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Heat Control

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  • John Fleming
    I am still researching a simple method of heat control. It is clear that the commercial stills with uncontrolled elements are fairly inefficient and there
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 17 12:39 AM
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      I am still researching a simple method of heat control. It is clear
      that the commercial stills with uncontrolled elements are fairly
      inefficient and there should be a smart way to introduce control
      without it costing a fortune. My latest idea is to use the
      controller
      from a frypan - mine will control 1350W which should be enough. Has
      anyone tried this?

      John F.
    • Tony Cahill
      Hi all, re. the question of heat control. As I see it there are two options, firstly there is tailor made input in the form of the correct amount, then there
      Message 2 of 22 , Oct 9, 2002
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        Hi all, re. the question of heat control.
        As I see it there are two options, firstly there is tailor made input
        in the form of the correct amount, then there is a form of control of
        a larger than needed source.
        I posted a query last week asking for advice, and was referred to
        back postings (of which I have read all of them, right from the very
        first) the reference to back postings effectively choked the thread I
        was hoping to develop. My situation is rather unique, therefore I
        need to get my 1800w (used to get my 80 litre up to boil) down to
        around the 900w to run my vapour managent system. I had hoped there
        was a way to basically switch it down (somehow)
        Any suggestions would be appreciated.
        PS I am not a rocket scientist and need something simple, and the
        1800w has to stay there.
        Regards, Tony Cahill
      • John Vandermeulen
        Tony, I comisserate with you, completely. Trying to get the answer to your specific question via this list is an exercise in frustration. Randy (Cornfed) on
        Message 3 of 22 , Oct 9, 2002
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          Tony,
          I comisserate with you, completely. Trying to get the answer to your
          specific question via this list is an exercise in frustration. Randy
          (Cornfed) on today's postings tried the same - but no specific
          answer/solution.
          I think that the solution to our common ordinary problem - ie. we want to
          turn the heat down in the heating element - is a stove-top temp. control
          knob. I KNOW. That is not a proper description!!!! But, damn it - that is
          what sticks out of the panel, and I really don't know, nor do I care, what is
          behind it - hence all the talk about cycles switching this and that - is
          wasted. Is it so difficult to advise us what thing to purchase, not what
          won't work, and end this darned thread??!
          John V

          Tony Cahill wrote:

          > Hi all, re. the question of heat control.
          > As I see it there are two options, firstly there is tailor made input
          > in the form of the correct amount, then there is a form of control of
          > a larger than needed source.
          > I posted a query last week asking for advice, and was referred to
          > back postings (of which I have read all of them, right from the very
          > first) the reference to back postings effectively choked the thread I
          > was hoping to develop. My situation is rather unique, therefore I
          > need to get my 1800w (used to get my 80 litre up to boil) down to
          > around the 900w to run my vapour managent system. I had hoped there
          > was a way to basically switch it down (somehow)
          > Any suggestions would be appreciated.
          > PS I am not a rocket scientist and need something simple, and the
          > 1800w has to stay there.
          > Regards, Tony Cahill
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • Mike Nixon
          Tony Cahill wrote: Subject: [new_distillers] Heat Control Hi all, re. the question of heat control. As I see it there are two options, firstly there is tailor
          Message 4 of 22 , Oct 9, 2002
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            Tony Cahill wrote:
            Subject: [new_distillers] Heat Control

