Help with Schematics for Herms electric BCS 460 2 element brewing system

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BrewskiBroski

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Hello all - I could use some help on this one. I am in the planning stages of going all electric. I am not an electrical engineer or a computer engineer. I work in finance, which means I am good with excel, which is not helpful unless trying to source all the necessary parts.

I do not know how to write code or read schematics. I have done a lot of research, but I still have not been able to find a schematic to fit what I want to do. The schematics that I have found, I definitely do not completely understand. Can anyone point me in the correct direction or maybe walk me through what a schematic would look like for the below setup.

Setup will be similar to Kal's electric brewery:
3 - 20 gal kettles
HLT and BK both have 5500W heating elements
HERMS system with the heat exchange coils in the HLT
2 march pumps
BCS 460 to maintain temps and on/off for pumps
At any given time, I need to run 1 element and 2 pumps (never running both elements at the same time)

What i'd like:
A panel with switches for manual/auto(BCS 460)/off for each element and both pumps as well as an e-switch

I have a very basic understanding of electricals, so please dumb it down.

Thanks in advance for any help and please ask if more data is required.
 

rp5brew

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Is the one element requirement due to current limitations?

I would start by writing up a basic sequence of operation; detail what you want to happen during each stage of the process, mash, sparge and boil. Identify any safety interlocks, like pump must run before heater energizes, stuff like that. The first step in engineering process control is a detailed sequence.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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Is the one element requirement due to current limitations?

I would start by writing up a basic sequence of operation; detail what you want to happen during each stage of the process, mash, sparge and boil. Identify any safety interlocks, like pump must run before heater energizes, stuff like that. The first step in engineering process control is a detailed sequence.
The plan is to plug in using an unused drying outlet in my house that is about 15 feet from the brewing location, I assumed it would be too much power required to run both elements and both pumps at once.

Here is the sequence:
1. Heat Strike Water in HLT
2. Transfer Strike water to MLT
3. Re-Fill HLT to cover HERMS coils as well as reach sparge water quantity
4. Heat HLT to Strike Temp while running both pumps to circulate both HLT water (to maintain temp evenly) and circulate MLT threw herms coils to maintain Temp
5. Mash in - increase or decreasing temp in HLT as necessary (should be held constant by BCS 460)
6. Increase temp of Mash by increasing HLT water to mash out temp
7. Sparge - 2 pumps running - 1 to pump sparge water to mash out and 1 to pump out wort from beneath a false bottom in the MLT
8. Switch heating elements to raise BK to boil
9. Pump from BK through Plate chiller into fermenter


So at any given time, I'll need 1 element and both pumps going at once. Let me know if more detail is required.
 

rp5brew

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Ok that is the physical sequence. I mean the control sequence.

Example:

The hlt will be controlled by the bcs460 discrete or pwm output with and adjustable set point who's controlled variable will be a bcs460 temperature input.

That is the rough idea for heating strike water and maintaining temp during recirculation.

The discrete or pwm option will be whether or not you want to modulate the heating element output (dimmer) or you want to turn it on and off like a light switch.
 

Bsquared

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This is the digram I followed from PJ. I did not incorporate having the ability to run it with out the BCS. I just brewed my first batch this weekend with this system. It was a really east build following PJ schematic.
 

P-J

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This is the diagram I followed from PJ. I did not incorporate having the ability to run it with out the BCS. I just brewed my first batch this weekend with this system. It was a really east build following PJ schematic.
Thank you for that. It really pleases me that you found my drawing effort useful for you in setting up your brewery.

Thanks.
 

day_trippr

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Thank you for that. It really pleases me that you found my drawing effort useful for you in setting up your brewery.

Thanks.
I gotta say, that is one totally awesome diagram...

Cheers!
 

Bsquared

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One thing I did, that is not In PJs diagram, but I found really helpful if you are planing on using a router/bridge with your BCS to go wireless, is to add two switches. One for the power to the router, and one to the BCS.

This is nice because when the BCS frist powers up, it sends out a message asking for an IP address, if it does not find one it uses its default. Buy powering up the router first you are sure it will be available to assign the BCS an IP address by the router.

