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Old 08-05-2012, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Positioning valve actuator for liquid

I'm looking for a ball valve with a positioning actuator. The purpose is to control liquid pump volume output with a feedback loop, through an Arduino, from a flow meter.

So far, cheapest is a valve with a pneumatic actuator for over four hundred.

Any thoughts?

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:19 AM   #2
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Depending on the setup, you could use pressure sensors to determine how much liquid has left or entered a vessel. I realize it is not was you were asking, however another way to skin a cat or brew a beer I will be using them with my brewtroller in order to determine a vessel's volume and turn off valves when at desired volume.

What will they be used for, just trying to find a budget way.

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Old 08-06-2012, 05:58 AM   #3
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Sorry to be vague, the valve would be used to control the flow rate (gpm, cfs) out of pump. (My preference is to use a stepper motor on a pump, but that's expensive for the rates I would like to see.) I can think of a few possible applications:

1. When using a reverse chiller, to slow pump rate down through chiller to improve heat exchange, until outflow temperature of wort reaches desired point.

2. When recirculating, sparging, and draining mash tun, to prevent negative pressure under grain. And prevent a stuck mash.

3. To control how fast wort moves between tuns and fermenters.

4. To eliminate the need to stir the tun with a mechanical vane, just let the pumped water do it.

There may be some problems because the valve can create a Venturi effect on the fluid.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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Look at Belimo valves for electric actuated ball valves, around $200 new, much less from Ebay, only problem is Arduino will not output the 1-10V signal needed to control position.

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:38 PM   #5
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Thanks kladue, if I remember my electricity and electronics correctly, the analog 4-20mA signal out of Arduino must have a voltage side to it, possibly (from memory) 0-5V. It still might work, I'll check it out. Thanks.

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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I found this about converting 0-5V to 0-10V. Good starting point. http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/inde...owtopic=230743

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #7
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So with kladue's advice, I bought a Belimo actuator and valve. Decided to buy these features:

1. CCV ball valve because it has a linear profile;

2. Three-way action to give more flexibility; and

3. Floating-point actuator because it is cheaper.

Found it on eBay for 40 bucks, free shipping!

It arrives next week. It will be the first piece of automated equipment since I bought my Arduino.

:-D

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Old 08-07-2012, 01:23 AM   #8
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Now you can use 2 digital points and control it without much code difficulty, pulse up / down in response to flow. A suggestion is to write a "Home" sequence to preposition the valve for startup, all the way in one direction then back the other way 45 seconds to be centered as the actuator is a 90 second travel stop to stop.

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Old 08-10-2012, 05:35 AM   #9
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It's a little different approach but I have used a light dimmer switch to modulate my pump speeds for transfering (racking). Maybe a combination of valve position and pump speed?

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Old 08-13-2012, 11:40 PM   #10
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I got the Belimo today. I'm worried the orifice in the valve is too small. Its a 1/2" valve, the orifice is 3/8" x 1/8". I'm worried it will introduce air into the wort or water.

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