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Old 02-18-2011, 01:43 PM   #1
brewhokie
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Default Wiring a RIMS for both 220 and 120v?

I'd really like to build an electric setup, and love the flexibility of of using an RIMS tube. However I'd prefer not needing three elements (one in HTL, one in RIMS tube, One in boil kettle). I'm worried about scorching the wort during recirculation using a 4500 watt element at full power.

My question is could you wire the element in the RIMS tube to run at 240 volt to heat your strike water and sparge water (recirculating through your HTL), and then switch it to 120 volt for mash recirculation?

This system seems like it would be much more efficient than a HERMS, which is why I'm interested.

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Old 02-18-2011, 01:48 PM   #2
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It is doable, but we some more information about your system. What are you using to control this? If the BCS or Brewtroller, then you can just use 240VAC all the time and limit the output via the controller.

Another alternative would be to add a manual switch to switch the second leg of the element between neutral and the second hot leg of the 240VAC circuit. However, this will require some interesting work to have your PID settings work correctly.

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Old 02-18-2011, 03:36 PM   #3
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I was planning on going a manual system with PID's. Like you said, I was thinking about putting a mechanical relay between the second hot leg and the RIMS element relay. I could switch the RIMS element relay on and have 120 volt from the first hot leg go the element, but until the upstream relay is switched on the second hot leg will not run to the element.

Maybe this is my noobness when it comes to PID's but how would this changing the output mess with the PID settings. Would it have trouble with the autotune?

I hadn't thought about using a computer based system, but that might be easier. Would you have the same PID challenges as you would with the manual system?

And as my never ending list of questions continues, have people used 4500 watt elements in an RIMS tube at 240 volt? Did you have problems with scorching or boiling your mash water?

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Old 02-18-2011, 03:47 PM   #4
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Whoa... before you do any of this I highly recommend at the very least having htis board help you with a wiring schematic. What would be better would be to find someone to help you design and put this together.

That said, the PID constants depend upon the input and output of the system. The power supplied to the element will drastically change the response of the system. Therefore, you will need to have two sets of PID constants figured out for each state.

The easier route would be to use the BCS or brewtroller (I believe) and control the duty cycle to limit the power supplied to the element. Do some searching around here and you will find some more details, there were a few good threads about it I believe spearheaded by Brewmoor.

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Old 02-18-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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Sorry bonehead mistake...Heating element wouldn't work very well on an open circuit. This is what I get for dreaming of an e-brew rig while trying to do work.

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Old 02-18-2011, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewhokie View Post
Sorry bonehead mistake...Heating element wouldn't work very well on an open circuit. This is what I get for dreaming of an e-brew rig while trying to do work.
You would need to switch one side of your element from one of the 120 legs to neutral. That would move it from 240V to 120V. That would work fine.

Unfortunately, SSRs I've used are SPST. Mechanical relays are usually SPDT, which what you want. This would work fine if you're not switching a lot.

BTW, you might have trouble with 4500W in the RIMS. Might boil on you.

The other posts are right, though, you really just need a controller to PWM the power through an SSR to get the average power you're looking for.
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