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Old 11-29-2010, 08:03 AM   #1
TheFlyingBeer
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Default Electric ball valve actuators

So I have found a cheap source (in China ) for the 3/4" 3pc sanitary ball valves I would like to make part of my new eHerms setup. I am looking to automate much of the process but am having trouble finding suitable actuators.

The valves I am looking at: H3SC 3-pc sanitary. I was quoted each at $32 which is amazing...

They have an ISO 5211 pad but I can't find any cheap electric actuators. I know several other brewers use some KLD valves which look like the perfect actuator for me, but they will only mount to their own valves(?) as far as I know.

I have looked high and low and considered using zone valves for radiant water heating systems but I would have to kludge some kind of mount to the valve.

Any help?

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Old 12-03-2010, 02:03 AM   #2
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Anyone had success making their own actuators or adapting another product to work for brewing?

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Primaries: Air
Secondaries: Lakefront India Brown Ale

On Tap 1: Rootbeer, On Tap 2: NB White ouse Honey Ale, On Tap 3: Nitrogen, On Tap 4: Air, On Tap 5: Air
On Deck: DIPA, Imp Stout, Porter, Wheat, Black IPA

"No sense having empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " - Me
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:20 AM   #3
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Since no one seams to be replying I'll throw my 2 cents in.

If you'd like to buy, here are some ball valves for about 50 bucks a pop (probably most cost and time effective)

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Originally Posted by TheFlyingBeer View Post
Anyone had success making their own actuators or adapting another product to work for brewing?
If your interested in making one I'd suggest first figuring out the torque needed to turning the handle, which you can seen how to do here. Then figure out how to turn it: servo, bipolar step motor, what have you. While it would be an awesome DIY and could be cool if you had a unique valve (such as a butterfly valve) I personally would use the the pre-made ones. But if your up for some work I see no reason why it couldn't work.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by boomernintysix View Post
Since no one seams to be replying I'll throw my 2 cents in.

If you'd like to buy, here are some ball valves for about 50 bucks a pop (probably most cost and time effective)
Thanks for some input. I have had a close eye on the valves you posted made from a Chinese group called KLD. The actuators on those seems like a perfect fit, I just wish they had a ISO mounting pad to them. Might order 1 anyways to see what I can make from it, if I fail at least I have 1 actuated valve.

I had previously reviewed the torques for several valves and was thinking down the path of using a 12v windshield wiper motor to actuate them. As you stated though, building my own would not be nearly as time effective!
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On Tap 1: Rootbeer, On Tap 2: NB White ouse Honey Ale, On Tap 3: Nitrogen, On Tap 4: Air, On Tap 5: Air
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"No sense having empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " - Me
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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im a hvac specialist (controls) and i use valve actuators all the time. When i get my brew stand fully built im defiently going to be taking parts off my truck. We use control valves from semiens, honeywell, TAC, belimo, KMC...Heres something you could be interested in. Theres a bunch of possibilities for this. So many different types of valves can use 0-10 vdc, 24vac, or 120 vac. Since i have the software to use all of these i can use a floating point meaning i can control the posistion and stop it where i want. In your case i would use a 2 way (on/off) valve. You can use 120 volt or if you dont want to have that kind of voltage at your kettle, use a 120 to 24 volt transformer. If you know how to wire these are really simple. Power to a standard swith then to actuator. Hell you could use a light switch from your house if you wanted to....see if these helps.

Cheap 120vac control actuator.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/HON...TD4?Pid=search

24volt

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/HON...TD3?Pid=search

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Old 12-03-2010, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbypatty View Post
im a hvac specialist (controls) and i use valve actuators all the time. When i get my brew stand fully built im defiently going to be taking parts off my truck. We use control valves from semiens, honeywell, TAC, belimo, KMC...Heres something you could be interested in. Theres a bunch of possibilities for this. So many different types of valves can use 0-10 vdc, 24vac, or 120 vac. Since i have the software to use all of these i can use a floating point meaning i can control the posistion and stop it where i want. In your case i would use a 2 way (on/off) valve. You can use 120 volt or if you dont want to have that kind of voltage at your kettle, use a 120 to 24 volt transformer. If you know how to wire these are really simple. Power to a standard swith then to actuator. Hell you could use a light switch from your house if you wanted to....see if these helps.

Cheap 120vac control actuator.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/HON...TD4?Pid=search

24volt

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/HON...TD3?Pid=search

Interesting. What software achieves the “floating point” and what hardware is used to interface with the valve? It provides some PWM i'm guessing.

I am in the process of finding parts to build an automated brew setup, and was considering these valves posted earler. But, I was wondering how to get the valve to maintain an in-between position. The info on the website is very vague. It says 12V on red = open, 12V on yellow = close. What about half-open? Maybe (open %) = (V Yellow / V Red)?? Or, (open %) = (PWM duty cycle yellow)??? Does anyone have any experience with these valves?
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skroged View Post
Interesting. What software achieves the “floating point” and what hardware is used to interface with the valve? It provides some PWM i'm guessing.

I am in the process of finding parts to build an automated brew setup, and was considering these valves posted earler. But, I was wondering how to get the valve to maintain an in-between position. The info on the website is very vague. It says 12V on red = open, 12V on yellow = close. What about half-open? Maybe (open %) = (V Yellow / V Red)?? Or, (open %) = (PWM duty cycle yellow)??? Does anyone have any experience with these valves?
The valve you are refering to is just a on/off, there are many types of actuators you can use. il explain......

we are a schneider rep. so we use their software which is called andover continuum. The software talks to our BCX(brains) through ethernet. We then hook up controllers with a standard 18 gauge 3 comm wire. Our controllers have many outputs and inputs. We can set or outputs to use on/off, tristate(open, close, off), or floating point(0-100%). For anybody to do this would be very expensive and not worth your time if you are not in the business. I have the software and easy to give out because you dont have to license it, but BCX's are a couple hundred and you can get a low end controller for 100 bucks.




For you to do it without or software and controllers it is very easy for you to set up a floating point. You would need a 120 volt to 24 volt transformer. From the 24 volts to a AC volt to DC volt converter, then from the converter hook up a potentiometer(dimmer switch), and from that to the valve. Most valves we use are 0 to 10 volts DC. So in your case thats why you would use the potentiometer to control how many dc volts you are sending to the valve..So if you crank the dimmer switch to half way (5 volts) your valve will listen to the signal and stop half way. It sounds crazy but very simple.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:04 PM   #8
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heres my box i use all the time

you can see on the right is my dimmer switch



heres the insides. on the right is the 120 to 24 volt transformer, then from that on the left is my 24v to dc converter. from the converter you can see the wires go to the dimmer switch, then from the dimmer switch to my terminal block on the top picture labled signal.

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Old 12-03-2010, 08:36 PM   #9
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Yes, it sounds very simple. But you are saying the cheap-o valves that I mentioned will not work in this fashion, and I should get the Honeywell ones from Grainger. Are they able to mount on any ball valve, or only the "VC" valves that they mention in the listing? (...whatever "VC" means) I'm thinking, buy standard ball valves to get my system working, then buy actuators when I can afford it. (Actuator + valve + electronics > $100 and my plan requires 6!)

Also wondering if I could modify the cheap valves with a rotary encoder/pot to make it adjustable.

Thanks a lot for your help!

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Old 12-03-2010, 09:40 PM   #10
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That's a lot of expense and complication to get proportional valves. I use the KLD ones for simple ON/OFF of the flow and I have manual ball valves at the top of each kettle that I use to adjust the return flow rate (which does not need to be adjusted much during the brew session).

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