I guess one way around this is just to assign a static IP address to the BCS... but last time I tired that it did not work out so well...

PS

Thanks again PJ.
 

P-J

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Thanks again PJ.
No. Thanks go to you - for posting your success in your build.

That little bit gives me some incentive to continue on. It is a brilliant flash of light for me!

(Some of the BS being posted lately had me reconsidering my efforts in helping brewers with the mission of going electric. Some of the threads have become very combative.)

(I really have to think this through as I spend a huge amount of time trying to design specific drawings for the community. My PM list is endless with no chance of responding to all of them with drawings.)

Thanks again goes to you with your success.!

P-J
 
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BrewskiBroski

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This is the digram I followed from PJ. I did not incorporate having the ability to run it with out the BCS. I just brewed my first batch this weekend with this system. It was a really east build following PJ schematic.
Excellent schematic, thank you, but i still have a couple questions that would help me understand this better.

1- I only have a 30amp outlet (dryer outlet), to power this, but im assuming nothing would change since i would only probably use about 24 or 25 amps with running only 1 5500 watt element and 2 809 March pumps (115V).

2-Why have both a SSR and a Contactor coil for each Heating Element?

3-Not sure I understand the need for the 6V DC power cord, is that just to power the BCS 460 itself?

4-Can you explain why I need fuse (1 amp) and 1k ohm 1 watt resistor?

5-Also, this might be a dumb question, what is the difference between neutral and ground?

6-Another potential dumb question - what is the purpose of the circut breakers there?

7- Does the power come straight from the cord into the Line 1 and 2/neutral/ground blocks... no power relay?... and why?

Please let me know. Thanks
 

Bsquared

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1- I only have a 30amp outlet (dryer outlet), to power this, but im assuming nothing would change since i would only probably use about 24 or 25 amps with running only 1 5500 watt element and 2 809 March pumps (115V).
Yes 30A is enough to run 1 5500w element and two pumps at the same time. There is a selector switch in the schematic that will only allow 1 element to be on at once.

2-Why have both a SSR and a Contactor coil for each Heating Element?

this as I understand it is for safety reasons, basically if a SSR fails it fails open, this way if the SSR fails, you can use the selector switch to cut power to the element.

3-Not sure I understand the need for the 6V DC power cord, is that just to power the BCS 460 itself?

It serves two prepossess, one to supply power to the BCS, and two if you want to have a manual mode the DC power supply will switch your SSR's on and off.

4-Can you explain why I need fuse (1 amp) and 1k ohm 1 watt resistor?

This is an emergency stop that when pressed will leak a small amount of current through your ground and cause your GFCI switch and cut your power.There are other ways this can be done, but this is a simple easy to set up method.

5-Also, this might be a dumb question, what is the difference between neutral and ground?

I'm not an electrician but as I have come to understand it, technically they go to the same bus on the service panel, but for your GFCI to function properly they should be separated. your 120VAC needs to have a neutral wire to function, but the 240 uses the two 120VAC legs that are out of phase, meaning there when one wavelength is at its top peak, the other is at its bottom peak, so when the two waves meet they cancale each other out. the ground is a separate line that is for if a hot line come loose or wet the current will travel through the grounding wire to the ground

6-Another potential dumb question - what is the purpose of the circut breakers there?

they are to protect your electric components.

7- Does the power come straight from the cord into the Line 1 and 2/neutral/ground blocks... no power relay?... and why?

Yes, but for mine I added a contractor like kal has in the design for the electric brewery so I have a switch that powers up the high voltage bits seperate from the BCS and router. I think PJ has a schematic out there that has this feature. He has drawn a ton of schematics for different situations, I used this one for the most part, but took bits and pieces from kals design and other PJ diagrams

Please let me know. Thanks[/QUOTE]

hope this helps
 
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BrewskiBroski

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Yes 30A is enough to run 1 5500w element and two pumps at the same time. There is a selector switch in the schematic that will only allow 1 element to be on at once.
Thanks for the reply, those answers help a lot. Another quesiton though, how does the selector switch only allow 1 element one at a time?

