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Old 06-21-2013, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default Ok to run my 240v brew rig on 208v?

Hi, I have been using my electric 5500w herms rig at home for a year now. It has been working flawlessly. My boss said I could brew at work but they have three phase power there. I guess when you split the power the outlet only gets 208 volts. I know my elements will have less power, but will it slow the pumps or have any other issues? Will the contactors with a 120v coil still latch with 104 volts? I kinda want to know if it will still function the same or will there be problems? Thanks

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Old 06-21-2013, 02:41 AM   #2
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With 3 phase power delivered in a Y configuration (208V) the power for 120 volt devices is 120V. Here is an illlustration.

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Old 06-21-2013, 02:51 AM   #3
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I don't think it will be a problem. It may draw slightly higher current, but it will still be less than 30 amps. Wish I could brew at work, that sounds like you'll be sharing a lot of brew.

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Old 06-21-2013, 03:32 AM   #4
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With 3 phase power delivered in a Y configuration (208V) the power for 120 volt devices is 120V. Here is an illlustration.

Thanks p-j. I built my panel with your diagram. 3 phase still confuses me. Your diagram looks like a flux capaitor. 120+120=240. I still don't understand where the 208 comes from. As long as it work I don't care.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:37 AM   #5
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Thanks p-j. I built my panel with your diagram. 3 phase still confuses me. Your diagram looks like a flux capaitor. 120+120=240. I still don't understand where the 208 comes from. As long as it work I don't care.
240V*sin(360/3)
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:46 AM   #6
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I don't use 3 phase very often, but I do work with 240V all the time at work. We have a 30 amp, 240V floor sanding machine. I can tell you that every house I work in is different. Voltage ranges from as low as 205V up to 245V and everything in between. My machinery always runs the same in any of those scenarios. I can only assume that your brewing equipment would react the same way. Just my 2 cents....

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Old 06-21-2013, 09:51 AM   #7
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I don't think it will be a problem. It may draw slightly higher current, but it will still be less than 30 amps.
No, the current draw will be less. The heating element is a purely resistive device. With a resistive circuit, the current draw will be directly proportional to the voltage, and the power consumption will be directly proportional to the square of the voltage. A 240V, 5500W element will output 5500 * (208^2 / 240^2) = 4131 watts with 208 volts input.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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No, the current draw will be less. The heating element is a purely resistive device. With a resistive circuit, the current draw will be directly proportional to the voltage, and the power consumption will be directly proportional to the square of the voltage. A 240V, 5500W element will output 5500 * (208^2 / 240^2) = 4131 watts with 208 volts input.
Yep, your right, when working with resistive loads compare it to a light bulb, lowering the voltage will result in a dimmer bulb, which means lower efficiency for the heater at 208. Too many years working with motors.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:00 PM   #9
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No, the current draw will be less. The heating element is a purely resistive device. With a resistive circuit, the current draw will be directly proportional to the voltage, and the power consumption will be directly proportional to the square of the voltage. A 240V, 5500W element will output 5500 * (208^2 / 240^2) = 4131 watts with 208 volts input.
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Yep, your right, when working with resistive loads compare it to a light bulb, lowering the voltage will result in a dimmer bulb, which means lower efficiency for the heater at 208. Too many years working with motors.
Thinking about the pumps though, I thought current draw for an inductive load goes up with decreased voltage? The pumps may run hotter but I wouldn't think a small decrease in voltage would be a big issue.
I'll wait to be corrected now
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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Thinking about the pumps though, I thought current draw for an inductive load goes up with decreased voltage? The pumps may run hotter but I wouldn't think a small decrease in voltage would be a big issue.
I'll wait to be corrected now

The pumps won't see a decreased voltage. They will still be on 120V. From any leg of the three phase service to neutral is 120V.
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