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Old 12-16-2011, 12:43 AM   #1
mcgeebc
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Default Simple toolbox control panel for review

I've been buying parts and researching for over a year. I've finally made significant progress on my electric brewery.

I'm trying to keep it inexpensive and safe. It's modeled after the countertop brutus 20, but 240v 5500 watts for 5 gallon batches.

My goals are simple and accurate temperature control and to brew in the basement safely. That is why I chose the electric path.

I didnt see the need to add switches. Like I said, I'm trying to keep it inexpensive.

The panel will plug into a gfci protected spa panel nearby. The breaker will be powered off when the panel is not in use.

The wiring is almost done. Just need to connect the pigtail and solder the connection for the temp probe.





One thing I'm still trying to figure out is how I'm going to connect the element. I have had bad luck with weldless fittings, so I had a 1" coupling welded for the element. I haven't seen this approach used often. Any advice for the connection? I'll probably use the 2 gang outlet box approach opposed to potting the connection in a PVC cap.

Any other advice or concerns based on what I've stated or the attached pictures?

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Old 12-16-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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You need to get that heat sink outside the box. Take me word for it, it will get hot, especially during the boil. The heat might affect the temp measurement if you are using thermocouples (no prob for thermistors)

I'd highly recommend a cutoff switch for the 240VAC output. Cheap from Lowes. I'll get you a link in a minute.

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Old 12-16-2011, 12:50 AM   #3
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:54 AM   #4
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I had considered and attempted to mount the heat sink on the outside, but had some trouble. Notice the holes I attempts to drill on the heat sink. I figured I'd take it for a test run and measure the internal temps. Probably install a computer fan if I need to.

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Old 12-16-2011, 01:00 AM   #5
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What's the reasoning for the cut off switch? If I can unplug the control panel or shut off the breaker, doesn't that cover me?

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Old 12-16-2011, 01:07 AM   #6
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You'll need it. There are many, many times when you want to run water out of a container or something. Easy to flick the switch.

The heat sink should be outside. I mounted a couple of shelf brackets or something on mine (had to drill holes), them mounted the whole SSR / heatsink assembly the box. I'll find a pic...

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Old 12-16-2011, 01:08 AM   #7
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Like this:

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