            Hi all, re. the question of heat control.
            As I see it there are two options, firstly there is tailor made input
            in the form of the correct amount, then there is a form of control of
            a larger than needed source.
            I posted a query last week asking for advice, and was referred to
            back postings (of which I have read all of them, right from the very
            first) the reference to back postings effectively choked the thread I
            was hoping to develop. My situation is rather unique, therefore I
            need to get my 1800w (used to get my 80 litre up to boil) down to
            around the 900w to run my vapour managent system. I had hoped there
            was a way to basically switch it down (somehow)
            Any suggestions would be appreciated.
            PS I am not a rocket scientist and need something simple, and the
            1800w has to stay there.
            Regards, Tony Cahill
            ===========================
            Hi Tony,
            I'm sorry to keep harping on the same old theme, but the sad fact is that there is NO simple way to reduce the power of a single heater element to give a smooth lower output.  You can use a cooker control if you use a hotplate, as John V does, but you still have to even out the heat flow to the boiler by either having a thick top on the hotplate, or using a wire mesh mat, or both together. Using a cooker control with an immersed heater element will result in surge boiling as the heat goes directly into the liquid.  Off-the-shelf electronic controllers are usually designed for motors and are not suitable for heating elements.  Those that are suitable are rare, and therefore expensive.  Best options for an immersed heater are therefore to either make your own controller (you don't need to be a rocket scientist to follow a plan and do a bit of easy soldering) or to add more elements and use a couple of ordinary switches.  If you added another 1800W heater element then you could have a choice of 3600W, 1800W or 900W, all by using ordinary switches.
            Mike N
             
          • Jafta
            Hi all I had the same problem when I started distilling. The only solution was for me to build an electronic contoller which controlled the element with Pulse
            Message 5 of 22 , Oct 9, 2002
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              Hi all

              I had the same problem when I started distilling. The only solution
              was for me to build an electronic contoller which controlled the
              element with Pulse Width Modulation. Infinately variable via keypad,
              it can 1)maintain a specific temp in the mash or 2) maintain a
              specific heat in the cooling water or 3) switch the heating element a
              percentage of the full load.

              If any of you are interested, I can let you have the same controller
              for the cost of spares and postage.

              Regards

              Chris Albrecht
              South Africa

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Tony Cahill" <topcat@...>
              To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Wednesday, 09 October, 2002 22:50
              Subject: [new_distillers] Heat Control


              Hi all, re. the question of heat control.
              As I see it there are two options, firstly there is tailor made input
              in the form of the correct amount, then there is a form of control of
              a larger than needed source.
              I posted a query last week asking for advice, and was referred to
              back postings (of which I have read all of them, right from the very
              first) the reference to back postings effectively choked the thread I
              was hoping to develop. My situation is rather unique, therefore I
              need to get my 1800w (used to get my 80 litre up to boil) down to
              around the 900w to run my vapour managent system. I had hoped there
              was a way to basically switch it down (somehow)
              Any suggestions would be appreciated.
              PS I am not a rocket scientist and need something simple, and the
              1800w has to stay there.
              Regards, Tony Cahill


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            • Aaron Pelly
              John, You won t find one for sale on the shelf at the hardware shop. You have to make one. Hence all the needing to know what s behind the knob. ...
              Message 6 of 22 , Oct 9, 2002
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                John,

                You won't find one for sale on the shelf at the hardware shop. You have to
                make one.

                Hence all the needing to know what's behind the knob.

                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: John Vandermeulen [mailto:vandermeulen@...]
                > Sent: 10 October 2002 12:08
                > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Heat Control
                >
                >
                > Tony,
                > I comisserate with you, completely. Trying to get the answer to your
                > specific question via this list is an exercise in frustration. Randy
                > (Cornfed) on today's postings tried the same - but no specific
                > answer/solution.
                > I think that the solution to our common ordinary problem -
                > ie. we want to
                > turn the heat down in the heating element - is a stove-top
                > temp. control
                > knob. I KNOW. That is not a proper description!!!! But,
                > damn it - that is
                > what sticks out of the panel, and I really don't know, nor do
                > I care, what is
                > behind it - hence all the talk about cycles switching this
                > and that - is
                > wasted. Is it so difficult to advise us what thing to
                > purchase, not what
                > won't work, and end this darned thread??!
                > John V
                >
                > Tony Cahill wrote:
                >
                > > Hi all, re. the question of heat control.
                > > As I see it there are two options, firstly there is tailor
                > made input
                > > in the form of the correct amount, then there is a form of
                > control of
                > > a larger than needed source.
                > > I posted a query last week asking for advice, and was referred to
                > > back postings (of which I have read all of them, right from the very
                > > first) the reference to back postings effectively choked
                > the thread I
                > > was hoping to develop. My situation is rather unique, therefore I
                > > need to get my 1800w (used to get my 80 litre up to boil) down to
                > > around the 900w to run my vapour managent system. I had hoped there
                > > was a way to basically switch it down (somehow)
                > > Any suggestions would be appreciated.
                > > PS I am not a rocket scientist and need something simple, and the
                > > 1800w has to stay there.
                > > Regards, Tony Cahill
                > >
                > >
                > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





