Author Topic: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?  (Read 4425 times)

Offline Kit B

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I'm looking to add a 240V 4500W heating element to a kettle.
I had previously expected to operate it with a switch, but was informed by a friend that this is a very bad idea & will likely fry the switch in short order.
I've looked at the control boxes on highgravitybrew.com & am not entirely impressed.
I think my $ would be better spent on something a little more accurate.

Does anyone have the ability to instruct me on how I would go about using a SSR & PID, to control my element?
Can anyone provide wiring diagrams, for a very basic build?

Thanks, in advance.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 12:44:45 PM by Kit B »
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 12:42:37 PM »
I supposed I should also mention that I'm planning to use the element in my boil kettle to maintain mash temperatures, via HERMS coil.
So...The element will not be strictly a boil element...I will need to be able to control any step mash temperatures, as well.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 12:50:35 PM »
Kit B - are you a member of the Northern Brewer forum?  There is a very knowledgeable electrician over there who likes this type of stuff and would probably be a big help to you.
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 02:08:55 PM »
I supposed I should also mention that I'm planning to use the element in my boil kettle to maintain mash temperatures, via HERMS coil.
So...The element will not be strictly a boil element...I will need to be able to control any step mash temperatures, as well.

Ok, 4500 watts @ 240V is about 20 amps so I recommend a 50amp SSR.  You would put the temperature probe in the mash tun and then when you are ready to boil, switch the PID to ON/OFF mode and dial it up to 100%.  When the kettle gets going, dial the PID back to whatever % will maintain a rolling boil.

Try Auberins.com SYL-2352
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Offline blatz

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 02:15:59 PM »
why not a 30amp?  he'll be considerably less than the 80% max for a 30amp.

Just asking since the 50 will be more expensive. 
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 02:33:56 PM »
Ok, 4500 watts @ 240V is about 20 amps so I recommend a 50amp SSR.  You would put the temperature probe in the mash tun and then when you are ready to boil, switch the PID to ON/OFF mode and dial it up to 100%.  When the kettle gets going, dial the PID back to whatever % will maintain a rolling boil.

Try Auberins.com SYL-2352

Very cool...That's the PID I was considering.
For the SSR, do I need to go to 50A?
Is the 25A Here inadequate?
Please, educate me.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 02:35:46 PM by Kit B »
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 02:55:56 PM »
if you use a 25 or 30 amp SSR with a 20AMP load then you HAVE to put a heat sink on it, then what do you do when you decide to put a 5500watt element in the kettle?

You can get a 50A SSR with heat sink for $23 on Ebay with free shipping.  Less from China.   I don't care for the SSRs that Auberins offers.

I also recommend one of the 4500 or 5500 watt 'Sandhog' super low watt density elements to help prevent scorching the wort.($35)
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 03:02:53 PM »
why not a 30amp?  he'll be considerably less than the 80% max for a 30amp.

Just asking since the 50 will be more expensive. 
Paul,
The 80% metric is for circuit breakers and electrical wiring.  Those SSRs generate a LOT of heat when they are on 100% and we all know heat is bad for electronics.  The cost difference between a 25 and 50 amp SSR is negligible compared to what a PIA a failed SSR on brewday is going to be.
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Offline bo

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011, 03:04:50 PM »
I would always double, if possible, the SSR rating per the current requirements. Also, that heatsink needs ventilation, so don't plan on putting it in an enclosure.

Also, you can get PID controllers form Ebay for around $20, also from China and they work well.

Offline blatz

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2011, 03:28:38 PM »
why not a 30amp?  he'll be considerably less than the 80% max for a 30amp.

Just asking since the 50 will be more expensive. 
Paul,
The 80% metric is for circuit breakers and electrical wiring.  Those SSRs generate a LOT of heat when they are on 100% and we all know heat is bad for electronics.  The cost difference between a 25 and 50 amp SSR is negligible compared to what a PIA a failed SSR on brewday is going to be.

ah - thanks dave - had no idea.

I just looked and the panel I am buying has 2 5500W and 2 40amp SSRs with a giant heat sink, so its probably in the middle of what you're recommending.

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Offline Kit B

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2011, 03:52:05 PM »
if you use a 25 or 30 amp SSR with a 20AMP load then you HAVE to put a heat sink on it, then what do you do when you decide to put a 5500watt element in the kettle?

You can get a 50A SSR with heat sink for $23 on Ebay with free shipping.  Less from China.   I don't care for the SSRs that Auberins offers.

I also recommend one of the 4500 or 5500 watt 'Sandhog' super low watt density elements to help prevent scorching the wort.($35)

What SSR manufacturer would you recommend?
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2011, 04:30:16 PM »
I just looked and the panel I am buying has 2 5500W and 2 40amp SSRs with a giant heat sink, so its probably in the middle of what you're recommending.

The GIANT heatsink is the key.  5500w@240V is 23amps so you're pretty close to double WITH a heatsink.  I am using 120V with my system(2X11.5 amps with one 40 and one 25A SSR it's great for the RIMS buy it takes 2.5-3hrs to heat up my HLT.  I just use aluminum supports to mount my SSRs and that seems to be enough heatsink.  Mounting the SSRs on a metal box makes the box a heatsink too.
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2011, 04:39:33 PM »
What SSR manufacturer would you recommend?

The Aubers are LDG.  They WORK very well, they just have a cover that does not want to stay on once the wires are connected so I have to hold the cover on with a zip tie.
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2011, 04:47:20 PM »
One last comment.  In my considerable experience with this type of hardware.  There ain't nothin' simple about it.
On the flip side, once you have the system dialed in, the repeatability is fantastic.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Simple 240V 4500W Kettle Element Control - Any Ideas You Can Share?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2011, 03:36:28 AM »
This is what I'm looking to do as well, but bigger. With my setup, it's 4 heat sticks, 2 for the hlt and 2 for the boil kettle, 4.5kw each, so at 230v that figures to 25 amps per stick, right? In terms of buying SSRs, does that mean I need four 25 amp SSRs, or can I get by with two 50 amp SSRs? For the total load, if I'm running the boil kettle and the HLT at the same time, does that mean the whole system will draw 100 amps? (calculations include 80% safety thinger mentioned above) Should I just never ever have both turned on?
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