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Old 12-10-2010, 03:07 PM   #1
mcgeebc
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Default Simple PID Wiring

I'm planning on building a simple control panel with PID to control a Brutus 20 system. I've seen many complicated systems posted on here with switchs, e-stops, multiple SSRs and the like. I'm wondering what I'm really missing by having a PID control one SSR.

I understand that when an SSR fails, it fails in the open position, so by having only one I risk having full power go to my element. I'm okay with that. If it happens, I'll just shut off the breaker. Since I'll have the spa panel nearby, I don't see a need for an E-stop or other switches.

I also don't plan on having any breakers or fuses in the panel. The GFI breaker in my spa panel and main breaker should protect me and the lines.

What am I missing?

Here is a crude mock-up. I know that the temp probe and wiring from PID to SSR is 2-wires, I was just trying to simplify the drawing.

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Old 12-10-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mcgeebc View Post
I'm planning on building a simple control panel with PID to control a Brutus 20 system. I've seen many complicated systems posted on here with switchs, e-stops, multiple SSRs and the like. I'm wondering what I'm really missing by having a PID control one SSR.

I understand that when an SSR fails, it fails in the open position, so by having only one I risk having full power go to my element. I'm okay with that. If it happens, I'll just shut off the breaker. Since I'll have the spa panel nearby, I don't see a need for an E-stop or other switches.

I also don't plan on having any breakers or fuses in the panel. The GFI breaker in my spa panel and main breaker should protect me and the lines.

What am I missing?

Here is a crude mock-up. I know that the temp probe and wiring from PID to SSR is 2-wires, I was just trying to simplify the drawing.
Yours is certainly a minimalist system and there is nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you can quickly get to the circuit breaker to turn off the system should it tip over or something.

I think the reason many control panels are elaborate, including mine, is that I get as much fun out of planning and building the system as I do brewing. If brewing is the focus then much of the accoutrements are unnecessary. The brewer is standing next to the system watching it so chances that it will start a house fire are very remote. I think that the much debated failures of SSRs are myth and hearsay. So far not one brewer can report actually having an SSR fail on them, much less having any damage incurred. You have covered the basic safety measures in your system. If it starts smoking, turn it off.

Do you plan on using neutral for the heater element? I see you have wired it to the outlet on your panel, as well as Hot2. I suppose you can choose to wire the plug to Hot2 or Neutral and run the element at either high or low power.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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I totally understand why people build elaborate systems. I'd like to do the same eventually. I'm just taking baby steps. If I try to take on too much it will never get done.

As far as wiring hot2 or neutral to the element, I'm not really sure. I thought all four wires were needed. What's normally done?

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Old 12-10-2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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I totally understand why people build elaborate systems. I'd like to do the same eventually. I'm just taking baby steps. If I try to take on too much it will never get done.

As far as wiring hot2 or neutral to the element, I'm not really sure. I thought all four wires were needed. What's normally done?
Good plan.

Usually neutral is not wired to the element unless you want to run it at 120V. Two hots (one or both switched by an SSR) and ground is the typical configuration. That is three wires total.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:01 PM   #5
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One more thing I didn't consider. I need to get 120v power to the PID. If I take a hot line and neutral from the 240v line I have coming in, will that provide 120v to the PID? Or do I need to bring another 120v line into my control box?

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Old 12-10-2010, 09:06 PM   #6
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One more thing I didn't consider. I need to get 120v power to the PID. If I take a hot line and neutral from the 240v line I have coming in, will that provide 120v to the PID? Or do I need to bring another 120v line into my control box?
Yes, but if you buy an Auber PID, it will run on 240v or 120v.
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