Can you explain how that works?
 

Bsquared

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If you look at the blue line going to switches 6 and 7, It is a bit more complex because you are incorporating multiple selector switches. but basically these switches set the system to one of four states.

HTL-Element/BCS-controlled,
HTL-Element/manual controlled,
BK-Element/BCS-controlled,
Or
BK-Element/manual controlled.

The selector switch, selects which contractor, the boil kettle or the HLT, will be closed. for mine I only have two states and one 3 position switch, HLT-off-BK.
 

bruin_ale

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I guess one way around this is just to assign a static IP address to the BCS... but last time I tired that it did not work out so well...
Static IP is worth it to get working.. Two benefits I saw:

1. Never need to use BCS finder (this one is nice because I use my Android phone to check on my fermentation, etc. - so I don't want to have to guess what the new IP address is if it gets changed)
2. I was having trouble when I left the BCS running for a day or two (again, controlling Keezer and Fermentation temps) - the BCS was still operating properly, but I couldn't access the web interface. Static IP fixed that.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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If you look at the blue line going to switches 6 and 7, It is a bit more complex because you are incorporating multiple selector switches. but basically these switches set the system to one of four states.

HTL-Element/BCS-controlled,
HTL-Element/manual controlled,
BK-Element/BCS-controlled,
Or
BK-Element/manual controlled.

The selector switch, selects which contractor, the boil kettle or the HLT, will be closed. for mine I only have two states and one 3 position switch, HLT-off-BK.
Ok.... It is my understanding that manual control = Element On... so what would happen if both switches were set to manual control? Wouldn't both elements try to fire?
 

Bsquared

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Bruin_Ale. I agree, I think I know what I did wrong last time, and will try it again soon. I'm going to replace the firmware of the router first from the linksys to dd-WRT first, then try again.

Brewskibroski- The way I read the diagram the switches I think you are correct that they would allow you to turn both elements on at once.

I used Kal's schematic for how I wired up the selector, because I did not incorporate a manual mode.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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Bruin_Ale. I agree, I think I know what I did wrong last time, and will try it again soon. I'm going to replace the firmware of the router first from the linksys to dd-WRT first, then try again.

Brewskibroski- The way I read the diagram the switches I think you are correct that they would allow you to turn both elements on at once.

I used Kal's schematic for how I wired up the selector, because I did not incorporate a manual mode.
ok great... that is how i read it too... so essentially, you'd have to be careful to make sure one element is off while turning the other one on in manual mode, or make sure the BCS automation is only firing one at a time.

Are there any other wiring recommendations to incorporate that would prevent one element firing if the other already is?
 

bruin_ale

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dd-wrt is awesome.. totally recommend it.

For my bcs system, I used a separate selector switch and a DPDT relay to make sure that both elements can never be active. The BCS has an output "Element Select", when that output is low - that's telling it to select the HLT element. When the output is high, that selects the Boil element.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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ok another question.... on the above schematic, what gauge wire should be used throughout

what gauge from terminal block to breakers?
what gauge after breakers?
what gauge from BCS 460 to switches and relays?

also, i noticed on Kal's brewery that he uses an inline fuse instead of breakers, is there any benefit to this?

Please explain the reasoning behind your decision, keep in mind i am not an electrical engineer or electrician... so im literally trying to teach myself all this stuff before i do this build.

Thanks!
 

bruin_ale

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what gauge from terminal block to breakers?
what gauge after breakers?
what gauge from BCS 460 to switches and relays?

also, i noticed on Kal's brewery that he uses an inline fuse instead of breakers, is there any benefit to this?

Please explain the reasoning behind your decision, keep in mind i am not an electrical engineer or electrician... so im literally trying to teach myself all this stuff before i do this build.

Thanks!

The wire gauge should not be stepped down until you hit the breakers/fuses. The breakers/fuses are there to protect everything downstream, including the wire - if you run too high a current through a too narrow gauge wire you run the risk of a fire.

So with that tidbit:
for a 30A system, 10 Gauge wire should be used for everything before the breakers and pretty much any wire that's in the current path for the elements - since those are going to draw pretty close to that 30A.