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              • motie_d
                ... your ... Randy ... want to ... control ... that is ... care, what is ... that - is ... not what ... Can he just add another smaller element, and unplug the
                Message 7 of 22 , Oct 10, 2002
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                  --- In new_distillers@y..., John Vandermeulen <vandermeulen@n...>
                  wrote:
                  > Tony,
                  > I comisserate with you, completely. Trying to get the answer to
                  your
                  > specific question via this list is an exercise in frustration.
                  Randy
                  > (Cornfed) on today's postings tried the same - but no specific
                  > answer/solution.
                  > I think that the solution to our common ordinary problem - ie. we
                  want to
                  > turn the heat down in the heating element - is a stove-top temp.
                  control
                  > knob. I KNOW. That is not a proper description!!!! But, damn it -
                  that is
                  > what sticks out of the panel, and I really don't know, nor do I
                  care, what is
                  > behind it - hence all the talk about cycles switching this and
                  that - is
                  > wasted. Is it so difficult to advise us what thing to purchase,
                  not what
                  > won't work, and end this darned thread??!
                  > John V

                  Can he just add another smaller element, and unplug the large one
                  once he's up to temp? Or is this too simple?
                  Motie
                • BOKAKOB
                  Yes and Yes. motie_d wrote:--- In new_distillers@y..., John Vandermeulen ... your ... Randy ... want to ... control ... that is ... care,
                  Message 8 of 22 , Oct 10, 2002
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                    Yes and Yes.

                     motie_d wrote:

                    --- In new_distillers@y..., John Vandermeulen <vandermeulen@n...>
                    wrote:
                    > Tony,
                    > I comisserate with you, completely.  Trying to get the answer to
                    your
                    > specific question via this list is an exercise in frustration. 
                    Randy
                    > (Cornfed) on today's postings tried the same - but no specific
                    > answer/solution.
                    > I think that the solution to our common ordinary problem - ie. we
                    want to
                    > turn the heat down in the heating element - is a stove-top temp.
                    control
                    > knob.  I KNOW.  That is not a proper description!!!!  But, damn it -
                    that is
                    > what sticks out of the panel, and I really don't know, nor do I
                    care, what is
                    > behind it - hence all the talk about cycles switching this and
                    that - is
                    > wasted.  Is it so difficult to advise us what thing to purchase,
                    not what
                    > won't work, and end this darned thread??!
                    > John V

                    Can he just add another smaller element, and unplug the large one
                    once he's up to temp? Or is this too simple?
                    Motie



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                  • John Vandermeulen
                    Thanks motie, for the idea - it is probably the way I will have to go. John V
                    Message 9 of 22 , Oct 10, 2002
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                      Thanks motie, for the idea - it is probably the way I will have to go. John
                      V

                      motie_d wrote:

                      > --- In new_distillers@y..., John Vandermeulen <vandermeulen@n...>
                      > wrote:
                      > > Tony,
                      > > I comisserate with you, completely. Trying to get the answer to
                      > your
                      > > specific question via this list is an exercise in frustration.
                      > Randy
                      > > (Cornfed) on today's postings tried the same - but no specific
                      > > answer/solution.
                      > > I think that the solution to our common ordinary problem - ie. we
                      > want to
                      > > turn the heat down in the heating element - is a stove-top temp.
                      > control
                      > > knob. I KNOW. That is not a proper description!!!! But, damn it -
                      > that is
                      > > what sticks out of the panel, and I really don't know, nor do I
                      > care, what is
                      > > behind it - hence all the talk about cycles switching this and
                      > that - is
                      > > wasted. Is it so difficult to advise us what thing to purchase,
                      > not what
                      > > won't work, and end this darned thread??!
                      > > John V
                      >
                      > Can he just add another smaller element, and unplug the large one
                      > once he's up to temp? Or is this too simple?
                      > Motie
                      >
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    • Robert Jenkins
                      Does anyone know where I can get activated carbon and essences in commercial quantity? I know there are quite a few retailers, but who supply to those
                      Message 10 of 22 , Oct 14, 2002
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                        Does anyone know where I can get activated carbon and essences in commercial quantity?  I know there are quite a few retailers, but who supply to those retailers?

