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Old 12-05-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default DC-Powered Panel

I have been contemplating my e-build for a while and I thought about the possibility of DC-powered panel. Basically, AC to the heaters, pumps, etc. will still be switched by SSR's, but everything else in the panel would be run off low voltage. Basically, the idea is to use an old PC power supply to switch line voltage to 12VDC and use the output to feed the PID's, control switches, indicator lights, alarms, etc.

1) Is there any difference in using a DC powered PID, e.g. Auber SYL-2363B (accuracy-wise, reliability, etc.)?

2) What are the con's of powering a e-brew panel with DC voltage?


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Old 12-05-2011, 08:47 PM   #2
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1) Is there any difference in using a DC powered PID, e.g. Auber SYL-2363B (accuracy-wise, reliability, etc.)?
No differences. Internally, the PID runs everything off 12VDC anyway. When you connect higher voltage than this, it drops it down. When you connect AC, it recitifies it and makes it DC.

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2) What are the con's of powering a e-brew panel with DC voltage?
I don't think there are any con's other the possible the availability of components like fuses, switches, contactors, etc.

But I don't think there are any pro's to doing this, more imporantly. If you are concerned about the risk of electric shock, then you just need to make sure you limit the current going to the controls on the front of the panel. The PIDs need less than 300 mA of current, so if you put a tiny fuse on the line that feeds power up to the face of your panel, you can control everything with low current devices.

DC is not any safer than AC when you get down to the basics of it. And it's not voltage that is important, but AMPS. You can kill yourself with a 12VDC car battery, because that thing has the capacity to send a LOT of amps through you.


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Old 12-05-2011, 09:57 PM   #3
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no differences. Internally, the pid runs everything off 12vdc anyway. When you connect higher voltage than this, it drops it down. When you connect ac, it recitifies it and makes it dc.



I don't think there are any con's other the possible the availability of components like fuses, switches, contactors, etc.

But i don't think there are any pro's to doing this, more imporantly. If you are concerned about the risk of electric shock, then you just need to make sure you limit the current going to the controls on the front of the panel. The pids need less than 300 ma of current, so if you put a tiny fuse on the line that feeds power up to the face of your panel, you can control everything with low current devices.

Dc is not any safer than ac when you get down to the basics of it. And it's not voltage that is important, but amps. You can kill yourself with a 12vdc car battery, because that thing has the capacity to send a lot of amps through you.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:23 AM   #4
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You can kill yourself with a 12VDC car battery, because that thing has the capacity to send a LOT of amps through you.
How would one go about that?
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:45 AM   #5
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How would one go about that?
Yeah... I guess you couldn't, could you? Human body is too resistive to let many amps through. I'll withdraw that statement.

But, sligtly irrelevant. My point was it's not an AC vs DC thing here. DC is just as dangerous as AC. It's abount current. 12V or 24V is safer than 120V or 240V. Either way, the tiny little fuses to protect components and limit current to the panel door is a good way to alleviate a lot of concerns.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:48 AM   #6
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I agree with Walker, I don't see any benefit. I don't think the DC parts would be any harder to find, such as switches, contactors .. etc. There are two drawbacks I can think of. 1) the room in your panel the PSU takes up and 2) Computer PSUs are flaky, and I don't know how they would do near moisture.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:23 AM   #7
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I was just thinking about this some more as I was digging around for an old wall wart to power some fans....

My initial thought was whether you could use as 12V wall wort for this. They are much smaller, less noisy, and more reliable than a PC power supply. So, I looked up the Auber PID power supply requirements to see if 12V was enough to run the PID.

It's not. And neither is 24V, so the PC power supply isn't going to cut it. The Auber PIDs require a minimum of 85V to operate according to the website.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Walker View Post
I was just thinking about this some more as I was digging around for an old wall wart to power some fans....

My initial thought was whether you could use as 12V wall wort for this. They are much smaller, less noisy, and more reliable than a PC power supply. So, I looked up the Auber PID power supply requirements to see if 12V was enough to run the PID.

It's not. And neither is 24V, so the PC power supply isn't going to cut it. The Auber PIDs require a minimum of 85V to operate according to the website.
The other downside I see is that at some point you would need to run a bunch of wires or some sort of control system (muxed or whatever) from the 24V control panel to a sub-panel or control box with all of the 120V and 240V stuff in it. It adds a lot of complexity to the system. I'd be curious to see your electrical diagrams if you do go this route though.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:48 PM   #9
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I was considering doing a 12v control system on the eBIAB I am starting, mostly because I am more familiar/comfortable w/ 12v DC systems. But, after looking around I decided the gains just weren't worth the extra steps required to make it happen. All of my switching circuits will be fused 120v circuits.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #10
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I was sort of "forced" to go a similar route. I got freebie 24v contactors and Watlow 24v PIDs. So I had to get a 24v power supply. It takes up a ton of room in the panel. It works great, but it's one more item that can fail later. If I had to buy from scratch, I would get all 120v control components and eliminate the ps.


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