Once you're past the 10A breaker for the 110V stuff you can switch to 18 gauge. I believe I used 14AWG for mine.

From the BCS I used Cat5 cable, I believe that's 24AWG. That's very low voltage and current, no issues.

Benefit to inline fuse is that it's cheaper up front. Negative is that if you blow it you have to replace the fuse, whereas when you use a breaker you just reset it.
Also, breaker has to be mounted in the panel somehow. Most of us are using DIN mount breakers I believe - it's a really smooth looking setup and it's really nice to DIN mount all the components before wiring them up - saves some drilling through the back plate to mount up each individual component. The downside is the DIN stuff gets a bit more costly. In the grand scheme of things it's not that much extra though.
 

Bsquared

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+1 on the DIN mounted, I went the drill and tap on the backing plate method for my components. looking back I really wish I would have a. used a larger box and b. used din rails for mounting.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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The wire gauge should not be stepped down until you hit the breakers/fuses. The breakers/fuses are there to protect everything downstream, including the wire - if you run too high a current through a too narrow gauge wire you run the risk of a fire.

So with that tidbit:
for a 30A system, 10 Gauge wire should be used for everything before the breakers and pretty much any wire that's in the current path for the elements - since those are going to draw pretty close to that 30A.

Once you're past the 10A breaker for the 110V stuff you can switch to 18 gauge. I believe I used 14AWG for mine.

From the BCS I used Cat5 cable, I believe that's 24AWG. That's very low voltage and current, no issues.

Benefit to inline fuse is that it's cheaper up front. Negative is that if you blow it you have to replace the fuse, whereas when you use a breaker you just reset it.
Also, breaker has to be mounted in the panel somehow. Most of us are using DIN mount breakers I believe - it's a really smooth looking setup and it's really nice to DIN mount all the components before wiring them up - saves some drilling through the back plate to mount up each individual component. The downside is the DIN stuff gets a bit more costly. In the grand scheme of things it's not that much extra though.
Excellent, thanks for the info....

So for the Line 2 terminal block... i guess im not understanding how the e-stop would actually stop the current.

So the line goes into the terminal block... where it is connected to all the outputs from line 2... but if the e-stop trips... how will it stop current to all the other lines going out.

Shouldn't the e-stop be before the block?... can you explain that for me please?
 

P-J

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The E-Stop function is to trip the GFCI circuit breaker that is providing all the power to the control panel. This is done with a small leakage current (0.06A) directly to ground.

You must have your controller protected with a 50A GFCI circuit breaker.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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The E-Stop function is to trip the GFCI circuit breaker that is providing all the power to the control panel. This is done with a small leakage current (0.06A) directly to ground.

You must have your controller protected with a 50A GFCI circuit breaker.
oh ok... i see now... will a 30A GFCI work?
 

P-J

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oh ok... i see now... will a 30A GFCI work?
Yes it will work - However - you then must reconfigure your setup so that only one element can be powered at a time. If you attenpt to power them both, the circuit breaker will trip because of excessive power draw.

If you intend to go this route, there are components that are not needed. Panel circuit breakers for instance.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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Yes it will work - However - you then must reconfigure your setup so that only one element can be powered at a time. If you attenpt to power them both, the circuit breaker will trip because of excessive power draw.

If you intend to go this route, there are components that are not needed. Panel circuit breakers for instance.
Thanks P-J... you say i dont need panel breakers... can you explain that for me? Also, I know the schematic posted above was yours... awesome job, it has been extremely helpful so far.

Do you have any others that might be more in line with the setup im going for, or can you give me some suggestions on other ways to lay it out?

Thanks again.
 

P-J

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Thanks P-J... you say i dont need panel breakers... can you explain that for me? Also, I know the schematic posted above was yours... awesome job, it has been extremely helpful so far.

Do you have any others that might be more in line with the setup im going for, or can you give me some suggestions on other ways to lay it out?
The breakers are not needed as the power requirement would be much lower (30 Amps)

I'm curious - You quote an entry Originally Posted by Bsquared - however the diagram is one that is completely different than the one he posted. How did you do that??? Your quoted diagrams show the use of 240V pumps. Is that what you will be doing?