                        Rob



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                      • mal
                        hi rob where are you? regards mal
                        Message 11 of 22 , Oct 14, 2002
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                          hi rob   
                           
                          where are you?
                           
                          regards
                           
                          mal
                        • orgulasmaggot
                          I do know of one fellow who will sell you 25L bottles of essence. And I know the carbon can be bought in very large bags too. What do you mean by commercial
                          Message 12 of 22 , Oct 18, 2002
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                            I do know of one fellow who will sell you 25L bottles of essence.

                            And I know the carbon can be bought in very large bags too.

                            What do you mean by commercial quantities?

                            If you want LARGER quantities of the stuff, I could certainly 'cut you
                            a deal', as in decent discount (shameless self plug, sorry) on larger
                            lots of retail quantities.

                            Give us some sense of the scale you are imagining and we can help you
                            better.


                            --- In new_distillers@y..., Robert Jenkins <robjenk02@y...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Does anyone know where I can get activated carbon and essences in commercial quantity? I know there are quite a few retailers, but who supply to those retailers?
                          • drewc66
                            OK, sorry to be so dense, but can I get some more advice on heat control? Problem: temperature cycling at top of reflux column secondary to thermostat on hot
                            Message 13 of 22 , Oct 24, 2004
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                              OK, sorry to be so dense, but can I get some more advice on heat
                              control?

                              Problem: temperature cycling at top of reflux column secondary to
                              thermostat on hot plate

                              I am using a 1500W cast iron hotplate, a submersible water pump, and
                              a 15 gallon plastic garbage can as a reservoir. My previous
                              understanding was that the heat source was for rough temp control,
                              and cooling water pump rate was for fine temp control.

                              Previously Suggested solutions:
                              1. Disable Thermostat. Reason to avoid--> Expensive unit & concern
                              that I'm already maxed out on the cooling water pump rate and will be
                              unable to prevent rapid temp rise. My understanding is that this
                              modification will cause the hotplate to be at full output at all
                              times.

                              2. Use a plate of metal between hotplate and thin skin SS kettle.
                              Reason to avoid--> Delayed warm up to ridiculous degree >2hours.

                              3. Use propane. Reason to avoid--> Limited to indoors and wish to
                              avoid carbon monoxide toxicity.

                              4. Get a less powerful hotplate. Reason to avoid--> I already spent
                              the money and besides I have already a hard time being patient for
                              the warm up time to equilibrium as it is.

                              5. Use a external temperature controller. This is the meat of the
                              question. How do I obtain this? I assume it requires disabling the
                              hotplate thermostat. I am not in a position to build one. Does
                              anyone have any experience in buying and using this option?

                              Switching half of my column packing to 6mm raschig rings has
                              dramatically decreased the temp fluctuation but I am unable to get
                              above 94.5% with this setup. If that is as good as is reasonable to
                              expect, than I can live with that. If not, suggestions are welcome.


                              Drew
                            • popwahtosh
                              ... Hi, Drew. If I were you , I would be happy with what I am getting, at least for now . 94.5 isn t all that bad when you consider that last tiny bit of
                              Message 14 of 22 , Oct 24, 2004
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                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "drewc66" <drewc66@y...>
                                wrote:
                                >
                                Hi, Drew. If I were you , I would be happy with what I am getting,
                                at least for now . 94.5 isn't all that bad when you consider that
                                last tiny bit of purity is going to cost you at least a couple of
                                hundred buck or more for a good controller. Lets face it, guy, you
                                have just about eliminated all of your options.

