Author Topic: GFCI and Heat Sink questions for Electric Brewing reserch  (Read 233 times)

Offline edward

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GFCI and Heat Sink questions for Electric Brewing reserch
« on: August 08, 2018, 08:01:23 PM »

I've been researching going Electric for a few months and I've purchased about 1/4 of the components.

I'm looking to build a unit with a max load of 50 Amps, using 2 PIDs (HLT and BK) and 2 Heating Elements.

Two potentially dumb questions of what will be many....

A somewhat unconventional question about GFCI....Is it possible to mount a GFCI breaker inside the control panel, just after where the main power comes in but before the main power switch?  I know I could get a  SPA panel or a 50amp GFCI in the house primary panel....but this question is more on the theoretical side.

Instead of heat sinks on the SSRs is it possible to run cooling fans across them as an alternative?



Thanks
Ed

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: GFCI and Heat Sink questions for Electric Brewing reserch
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 12:52:56 PM »
Greetings edward - a GFCI breaker, in the conventional sense, needs to be mounted to a buss bar.  So in that regard, no, you cannot mount a GFCI after the incoming power supply.  SCRs (silicon controlled rectifiers) do require a heat sink to dissipate heat.  They may also require the use of a fan depending on the load and some other ambient temperature factors.

My recommendation is - if you want to use a common GFCI for your entire brew setup - is to install a sub feed cercuit breaker panel that only serves your setup.  So, you would install a 60 amp 2-pole sub panel and feed it with a 60 amp 2-pole breaker.  (You will bring a common and a ground along with the two main lines.  This will give you 115V also) Then you can do anything you need with the 60 amp, 220 volts available.  Also, you may want to split the outgoing load into several circuits.  For example: 1 power circuit for the HLT and another for the BK.  Please note: for your own safety, if you are not experienced working with electricity, hire a professional electrician.

Finally, follow the recommendation that come with the SCR’s.

PS - there is no such thing as a dumb question!
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Offline edward

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Re: GFCI and Heat Sink questions for Electric Brewing reserch
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 07:29:42 PM »

Good info!

I didn't want to blindly copy every other design without questioning if it can be done another way....of course most everyone is using similar designs for good reasons.

My plan is to feed a 60amp Spa sub-panel w/ GFCI from a 60amp breaker in the main panel.  My neighbor is a residential electrician and is trading knowledge, time, and hardware for beer.   :)

Offline mabrungard

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Re: GFCI and Heat Sink questions for Electric Brewing reserch
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 08:17:21 PM »
I did the same, but a 50a spa subpanel fed from a 50a breaker in my main panel. I then shoehorned a 4 prong 50a recepticle into the subpanel and plug my brewing panel into the subpanel when I want to brew. I just wanted a physical disconnect so that its less likely that someone could flip a switch on my brewing panel and burn the house down. 
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: GFCI and Heat Sink questions for Electric Brewing reserch
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 11:20:46 AM »

 My neighbor is a residential electrician and is trading knowledge, time, and hardware for beer.   :)

That always a wonderful thing!  Good luck!
All good things come to those who show patients and perseverance while maintaining a positive and progressive attitude. :-)