Build yourself a cheap digital boiler power regulator

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by foxbat, Oct 22, 2017.

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  1. May 12, 2018 #21

    Druncan

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    Well explained write up, well done!
    I would love to see someone do the next stage where you control a Buffalo 3kw ind hob by temp with a PT or smartPid hack,,,
     
  2. May 13, 2018 #22

    Fil

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    how is the induction hob controlled?
     
  3. May 14, 2018 #23

    Druncan

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    It has a dialled knob with 26 steps. I have found the part as a replacement https://www.nisbets.co.uk/buffalo-control-panel/ad153
    Could this be replaced with a digital controller from a PID? happy to buy one and send it to those who know the dark digital electrical science,,, :thumb:
     
  4. May 30, 2018 #24

    Simonh82

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    I'm in the middle of a very slow kettle RIMS build using and Inkbird PID and non-digital controller as per @Bigcol49 design. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about a future upgrade to a 50L kettle and 3KW Buffalo induction hob. If I did that, I thought I would keep the PID for temperature control but use the buffalo hob to control the power during mashing. @Druncan, why can't you just use the built-in power control on the Buffalo hob? I guess the PID would be constantly switching the hob on an off which it may not like.
     
  5. Jul 22, 2018 #25

    BeerCat

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    Finally got around to wiring one of these up to an STC1000. Will give it a test tomorrow with the mash. My PID needs a serious retune so looking forward to trying this out. :)
     
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  6. Jul 23, 2018 #26

    AdeDunn

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    I've got mine wired up to my PID. I actually only use it during the mash as I don't need it during the boil. Works brilliantly, keeping power levels just right to maintain mash temps without scorching the wort.
     
  7. Feb 21, 2019 #27

    entertheflagon

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    Power ratings apart, check the construction and heatsinking.
    Just picked up some of these SSR's for less than a tenth of what I paid for a branded Croydon type from RS.And that with a PID controller thrown in!
    They look like toys in comparison so I'd be sure not to stress them.
    There is a screw thread protruding from their flimsy base that will stop proper heat sink contact and could be a common cause of failure. Lap it smooth with the base ( which is not a substantial copper slab like a good SSR) and use thermal grease.
    It looks like it's a single triac that does the business, not a pair of back to back thyristors I'd've expected.
    Use them, and I will, but I'd be putting nowhere near their rated current through them and be warned, they often fail as short circuit, I'll sort a safety cut out for my own use.
     
  8. Jun 2, 2019 #28

    James Read

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    Thanks Foxbat - built this yesterday and used on a brew. We also used it to control the water for Strike and Sparging - very handy!
    I'm no master electrian, but I found the instructions well laid out and easy to follow.
    I think the only issue was the cover to the power regulator wouldn't sit over the screws I used.
     
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  9. Jun 2, 2019 #29

    foxbat

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    Glad it worked for you. I use mine every brewday for the whole length of the boil.
     
  10. Jul 2, 2019 #30

    Gerryjo

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    Have only come across this thread today @foxbat and certainly plenty of detail.It's ironic as I had come across one on eBay a while back with a 4kw rating at under £6 thinking it was too good to be true.
    I have now since converted a 20l tea urn to a heat exchanger so as to recirculate from the mash tun and actually incorperated this unit into the base ring of the boiler and certainly works a treat.https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/herms-set-up.82389/
     
  11. Oct 15, 2019 #31

    Markgee

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    Thanks for posting this up. Just what I needed and I'll be giving this ago in the next couple of weeks athumb..
     
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  12. Oct 15, 2019 #32

    foxbat

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    I use mine every brew day during the boil. On my system, somewhere between 60% and 65% of a 2.4kW element is enough to get me a nice low-intensity boil.
     
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  13. Oct 15, 2019 #33

    Markgee

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    I want to use this on a 2.4kw element so that is good to know. Thanks again for taking the time to post this info up.
     
  14. Oct 16, 2019 #34

    cushyno

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    Based on the prior art of @foxbat and @AdeDunn, my switchable PID and/or power regulator has been well worth the effort to build it. About 12 brews under its belt so far. Works great with a 2.4kw element.
    Includes 12v transformer for pump and fan to keep things cool inside the box.
    rps20191016_000104.jpg
     
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  15. Oct 30, 2019 #35

    kelper

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    I had already read Foxbat's excellent thread on a SCR Variable Voltage Regulator. Initially, I did not want to modify the wiring on my brewer as it's under warranty. But it's a better engineering solution. I have ordered this one. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/173791600021
     
  16. Oct 30, 2019 #36

    johncrobinson

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    An SCR controller will reduce the possible power drain. if power is such a problem use gas.
    I suppose the real truth is that some members are finding their domestic supplies are not quite up to running a brewery.
    God help us when Millions are plugging in there electric cars EVERY night.
     

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