                                Check out the internet for variacs and other types of AC
                                controllers. Then weep.

                                Lot of luck,

                                Pop

                                =============================


                                > OK, sorry to be so dense, but can I get some more advice on heat
                                > control?
                                >
                                > Problem: temperature cycling at top of reflux column secondary to
                                > thermostat on hot plate
                                >
                                > I am using a 1500W cast iron hotplate, a submersible water pump,
                                and
                                > a 15 gallon plastic garbage can as a reservoir. My previous
                                > understanding was that the heat source was for rough temp control,
                                > and cooling water pump rate was for fine temp control.
                                >
                                > Previously Suggested solutions:
                                > 1. Disable Thermostat. Reason to avoid--> Expensive unit &
                                concern
                                > that I'm already maxed out on the cooling water pump rate and will
                                be
                                > unable to prevent rapid temp rise. My understanding is that this
                                > modification will cause the hotplate to be at full output at all
                                > times.
                                >
                                > 2. Use a plate of metal between hotplate and thin skin SS kettle.
                                > Reason to avoid--> Delayed warm up to ridiculous degree >2hours.
                                >
                                > 3. Use propane. Reason to avoid--> Limited to indoors and wish
                                to
                                > avoid carbon monoxide toxicity.
                                >
                                > 4. Get a less powerful hotplate. Reason to avoid--> I already
                                spent
                                > the money and besides I have already a hard time being patient for
                                > the warm up time to equilibrium as it is.
                                >
                                > 5. Use a external temperature controller. This is the meat of
                                the
                                > question. How do I obtain this? I assume it requires disabling
                                the
                                > hotplate thermostat. I am not in a position to build one. Does
                                > anyone have any experience in buying and using this option?
                                >
                                > Switching half of my column packing to 6mm raschig rings has
                                > dramatically decreased the temp fluctuation but I am unable to get
                                > above 94.5% with this setup. If that is as good as is reasonable
                                to
                                > expect, than I can live with that. If not, suggestions are
                                welcome.
                                >
                                >
                                > Drew
                              • dean
                                Pop is correct 94.5% is pretty good but if you want to try a controller this is what I have brought (haven t used it yet but others have given it the thumbs
                                Message 15 of 22 , Oct 26, 2004
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                                  Pop is correct 94.5% is pretty good but if you want to try a controller
                                  this is what I have brought (haven't used it yet but others have given
                                  it the thumbs up) http://www.sutronics.com/acatalog/detail_bfm240_13.html
                                  I have mounted it inside an aluminium box that will also act as the heat
                                  sink as required and have added the controller to an extension lead it
                                  cost me after conversion to Australian dollars approx $85 for the
                                  controller $16 for the box from dick smiths and $5 for the lead.

                                  Dean.



                                  popwahtosh wrote:

                                  >--- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "drewc66" <drewc66@y...>
                                  >wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >Hi, Drew. If I were you , I would be happy with what I am getting,
                                  >at least for now . 94.5 isn't all that bad when you consider that
                                  >last tiny bit of purity is going to cost you at least a couple of
                                  >hundred buck or more for a good controller. Lets face it, guy, you
                                  >have just about eliminated all of your options.
                                  >
                                  >Check out the internet for variacs and other types of AC
                                  >controllers. Then weep.
                                  >
                                  >Lot of luck,
                                  >
                                  >Pop
                                  >
                                  >=============================
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>OK, sorry to be so dense, but can I get some more advice on heat
                                  >>control?
                                  >>
                                  >>Problem: temperature cycling at top of reflux column secondary to
                                  >>thermostat on hot plate
                                  >>
                                  >>I am using a 1500W cast iron hotplate, a submersible water pump,
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >and
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>a 15 gallon plastic garbage can as a reservoir. My previous
                                  >>understanding was that the heat source was for rough temp control,
                                  >>and cooling water pump rate was for fine temp control.
                                  >>
                                  >>Previously Suggested solutions:
                                  >>1. Disable Thermostat. Reason to avoid--> Expensive unit &
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >concern
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>that I'm already maxed out on the cooling water pump rate and will
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >be
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>unable to prevent rapid temp rise. My understanding is that this
                                  >>modification will cause the hotplate to be at full output at all
                                  >>times.
                                  >>
                                  >>2. Use a plate of metal between hotplate and thin skin SS kettle.
                                  >>Reason to avoid--> Delayed warm up to ridiculous degree >2hours.
                                  >>
                                  >>3. Use propane. Reason to avoid--> Limited to indoors and wish
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >to
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>avoid carbon monoxide toxicity.
                                  >>
                                  >>4. Get a less powerful hotplate. Reason to avoid--> I already
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >spent
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>the money and besides I have already a hard time being patient for
                                  >>the warm up time to equilibrium as it is.
                                  >>
                                  >>5. Use a external temperature controller. This is the meat of
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >the
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>question. How do I obtain this? I assume it requires disabling
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >the
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>hotplate thermostat. I am not in a position to build one. Does
                                  >>anyone have any experience in buying and using this option?
                                  >>
                                  >>Switching half of my column packing to 6mm raschig rings has
                                  >>dramatically decreased the temp fluctuation but I am unable to get
                                  >>above 94.5% with this setup. If that is as good as is reasonable
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >to
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>expect, than I can live with that. If not, suggestions are
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >welcome.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>Drew
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > New Distillers group archives are at http://archive.nnytech.net/
                                  > FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • hllrsr_uk
                                  A quick question for the more knowledgeable, when using a triac (dimmer) to control the heating element, is the output linear? As in half on the control is
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Aug 5, 2008
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                                    A quick question for the more knowledgeable, when using a triac
                                    (dimmer) to control the heating element, is the output linear? As in
                                    half on the control is half on the element? Or is it the fun thing of
                                    half voltage is quarter the wattage?

                                    All my hard experience is with gas fired or fixed input electrical,
                                    but I've been given a bunch of hardware and want to try building a
                                    smaller variable heat rig.
                                    TIA
                                  • Bill Williams
                                    Hello hllrsr Would be interested in this device. I made an attempt and let the smoke out & a bit of light LOL. Looking for a cheap way (inexpensive) to do a
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Aug 5, 2008
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                                      Hello hllrsr
                                      Would be interested in this device. I made an attempt and let the smoke out & a bit of light LOL. Looking for a cheap way (inexpensive) to do a controller (3KW).
                                      Have U constructed one of these beasties yet?
                                      Thanks In advance
                                      Bill

                                      --- On Tue, 8/5/08, hllrsr_uk <hllrsr@...> wrote:
                                      From: hllrsr_uk <hllrsr@...>
                                      Subject: [new_distillers] Heat Control
                                      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                      Date: Tuesday, August 5, 2008, 8:09 AM

                                      A quick question for the more knowledgeable, when using a triac
                                      (dimmer) to control the heating element, is the output linear? As in
                                      half on the control is half on the element? Or is it the fun thing of
                                      half voltage is quarter the wattage?

                                      All my hard experience is with gas fired or fixed input electrical,
                                      but I've been given a bunch of hardware and want to try building a
                                      smaller variable heat rig.
                                      TIA



                                    • rye_junkie1
                                      ... You should consider posting this question in the Advanced forum. Probably get more hits on it. Those guys get a woody just thinking about Triacs,
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Aug 5, 2008
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                                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "hllrsr_uk" <hllrsr@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > A quick question for the more knowledgeable, when using a triac
                                        > (dimmer) to control the heating element, is the output linear? As in
                                        > half on the control is half on the element? Or is it the fun thing of
                                        > half voltage is quarter the wattage?
                                        >
                                        > All my hard experience is with gas fired or fixed input electrical,
                                        > but I've been given a bunch of hardware and want to try building a
                                        > smaller variable heat rig.
                                        > TIA
                                        >

                                        You should consider posting this question in the Advanced forum.
                                        Probably get more hits on it. Those guys get a woody just thinking
                                        about Triacs, controllers and the likes.

