starting to gather parts.

The question is; what are your thoughts on having separate 120 and 240 feeds into the same panel?

I know I can do 4 wire 240 to get the required 120v, but the cord, connectors, breakers, etc gets expensive very quickly as the current goes up.
From what I have seen, it looks like 60amp plugs and receptacles are nearly $100 each and 4/4 cord runs about $8/ft.

I hate the idea of having 2 cords running to the rig.

I think I need around 60 amps total. I'd like to have the option to run three heating elements (5500, 5500, and 1500 watts). I'm thinking I could run the two 5500's on a 50amp 240v circuit, and the 1500, control panel and 2 pumps on a 20amp 120v circuit.

I am open to suggestions...

Thanks,
Ed

Edit:
Here is a link the the latest logical diagram:
http://www.mediafire.com/?ouy8eafm4515v2o

And the latest wiring diagram:
http://www.mediafire.com/?bfru5ngnsmz16qa

CodeRage 12-23-2009 06:53 PM

Plan on running all three elements at once? If you don't need both 5500's running at the same time then you can interlock them so when one is running the other is disabled.

That should get yah in a 50-40 amp 240v service. 6/4 is about half the cost of 4/4. Not sure what kind of system you got, that would help get an audit on the power requirements.

Ohio-Ed 12-23-2009 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CodeRage (Post 1760881)
Plan on running all three elements at once? If you don't need both 5500's running at the same time then you can interlock them so when one is running the other is disabled.

Well, I haven't thought it through all the way, but was thinking I'd like to have the option of running all three. I can't really think of a time when I would need all three, but I might want to have the 5500 in the HLT on and the 5500 in the BK getting/keeping the runnings around 180-90 while fly sparging. I have also questioned whether I need 5500 in the HLT or if 4500 would do the job?

Quote:

That should get yah in a 50-40 amp 240v service. 6/4 is about half the cost of 4/4. Not sure what kind of system you got, that would help get an audit on the power requirements.
I currently have two 5500 watt elements for the HLT & BK. I have built a 1500w, 120v RIMs heater. I have a 60amp GFCI SPA Disconnect Panel. I am in the process of converting kegs for the HLT & BK and I'm having couplings welded in for a HERMs coil. The elements in the HLT & BK are going to be removable so I can plug the holes and heat with propane if I choose. I also have 2 pumps. I guess, I'm going for ultimate flexibility and being able to run all three elements is a step in that direction.

Ed

Sparky 12-24-2009 12:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ohio-Ed (Post 1761301)
I have a 60amp GFCI SPA Disconnect Panel.
Ed

Is the spa in use/abandoned or is there a 60amp disconnect panel where you are going to brew? You are looking at least 52 amps, running all, provided they are 240V.

And, what is the distance from the panel or existing power source?

Ohio-Ed 12-24-2009 02:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sparky (Post 1761469)
Is the spa in use/abandoned or is there a 60amp disconnect panel where you are going to brew? You are looking at least 52 amps, running all, provided they are 240V.

And, what is the distance from the panel or existing power source?

The 1500 watt element is 120v.

Well, the spa disconnect is laying in my floor right now. I found it new, on clearance at home depot. I think it was about half the price of a gfci breaker for my breaker panel. It happens to have a Siemens GFCI breaker in it, and I have a Siemens panel in my garage. I think I have two choices... I could remove the gfci breaker from the disconnect and install it in my panel (I have to make sure it's compatible, but I think it is), OR, I was thinking about connecting the spa disconnect to a 50amp breaker in my breaker panel. So I end up with 50amp over-current protection and gfci protection.

If I put the 60amp in the breaker panel and try to run all three elements, then I think I'm forced to run 4/4 all the way to my control panel.

If I put a 50amp breaker in the breaker panel, I thought I could run 6/4.
But then to run all three elements, I'd need another source for the 1500 watt.

I feel like I have A.D.D., my mind is running in circles, trying to figure this out.