Here is another diagram that might fit your needs a little better:
Please note that I have changed the switches to illuminated units. Switch 7 is used to limit power delivery to one or the other element.

- as always - Click on the image to see a full scale diagram printable on Tabloid paper (11" x 17")

 
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BrewskiBroski

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The breakers are not needed as the power requirement would be much lower (30 Amps)

I'm curious - You quote an entry Originally Posted by Bsquared - however the diagram is one that is completely different than the one he posted. How did you do that??? Your quoted diagrams show the use of 240V pumps. Is that what you will be doing?

Here is another diagram that might fit your needs a little better:
Please note that I have changed the switches to illuminated units. Switch 7 is used to limit power delivery to one or the other element.

- as always - Click on the image to see a full scale diagram printable on Tabloid paper (11" x 17")


Well - I found the different 2 element image off a different post (not sure where now)... but when quoting the image... i just replaced the original image website with the one used in my reply... good catch...

I did also visit your site and found a few images as well, but must have missed this one.

However, the image you just attached looks like exactly what i am looking for... thank you for the response.
 

Bsquared

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In hind sight, PJ, this is the schematic I printed up and used. But I omitted switches 2,3,4,5, and 6 (no manual mode). The one I had was from and older post you sent me when I was first designing my system.
 

bruin_ale

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In hind sight, PJ, this is the schematic I printed up and used. But I omitted switches 2,3,4,5, and 6 (no manual mode). The one I had was from and older post you sent me when I was first designing my system.
I know the BCS can control all those things but I love using the switches to control my pumps and stir motor. I use the BCS to control the heating elements mostly - although I have a manual mode setup for those also. It's useful for when I'm getting started, I can just turn the HLT on and then continue getting everything else setup. Everything in my system is on a 3 position switch - ON, OFF, AUTO - I'm really happy with that decision.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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You should never have a fuse blow on you - unless - something has gone wrong - like a pump motor frying.
What about the 5 amp fuse going to the Heating Element Switch... wouldn't each element be drawing about 23 amps... wouldn't that blow the fuse?.... or is that fuse only there to flip the coils in the contacter?

And if that fuse is only for the contactor coil, why isn't there a fuse/breaker for the hot line going to the elements?
 

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What about the 5 amp fuse going to the Heating Element Switch... wouldn't each element be drawing about 23 amps... wouldn't that blow the fuse?.... or is that fuse only there to flip the coils in the contacter?

And if that fuse is only for the contactor coil, why isn't there a fuse/breaker for the hot line going to the elements?
The 5A fuse you refer to is used to protect the circuit involving the switches and contactor pick coils.

Regarding the elements - Take another look at the diagram. The total input power to it is from a 30A 240V feed.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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The 5A fuse you refer to is used to protect the circuit involving the switches and contactor pick coils.

Regarding the elements - Take another look at the diagram. The total input power to it is from a 30A 240V feed.

P-J... thanks for the quick reply... so i am trying to fully understand this before I attempt the build, but I have no electrical background...

so essentially, since max power being provided is 30A/240V, we do not need to use a fuse, because the Heating elements won't draw that much and the wires can hold it?... is that what you are saying?... if not, can you explain?
 

P-J

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P-J... thanks for the quick reply... so i am trying to fully understand this before I attempt the build, but I have no electrical background...

so essentially, since max power being provided is 30A/240V, we do not need to use a fuse, because the Heating elements won't draw that much and the wires can hold it?... is that what you are saying?... if not, can you explain?
Exactly. The main power feed (30A 240V) is already providing the protection for the element circuits. If the main power was being provided through a 50A circuit, circuit breakers within your control panel would be required.
 
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BrewskiBroski

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Exactly. The main power feed (30A 240V) is already providing the protection for the element circuits. If the main power was being provided through a 50A circuit, circuit breakers within your control panel would be required.
Got it Thanks... what do you use to hold the fuses?... an in line fuse holder? and where to get from?
 
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