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Old 04-20-2013, 03:32 PM   #11
jmark
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Another thing I'd worry about with those sensors is the accuracy. Looks like they have a +/- 10% accuracy rate which would be fairly troubling (1/2 a gallon off on 5 gallons of water would be pretty awful). In addition, your valves aren't going to close immediately (most take at least 3 seconds to close) which adds in even more room for error. The bubbler method that a lot of BT folks use would seem to be much more accurate, although you'd still have to account for the time that the valves close.

 
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:22 PM   #12
alien
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The flow meters are rated 40C although I can't really see why. The body is acetal and the seals are EPDM, both of which should be OK to 80C. Possibly they lose accuracy beyond 40C.

 
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:58 PM   #13
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Are those flow meters food safe/meant for food use? I didn't see anything listed about that on the product page or the specs. Not everone may care but it's something to keep in mind...

Kal

 
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:52 PM   #14
Stephonovich
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While I didn't see a specific application or warning, I don't see the harm. I only plan on using them on the HLT side. In addition, lots of brewers (myself included) use brass valves that are most definitely not designed for food use. A little lead never hurt anyone, right?
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:27 AM   #15
mattd2
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I'm guessing you are looking at the "black" flow meters not the "grey" ones - which are rated to 80C. I have been looking into this also (well not too much as other things have been taking over as late!).
My thoughts were firstly around using the flowmeter input to control an output pulse to the ball valve to open/closed to get the right flowrate, e.g. if the flow is to high start closing the valve in short pulses until the correct flow is achieved. I then started to look at controlling the motor with a VFD, but found that would be a pain for the type of motor we use and potentially you can get the same results from using PWM control of the pump (same control pilosophy as example above).
One other thing is I do agree that Kal's design is a good build, but it is good for what it is meant to be = a 3x PID hardwired control. What you want to do with the flow meters would likely be more advanced with an arduino that what is required to "clone" what Kal has done. I would not fully discount using the Arduino to control all of the brewery not just the flows.
Also the accuracy of the flow meters seem to be "out of the box" at 10%, but I have seen once they are calibrated they seem to be stable, although I think that was stable at a certain flow = you would need to calibrate them for a range of flows and then do a bit of post processing to get the corrected flow. Also the pulse per second are not linear with flowrate = post processing is again required if using various flowrates.

from the 1.5 - 25 LPM datasheet:
3.5 1.0 pps @ 1.5 Liter/min. (+/- 29% and 2.33 Pulse per Second @ 1 LPM)
26.1 3.0 pps @ 6.0 Liter/min. (+/- 11% and 4.35 PPS @ 1 LPM)
57.8 5.0 pps @ 15.0 Liter/min. (+/- 9% and 3.85 PPS @ 1 LPM)
76.2 7.0 pps @ 20.0 Liter/min. (+/- 9% and 3.81 PPS @ 1 LPM)

 
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:43 AM   #16
alien
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I agree. Just in general I don't see much advantage to measuring volume/flow automatically unless you have automated valves, and for that you need to go beyond Kal's system.

 
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:07 PM   #17
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Has anyone tried to measure the input water as it goes in to the MT? That's instead of just dumping from the HLT? I'm thinking about trying a Hall Effect Sensor and a tach/timer/counter like the Auber ASL-52. It looks like is can be calibrated to tick the counter for each flow increment and divide and multiply to set up some approximation of ounces or quarts or whatever. You could use it to add water in programmed amounts with a solenoid valve.

We are on an awful well and the potable water is Reverse Osmosis. It would be way more convenient to add water as you need it and keep a running total on a water meter than to fill 8 gallons or so into a vessel.

This idea may be over top control-freakish, or possibly not worth it due to accuracy issues with the hall sensor - but I thought I'd ask if anyone has tried before.

Mike

 
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:00 PM   #18
neumeon
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The issue with using that kind of a paddle wheel flow meter is that it will immediately clog with grain debris. Even very small particles will stop them dead. They can only be used in a system where particle sizes are below something like 10-50 microns. Your only option for measuring mash recirc flow rates is a non-mechanical flow technique, like mag meter, etc.

I use one of these to measure incoming (post-filtered) water for my HLT.

 
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:31 PM   #19
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The meter (M) would only be between the RO tank (HLT) and the tee that attaches to the RIMS loop. That line would be fresh water only. You could put a check valve in behind it to prevent the pump from pushing wort back into the RO tank, if the pressure dictated. Simple drawing:
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