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Old 01-11-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
jrubins
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Default Any interest in starting new open source automated brewing project...for propane?

Hi all,
I'm wondering if anyone else would be interested in contributing to an open source automated brewing system that uses propane for heat. I'm interested in doing something similar to the HABS (halfluck automated brewing system), however I want to use propane as my heat source. I also want to do *real* PID control on an Arduino (most electric and even gas systems are just PI control).
Using an adjustable regulator with a servo to control the regulator should get me close. I've been experimenting a bit with different materials, and I'm thinking of hacking a servo and using something like this to replace the motor http://www.ebay.com/itm/261146607144...84.m1438.l2649 and a 10 turn pot to replace the pot.

Any thoughts? Anyone interested in contributing?

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:54 AM   #2
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One factor to consider is that the PID model assumes a certain linearity of response that it is going to be difficult to get from twiddling the regulator. Better to cycle the gas on for x seconds, off for (10-x) seconds, using a solenoid valve. My $0.02.

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Old 01-15-2013, 04:20 PM   #3
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This sounds interesting. What kind of gas valve are you planning on using? How are you going to link the gearbox to the valve?

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alien View Post
One factor to consider is that the PID model assumes a certain linearity of response that it is going to be difficult to get from twiddling the regulator. Better to cycle the gas on for x seconds, off for (10-x) seconds, using a solenoid valve. My $0.02.
It seems like the control of a valve is more linear than an on/off switch.
Without the 'in-between' settings that an adjustable valve can offer, PID control is really only proportional and integral, but not derivative (or so I'm told by much smarter engineering types).

Solenoid gas valves are also quite a bit pricier than adjustable propane regulators. though by the time I'm done messing about, it may not be any cheaper
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In bottles: Last Day IPA, AAPL American Pale Ale
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The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything? 42. The number of bottles in my first batch of homebrew? 42. Coincidence? I think not.

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tob77 View Post
This sounds interesting. What kind of gas valve are you planning on using? How are you going to link the gearbox to the valve?
The gas valve I'm using is my adjustable regulator on my turkey fryer (at least for version 0.0)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA0FU0DY4544


My idea is to attache the motor to the regulator knob by making a custom fitting out of shape lock
http://shapelock.com/

This may involve removing or not the actual plastic knob.

I would just use a high-torque servo (boy would that make my life easier!), but the regulator is 4 turns lock-to-lock, and no servo I know of goes that far around, so I have to hack my own.

Here's my inspirations:
HABS
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,8598.0.html
http://www.halfluck.com/source/

Frankengriddle
http://www.weirdstuffwemake.com/weir...engriddle.html


One-ton linear servo
http://makeprojects.com/Project/One-...1#.UPWhoqFxe_C

Steam-punk record player
http://www.asciimation.co.nz/bb/2010...-record-player
This may seem out-of-place, but it's basically a servo control with hall effect sensors to control a servo motor to open a valve.
replace hall effect tach signal with temperature, change the servo, and bobs your uncle
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:00 PM   #6
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I have a Bayou Classic control valve similar to this one:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bayou-Classi...item2c6a2cb2db
I’ll have to play around with it, but I think that I don’t normally rotate it more than 360 deg. Therefore a 360 deg servo might do the trick as long as torque is not an issue.

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:01 PM   #7
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This can already be done with a standing pilot gas valve (or the like). Like Alien mentioned, temp control is much easier with on/off systems instead of pressure control out of the regulator. The temp can be monitored any way you would like (PID, PI, RaspPi, Arduino) and the call for heat actuates the valve for either a preset duration or until temp is reached.

If you are running multiple burners, you will need 1 servo-operated regulator per burner to get different temperatures, if you control the heat that way. Otherwise, a set regulator on the tank side that supplies constant gas and controlled by an automated valve is far easier.

To me, this just sounds like unnecessary programming in a programming heavy operation. That said, I am interested in what you discover.

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:11 PM   #8
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The main advantage that I see is that you can turn up the gas while heating to temp, and dial it back for the boil. This way you can reach temp a quick as possible without cycling the gas during the boil.

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tob77 View Post
I have a Bayou Classic control valve similar to this one:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bayou-Classi...item2c6a2cb2db
I’ll have to play around with it, but I think that I don’t normally rotate it more than 360 deg. Therefore a 360 deg servo might do the trick as long as torque is not an issue.
The Bayou classic needle valves are probably better quality and more 'reproducible' because they can be added on to existing systems (I believe). Unfortunately, I think they require more torque to turn. Could the valve knob be removed and replaced with a gear, perhaps?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoHox View Post
This can already be done with a standing pilot gas valve (or the like). Like Alien mentioned, temp control is much easier with on/off systems instead of pressure control out of the regulator. The temp can be monitored any way you would like (PID, PI, RaspPi, Arduino) and the call for heat actuates the valve for either a preset duration or until temp is reached.

If you are running multiple burners, you will need 1 servo-operated regulator per burner to get different temperatures, if you control the heat that way. Otherwise, a set regulator on the tank side that supplies constant gas and controlled by an automated valve is far easier.

To me, this just sounds like unnecessary programming in a programming heavy operation. That said, I am interested in what you discover.
ColoHox, the reason for using PID + Gas control is to be able to hold a specific temperature without the sinusoidal over/under swings that happen with a 'thermostatic' control. On/off is *much* easier, no doubt. But the idea is that I can put in exactly as much energy as I lose to hold a stable temperature over a long period of time.

The advantage of that is (eventually) direct-heating my MLT, HLT, and Kettle.

I *could* go electric, if on/off was a possibility PWM control is easy-peasy with electricity, and that gets *pretty* close, but that requires additional infrastructure that I don't have, and decreases the mobility of my system (since I rent).
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In bottles: Last Day IPA, AAPL American Pale Ale
On deck: Some sort of porter type thing

The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything? 42. The number of bottles in my first batch of homebrew? 42. Coincidence? I think not.

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrubins View Post
ColoHox, the reason for using PID + Gas control is to be able to hold a specific temperature without the sinusoidal over/under swings that happen with a 'thermostatic' control. On/off is *much* easier, no doubt. But the idea is that I can put in exactly as much energy as I lose to hold a stable temperature over a long period of time.

The advantage of that is (eventually) direct-heating my MLT, HLT, and Kettle.

I *could* go electric, if on/off was a possibility PWM control is easy-peasy with electricity, and that gets *pretty* close, but that requires additional infrastructure that I don't have, and decreases the mobility of my system (since I rent).
I have a propane direct fired RIMS system and do not have any issues with over/under temp adjustments in any of my keggles. With recirculation and automated valves I can maintain a mash temp for 90min +/- 0.5 degree. Your system would be advantageous during the boil. My burner fires for about 40 min out of the 60 min boil, so a lower, steady heat would be nicer I think.
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