As for spacing...
I'd like to have a 240v receptacle on the wall to plug the rig into. The receptacle can be within 2-3' of the breaker panel. I'd like to be able to have the rig up to 10-15' from the receptacle. The rig has to be mobile. I don't plan to use this (at least not the 240v elements) anywhere else.

Wow... thats alot of typing, and I feel like there are 100 more details not even mentioned.

Thanks,
Ed

CodeRage 12-24-2009 03:25 AM

Well you could drop the 5500W to 4500W and you'll be right at 50. Not what I would recommend though.

You could configure the 5500W elements so that they can run on 110 or 240v. So if you just need one to maintain heat while the other one needs to be full tilt then that may work. a 5500W element on 110 will only use 1375W, dropping your load consumption.

Doing the math, 2 5500W elements is going to put you at 46Amps which is a little close for comfort for a 50 Amp load. put a 60 Amp breaker in there and add the 1500W 120v element puts you at 58 amps, way too close if you ask me, you'll be dealing with nuisance trips eventually.

I think you really need to do another power survey and see where you can cut back some.

GreenMonti 12-24-2009 03:29 AM

I think # 6 will get you 20' safely with 60 amps.

Ohio-Ed 12-24-2009 12:40 PM

GreenMonti - 6/4 SO Cord is rated for 45 amps (6/3 is 55).

CodeRage - I will think it out a bit more... One option I have is to run a 5500 in the HLT and during the sparge I could circulate the runnings through the 1500 watt RIMS heater to maintain the temp. To your point then I can interlock the 5500 watt elements. That puts me well in the range of the 50amp breaker.

I also have a 17', 10/4 cord I got from ebay with a built in 30amp gfci. If I interlock the elements it could be used if I went back to the idea of both a 120v and 240v cords to supply the rig.

Do you see any problems with a 50amp in the breaker panel feeding a 60amp gfci and running 6/4 between them and to my control panel?

Do you have a sample of a switch / relay combination that would handle the current and provide the interlock? I'd like to have a maintained on-off-on, to select the element or shut both off.

Also, I'm still pondering the control options. I have a PID now. But, I am considering a Brewtroller or BCS-460, so I may need a power supply. If it would help selecting switches and relays, the power supply could pull double duty to provide the interlock relay control voltage.

Too many questions at once? Sorry, told you I feel like I have a.d.d. about this right now.

Thanks for your help.

Ed

Budzu 12-24-2009 01:08 PM

I bought the exact same breaker from home depot, from a spa panel on clearance :) Great score eh?
Well one week ago I just used it while installing 100 amp service in my outbuilding/brewery in my backyard.
I put the 60 amp seimens gfi right into a 100 amp seimens breaker panel. From that breaker I ran 6/3 copper plus ground to a 60 amp outlet (by the way these aren't readily available, I had to do some searching and here's the one I found: This was 28 dollars when I bought it)
From the receptacle I'll be using 6/4 SO cord straight to my control panel's disconnect and breakers. It will provide plenty of power for 2 5500 watt elements plus a good bit of 120v stuff (nothing high amperage, just 2 pumps, bcs, and a couple contactors). You have a bit more potential draw, and it may be fine, but its a close gamble.
My thoughts on your setup would be: definitely take the breaker from the spa panel and throw it in your main. Think hard about a situation where you'd need all 3 elements on. If you really want to have that ability, I would say your best bet is to indeed add a 120v power source in addition to the 60 amp. Once you start going over 50 amp, things get REAL pricey.
Cheers and good luck!

tannnick 12-24-2009 10:04 PM

You don't need a 5500w 240 in the HLT, i had a 3800 and heated 14 gal in 45 min no problem. I also had a 4500w 240v in my BK b/c i dont have a pid or controller. for 10 gal batches, 4500w BK is perfect. And the MLT doesn't need an element. Just build a coil inside your HLT and pump the mash wort through it and raise the temp that way.


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