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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > SSR/Heatsink help
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
ninner73
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Default SSR/Heatsink help

Sorry if this has been answered, I built a RIMS tube (RIMS for Dummies) to only maintain mash temp. I have alot of eletrical knowledge (could wire a whole house), but guess what not so much about Heatsinks and SSR's. So here goes, hope I don't sound too stupid:
I'm controling a 1500 watt 120v heating element (should be 12-13 amps tops) with a PID, 40 amp SSR mounted inside a 12x12x8 plastic encloure (picute posted in my gallery). Now inside the box I cut 2 aluminum 1 square tubes and mounted them inside, then mounted the SSR right to the sqaure tubing. Is this going to be an issue?

I did not buy a heatsink because I had two "eletrical proffessionals, one of which is an eletrical engineer" look at the electrical drawlings and advise me that a heatsink would not be needed because the SSR is overkill and would not heatup. All wiring is right size, everything in the box is securly fastened, I have test run the unit with the aid of a eletric heater (5-10amps) and the SSR never got hot.

Am I going to be ok without the heatsink, ie do nothing and run a full on test run?

Should I atleast add a fan maybe?


Install a heatsink?


any other sugestions?


Thanks BIll

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Old 03-24-2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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I opted to go without the heat sinks on my setup. I did install a fan on one side and a grill on the other side. Without the fan the back of the PVC box got very warm. With the fan, no noticeable heat detected. I'm planning on buying another SSR, just to keep for a spare. They do seem to have a limited life-span. Ideally, going with both would probably be the best option.

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Old 03-25-2011, 01:31 PM   #3
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Last year I built a control box with 4 SSR's in it. They all had heat sinks, but I was concerned about the temperature rise. I found an inexpensive digital indoor/outdoor thermometer and placed the outdoor probe in the cabinet. On the trial run of my rig the temperature in the control box only went up by 3 deg F. I have since removed the thermometer and put it in the house for it's intended purpose.

You can monitor the temperature and then decide if you need ventilation of the box.

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Old 03-25-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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Your not worried about the ambient temperature in the control box, but the temperature of the SSR itself. It will get very hot without heatsinks, fans or both.

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Old 03-25-2011, 09:27 PM   #5
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You probably need a fan. The heat energy will accumulate, and the the temp will rise. You need to remove the heat energy from the box.

It's not a ton of power being dissipated, so it will take a while, but the box will probably get warm. Or maybe not so much. Give it a shot and add a fan later if it gets too hot.

Or, mount those bars outside the box somehow.

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Old 03-25-2011, 09:58 PM   #6
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With that small of an element, only being used to maintain temp and not to do any "heavy lifting" as far as heating is concerned, then I don't think you will have a problem with heat.

The element will only come on for a very brief period of time and then go off for a longer period of time.

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Old 03-26-2011, 03:01 AM   #7
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One benefit of a heatsink is they tend to "smooth out" the temperature spikes of the SSR when it is conducting. The heating/cooling cycles of the SSR are what eventually cause components to fail inside it. If you can make these cycles smoother your SSR will last longer. Just my $0.02.

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Old 03-26-2011, 10:04 PM   #8
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thanks for all the great advice, I realized i should stop being cheap and I ordered a heatsink+SSR from ebay. I believe heat wise I will be ok but reading and the post on here the heatsink will make the SSR last longer.

Again thanks for the posts

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