                                        Mason
                                      • hllrsr@csolve.net
                                        Thanks Mason, The reason I posted here, is it seems we have a large and varied background of members. On one of the forums, Distiller s I think, Pintoshine
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Aug 5, 2008
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                                          Thanks Mason,
                                          The reason I posted here, is it seems we have a large and varied background of members.
                                          On one of the forums, Distiller's I think, Pintoshine posted a circuit using a dimmer switch and a triac, but the topic seems to have died out (or been smothered) due to the number of people posting "spoon feed me"
                                          I'll try on the advanced forum.

                                          Bill,
                                          For simplicity, I'm just using a 1500W rotary dimmer switch (light dimmer) to control the power to the element. If you want to control more than that, use a simple household dimmer (~$4.00) feeding a high capacity triac.
                                          A 600V 40A (~$8-$9.00) triac will easily run a 4Kw element if it's heat sinked. I just don't know if it's a direct ratio for the wattage.

                                          Thanks,


                                          rye_junkie1 wrote:
                                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "hllrsr_uk" <hllrsr@...> wrote:
                                            
                                          A quick question for the more knowledgeable, when using a triac
                                          (dimmer) to control the heating element, is the output linear? As in
                                          half on the control is half on the element? Or is it the fun thing of
                                          half voltage is quarter the wattage?
                                          
                                          All my hard experience is with gas fired or fixed input electrical,
                                          but I've been given a bunch of hardware and want to try building a
                                          smaller variable heat rig.
                                          TIA
                                          
                                              
                                          You should consider posting this question in the Advanced forum. 
                                          Probably get more hits on it.  Those guys get a woody just thinking
                                          about Triacs, controllers and the likes.
                                          
                                          Mason
                                          
                                          
                                          ------------------------------------
                                          
                                          
                                          
                                            

                                        • burrows206
                                          Hi Bill? (I think that s your handle) I think on Tony s site you can find a calculator for your purpose of evaluating and using existing elements i.e if you
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Aug 5, 2008
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                                            Hi Bill? (I think that's your handle)

                                            I think on Tony's site you can find a calculator for your purpose of
                                            evaluating and using existing elements i.e if you have a 2200 watt
                                            240 volt element with a 110 volt power supply you can expect about
                                            half the wattage of about 1100 watt. From what I gather if you get a
                                            1500 Watt element 240 volt and feed 110volt into it you get 750 watt
                                            which when your wash (25 litres/5 gallons) is up to temperature will
                                            keep your wash at 78 C for your full run extracting foreshots heads
                                            hearts and tails the lot. Now this is only from memory you really
                                            need to go to Tony's site to clarify this issue
                                            But this doesn't really answer your question but I'm of the
                                            opinion why complicate something by making a a controller when
                                            existing relativly cheap elements are out there to be used rather
                                            than setting a 3000 watt element at a given triac setting then having
                                            to figure out if it's running too hot or cold then trying to figure
                                            out how much to reset the triac to to achieve your desired wattage to
                                            get you precise temp. When you can run 750 watts flat ot on 25
                                            litres and have a successfull run.
                                            My philosophy is to work with existing technology and use it to
                                            it's fullest extent without resorting to varying the temp with a
                                            tempermental triac., especially when an existing 750 to 800 watt
                                            240volt element will do the job without resorting to frigging about
                                            with fancy electronics. But if you are an electronics techy break a
                                            leg and re-invent the wheel maybe you can (and I hope you can) show
                                            us illiterate non -electrically minded bozo's an easy way to do
                                            things electronically.
                                            I 'm not being sarcastic I really do hope you can shed light on this
                                            dark forbidden area of the craft, most of us can only hope there is
                                            an easier way to puddle through. I personally have two electric
                                            elements one 2200 watt 240 volt and an 850 watt 240 volt element with
                                            both on it takes about 45 minutes for a 25 litre wash to get up to
                                            temp then the 2200 watt is unpluged and the rest of the run is on the
                                            850 watt element until 83 C (end of hearts) then the 2200 is plugged
                                            back in until 96 C for all the tails then it's shutdown
                                            Most of us on the forum try to keep thing simple that way
                                            there's less to go wrong. We call it the KISS Principle (keep it
                                            simple or safe) stupid)
                                            Just something to think about
                                            Geoff
                                          • Harry
                                            Re: [new_distillers] Re: Heat Control Thanks Mason, The reason I posted here, is it seems we have a large and varied background of members. On one of the
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Aug 5, 2008
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                                              Re: [new_distillers] Re: Heat Control


