Boiler Power Control

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k1100t
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Boiler Power Control

Post by k1100t » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:22 pm

I'm trying to spec out my boiler control box, now that I know what I'm doing with my HLT control box. Back when I started all of this, it was a case of getting a SSvR and linear pot, or a 4KW dimmer and away you went, see Fil's power controller in this old thread. All the recent control box builds I've been finding in the search results though, appear to be using PIDs for boil control. Given that I want to whirlpool, or steep flame out hops at 80°C for 20 mins, I can see a PID being useful for maintaining that temperature.

What should I be looking at doing for boil control these days? Options appear to include:
  • SSvR and 500KOhm linear POT; where do you get SSvR's from these days that aren't Chinese carp?
  • PID in manual mode; does this power a normal SSR, or do I need something else?
  • Auber DSPR1; seems like a lot of money for a POT and digital readout, given you still need to buy a SSR
  • Auber EZboil DSPR320; stop fanny around and invest, also needs a PT100 probe and SSR...
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by Haydnexport » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:46 pm

I use this https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3305399 ... 4c4d0WYxMA to control the second element in my 100l setup , works for me, not sure if thats what your after tho.

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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by Jocky » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:08 pm

A PID in manual mode will pulse the element on and off over a set period of time.
e.g. if you have the time period at 2 seconds (which is usually the shortest period possible), and the mode is set at 75%, then it will power the element on for 1.5 seconds and off for 0.5 seconds.

It's not ideal for boil control IMO.
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by LeeH » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:25 pm

Any controller I’ve used (and that’s a lot) has a manual mode from 0-100% and that is the ideal mode you want for boiling.



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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by Jocky » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:13 pm

To be clear, I don’t think that the PID manual mode is ideal for boil power control, compared to something like an SCR or SSVR
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by k1100t » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:41 pm

Jocky wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:13 pm
To be clear, I don’t think that the PID manual mode is ideal for boil power control, compared to something like an SCR or SSVR
What's the difference between a SCR and a SSvR...? I can find plenty of SCR's on RS for example, but can only find SSvR's on eBay and Amazon. Do you use them in the same way...?
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by Jocky » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:57 am

Beyond my knowledge I'm afraid. Hopefully someone with more authority on this can answer.

I believed that one simply limited voltage whereas the other one turns on and off power much faster than a PID. I expect that both get you to the same place for this application.

The Auber EZBoil seems to combine the best of both worlds with a PID and a burst fire controller.
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by chris2012 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:45 pm

What do you mean by 'I believed that one simply limited voltage'?

I was reading about some types of SSR recently, it seems there's quite a few different types.

http://www.crydom.com/en/tech/newslette ... 0types.pdf

Some of which seem to be:

* Zero crossing, seems to turn on at 0, and you have to wait till a zero crossing, to turn off.
* Random turn-on, where you can turn on at any part of the waveform as i understand, but still have to wait till a zero crossing to turn off.

The above are probably implemented with a TRIAC/SCRs?

There also seems to be a dual mosfet type, which I believe you can turn on/off the waveform at any point.

Please correct me if any of that sounds incorrect, I was just reading about different AC switching circuits at the moment, to try and understand how they work.

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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by k1100t » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:12 pm

I was reading this earlier Power Control Using SCRs can't say it's made the subject any clearer.
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:37 pm

Errm. I think I must have missed the point somewhere along the way!

Why do you need power control on your boiler? I boil about 37 litres using 2 x 2.4Kw elements which are on throughout the 75 minute boil. Gets me about 23 litres in the fermenter.

Sorry to be a bit dim, but what advantage do you expect to gain from controlling the elements?

Or, to put it another way, should I get a power controller for my elements?

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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by themadhippy » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:54 pm

scr/ssr -the output turns on when theres a suitable control voltage on the input,just like relay. SSvr- the output level varies depending on the the level of the input signal,the input signal maybe a varible resistor or a variable voltage,think of them like a dimmer switch.
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by k1100t » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:18 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:37 pm
Sorry to be a bit dim, but what advantage do you expect to gain from controlling the elements?

Or, to put it another way, should I get a power controller for my elements?
Mainly to prevent boil overs, of which I had a few on my old kit. Granted, boiling 35 - 40 litres should be fine in a 50 litre pot, but you only need a roiling boil, not a full on boil, so I would like to be able to turn it down.
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by k1100t » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:20 pm

Going back to my first post for a moment. I suppose the question I'm trying to ask, is what's the current standard for boiler control?

I was planning on using a SSvR and POT, but as I stated, all the recent control box builds I've been seeing appear to be using PIDs for boil control. Given that I want to whirlpool, or steep flame out hops at 80°C for 20 mins, I can see a PID being useful for maintaining that temperature. So even if it's not the ideal tool, would I be better off with a PID based solution, i.e. PID in manual mode or an Auber EZBoil. Or am I over thinking it and an SSvR and POT will do the job...?
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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by k1100t » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:44 am

I've decided to go with a PID and a SSR. If I don't feel it's right for the job, I can move them onto controlling a RIMS tube, or HERMS pot, when I decide which of those two I'm going to invest in. Decided to go with fully removable input and output cables, quite disappointed that the Neutrik powerCON TRUE1 TOP chassis connectors are different sizes. Maybe I should've got the inlet-outlet combination NAC3PX-TOP, but I assumed it's just a pass-through, rather than separate connectors.

Image

To avoid mangling my end plates again, I've got a couple of larger step drill bits and some metal jigsaw blades coming. Plus I've bought some proper metal files, so hopefully this box will be slightly neater.

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Re: Boiler Power Control

Post by Jocky » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:36 am

For an 80c steep having a PID is way overkill. The temperature won't drop that much if you throw the hops in at 80c and put the lid back on.

For the purpose of power management in the boil an SSvR and POT will do the job. An EZboil appears to be PID and SSvR all in one box.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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