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Old 11-18-2010, 07:32 AM   #1
StumpyJohnson
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Default Selector switch to use one pic for two seperate element/probes

Ok, so I'm looking to convert my brewery to electric and I will probably have a myriad of questions but here's the first.

I'd like to use one temp controller to operate two different elements. By having the elements and the probes on selector switches, can this be acheived?


Essentially, I'd like to use the single pid to control temp on the hlt during strike/mash. Then flick a few switches and use the same pid to control temp on the bk...

Possible?

Anyone done it and have opinions?

Anyone done it and have wiring diagrams?

Anyone done it and have a burning sensation?

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Old 11-18-2010, 02:24 PM   #2
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The easiest way to do it would be to have 2 temp probes, and 2 elements. Just plug in the ones you want to use at any given time.

Otherwise, all you need is a 3-pole switch for the RTD (Or 2 for thermocouple) and I would double the SSRs for the elements, and switch the control wires form the PID to one element or the other, on the low voltage side. It's a hell of a lot easier than trying to find a 30 amp switch...

Basically, you set it up for 2 elements. Each one has 2 SSRs. So your mains connect parallel on the input side of the SSRs, and the outputs of the SSRs go to your elements. Then the trigger wires from the PID go to a 2-pole switch that selects which set of SSRs it triggers. If you can find a 5-pole switch (Or build one, it's easy to stack contact blocks on industrial switches) you can switch the RTD and the PID trigger with one switch.

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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 11-18-2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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So just build and wire the box for one unit and unplug the 220 plug and the plug from the probe eh? I was hoping for something a little more elegant...

But I guess it keeps the build price down.

I did see some posts about having two relays with heatsinks and switching there...but it did get a bit muddled...

I need to find a post with minimal minutia...

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Old 11-18-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
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It's really about how far you want to go. With a 5-pole switch, you can do it with one switch. If you want the easiest to wire, it's unplug one, and plug in the other.
And there are about a dozen ways in between to make it work.

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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 11-22-2010, 05:53 AM   #5
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The only issue is putting a switch between two thermocouples and the PID renders them both useless. They use a precise metal composition to read temp and introducing the different materials in the switch will throw them off. I am assuming this will be for a HLT and BK? If so I would only have a probe in the HLT and just run the BK in manual mode, temp isnt that crucial unless you want to monitor chilling anyway.

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Old 11-22-2010, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GC89 View Post
The only issue is putting a switch between two thermocouples and the PID renders them both useless. They use a precise metal composition to read temp and introducing the different materials in the switch will throw them off. I am assuming this will be for a HLT and BK? If so I would only have a probe in the HLT and just run the BK in manual mode, temp isnt that crucial unless you want to monitor chilling anyway.
OK, this is progress...

So if I run two elements and two ssr's, from one pid swiched at the ssr's what sort of switch might I use...?

Because yes, I'm really only concerned with the hlt temp. but I would like to use the pid to operate the two elements. Some sort of 3 position switch would be awesome...

Edit: I'd heard that the voltage involved meant that switching at the 220 end was hard on the wiring and that swithing at the relays was the better choice. I'm not much of an electrician. Carpentry is my gig. But I can follow a schematic...
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GC89 View Post
The only issue is putting a switch between two thermocouples and the PID renders them both useless. They use a precise metal composition to read temp and introducing the different materials in the switch will throw them off. I am assuming this will be for a HLT and BK? If so I would only have a probe in the HLT and just run the BK in manual mode, temp isnt that crucial unless you want to monitor chilling anyway.
Thermocouples, yes. But that can be compensated for with the temp offset in the PID, as the difference should be the same for both probes.

With RTD's it wouldn't be an issue.
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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 11-22-2010, 07:29 PM   #8
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Being very honest, you are going to need two RTD Probes and two SSR's so you may as well spring for $35 for a second PID. If you don't you will need a two section double pole, double throw switch. That's not going to be a cheap switch.

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Old 11-22-2010, 11:58 PM   #9
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I agree with SawDustGuy. In the original post there was no mention of doing this as cheap as possible, or limited space. If it is in the budget and you have the real estate to mount another PID, I really think you'd be better adding another PID.

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Old 11-23-2010, 03:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy View Post
Being very honest, you are going to need two RTD Probes and two SSR's so you may as well spring for $35 for a second PID. If you don't you will need a two section double pole, double throw switch. That's not going to be a cheap switch.
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Originally Posted by Ohio-Ed View Post
I agree with SawDustGuy. In the original post there was no mention of doing this as cheap as possible, or limited space. If it is in the budget and you have the real estate to mount another PID, I really think you'd be better adding another PID.
I disagree to some extent.

If the BK is being controlled just to regulate the strength of the boil (PID is in "manual mode"), then you don't need a temp probe in it at all.

If your element kill switches are placed between the SSR and the element, then you can use a single SSR and just make sure the right element is enabled.

Like Ed said, there was no mention of trying to keep costs to a minimum, but if that is one of the goals, single SSR, single PID, and single temp probe can work here.
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