                                              Thanks Mason,
                                              The reason I posted here, is it seems we have a large and varied
                                              background of members.
                                              On one of the forums, Distiller's I think, Pintoshine posted a
                                              circuit using a dimmer switch and a triac, but the topic seems to
                                              have died out (or been smothered) due to the number of people
                                              posting "spoon feed me"
                                              I'll try on the advanced forum.

                                              Bill,
                                              For simplicity, I'm just using a 1500W rotary dimmer switch (light
                                              dimmer) to control the power to the element. If you want to control
                                              more than that, use a simple household dimmer (~$4.00) feeding a high
                                              capacity triac.
                                              A 600V 40A (~$8-$9.00) triac will easily run a 4Kw element if it's
                                              heat sinked. I just don't know if it's a direct ratio for the wattage.



                                              Dimmers or rotary switches are potentiometers. They are supposed to
                                              be linear but they rarely are when dealing with power applications.
                                              They tend to favour one end of the dial. The best way to calibrate
                                              them is with a multimeter. Do NOT apply power, just measure the
                                              switch resistance. Measure the resistance at various dial/knob
                                              settings and mark the dial accordingly, 1, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 0. You
                                              will also find that in practice a household dimmer will not withstand
                                              the heat generated in controlling a heating element. You will need a
                                              heatsink of considerable size, or you will let the smoke out.

                                              Pintoshine actually makes a good power controller kit for sale at a
                                              very reasonable price. See the full thread here...
                                              http://tinyurl.com/5ctjfa

                                              Slainte!
                                              regards Harry
                                            • hllrsr@csolve.net
                                              Thanks for the info Harry, that was the circuit I had remembered seeing. As for the heat issue, the dimmer I m planning on using IS rated for heating
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Aug 5, 2008
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                                                Thanks for the info Harry, that was the circuit I had remembered seeing.
                                                As for the heat issue, the dimmer I'm planning on using IS rated for
                                                heating elements,(plus I'm using 1000W thru a 1500w rated switch) but
                                                due to the design of it, trying to measure the resistance of the pot
                                                won't work accurately.
                                                The dimmer circuit is basically the same as Pintoshine's circuit
                                                (according to the manu's website), which means you would be trying to
                                                read the resistance across the triac, unless you broke the seals to get
                                                into it.
                                                But the big question was/is at the reduced setting, am I looking at the
                                                1/2 voltage 1/4 wattage rule? Or does the fact that it is cutting part
                                                of the wave, in effect altering the frequency, mean that the reduction
                                                is linear?
                                                I'll try posting in the linked thread and see if someone knows.

                                                Cheers,
                                                Iain


                                                Harry wrote:
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Dimmers or rotary switches are potentiometers. They are supposed to
                                                > be linear but they rarely are when dealing with power applications.
                                                > They tend to favour one end of the dial. The best way to calibrate
                                                > them is with a multimeter. Do NOT apply power, just measure the
                                                > switch resistance. Measure the resistance at various dial/knob
                                                > settings and mark the dial accordingly, 1, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 0. You
                                                > will also find that in practice a household dimmer will not withstand
                                                > the heat generated in controlling a heating element. You will need a
                                                > heatsink of considerable size, or you will let the smoke out.
                                                >
                                                > Pintoshine actually makes a good power controller kit for sale at a
                                                > very reasonable price. See the full thread here...
                                                > http://tinyurl.com/5ctjfa
                                                >
                                                > Slainte!
                                                > regards Harry
                                                >
                                                >
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