Posted by Moonshiner Chuck on

Welcome back, today we're going to build a pID controller for two elements. I'm using my pin, although you can use the inkbird. Use just about anyone that you can rely on. That's for two solid state relays. I got a lot going on. We now have a finished product. And this is my P ID, my dual element p ID all assembled. I got my volt amp meter here so I can keep track of that. I could always use the P ID. It has a power output mode that you can track as well. 

But here's how this works. The light goes on and off. That's the accessory from a water pump. The main power for my pa ID. And when I turn that on, I rewired a different sort of fan that would come on, when I turn the P ID on, it's really the only time. And the controls for this is heat irrelevant number one, and  you’ll notice  that it's flashing because it's requiring some heat or power. 

The number two. So now these lights will indicate every time that element is fired. And every time I pee, it fires, the lights fire. So that's just a visual indicator and it's manufactured and it goes mckool points. But what I wanted to explain in detail was the necessity for two elements and still, when is it required? And when is it just outmoded? When is it optional? When you have a still and we're just going to draw one great big still and without any of the additions on it. We're talking about heater elements. Because you're going to use a pod controller to control the heat. And so normally you'll put it in about two inches, three inches from the bottom. And then that way your element however it is designed, heats able to heat everything inside here. That's with just one element. When you get a little bit higher than that, sometimes you need some additional help. 

And that's only during the heat up process. What we do is two thirds of the way up, we'll put another one. The second one is normally on what we call a static line, or a static circuit. And what that means is that there's a plug here that you plug in somewhere, and then once it's heated up, you disconnect it. The reason for disconnecting it is because if you have two elements working on the same p ID when they're like this, they start to work against each other. we talked about thermal transfer and convection currents and things going on inside the steel. 

If you get really hot, and when it moves up, it's hot. There are ways around this, but why go through that process, this whole static line. And there's another option, we could build a PD controller, where this one plugs in. And this one plugs in. And we put a switch here and a switch here. And these switches control heater element one, heater element two, and we can either turn it on or turn it off. And that's what we're going to build today. Here's the other consideration. When you get up, you're up to like 50 gallons. One of them is larger devices that may require you to have two elements in the bottom. And that's quite all right. So you put 240 500 watts to 5500 watts to 3500. Whatever the case may be, you can put those in there. Still run both to the same controller. You got the on off switches. 

If something should go what I call caddywhompus, you can always turn one of them off, or leave them both on and since they're both at the same level, they don't compete against each other. So you get a much more smooth, much more efficient, much more gentle maintenance of your temperature. Just remember, if you've got one two thirds of the way up, and it's just helping you heat up, because when you get to like 1316 or above about 16 gallons, you need that additional help to save you time. Because that's all it is, is a time saver. So you've got that when you plugged in. 

Once it gets up the temperature is plugged in. It just relies on the one if you've got a really large still put two in the bottom and that'll really help you along the way. Let's get into building the P ID controller for a multiple element circuit. We've got this box. A larger box that I'm using and I've got my fan here got a 12 volt fan. That will move the air through here to circulate the air to make sure that it remains cool because I've got two solid state relays on heat sinks and I've got a to vent holes and I've got to vent holes also I want to do is make sure that my holes, the area of my holes, or at least equal to the area of the fan so I get a constant flow. I'll probably put one more hole, only to make sure that I've got enough surface.

Another area. I'm using the PG 21. And the PG 21 is the size of the gland. For the 10 gauge wire, I got 10 four, and there's a reason why we're using the 10 four as opposed to attending three, because if you've got four wire forwards on a 240 volt system, I can wire 240 volts anywhere in the box, but I can also wire 120 volts for a separate receptacle. And if I only have a three wire system, I'm only left with 240 volts. I don't have that option for that 120 volt receptacle.

I put a connection block. And I've got a bridge that bridges these three screws together then I got a separate bridge for these two and Final bridge for these three. And what that does is it makes these 320 volts. It makes these two neutrals, it makes these three 120 volts which are out of phase. So that means if I hook it and this one together, anywhere, I've got 240 volts. If I hook it in this one to something, I've got 120 volts, or if I hook it and this one somewhere I've got 120 volts, you follow the process, it means, it's really relatively simple. 

I've got 250 amp, solid state relays, remember is the SSR 50 da, and da means I'm going to have direct current going into pins three and four, to control an AC voltage between pins one and two. I've got that on both sides. Later on we'll take this through step by ste. The reason I'm using the 50 amp is because I want to make sure it's better to not need equipment. What it's capable of carrying so far, the 10 gauge wire, That's 30 amps. So with a 30 amp potential, this would probably be good enough for 230 500 watt elements. 

Can you hook 240 500 watt elements to it? You could, but that would draw at 100% power 37 and a half amps. Don’t do it all the time. But in that case you'd be drawing 45.8 amps. And that really does exceed the wire but it doesn't exceed the solid state relays. Thee reason why I've got these relays in here is 50 amps. 

My 12 volt transformer, and the small IR m 10 dash 12 and that's going to convert 120 volts to 12 volts to operate the fan. And later on, we're going to place in our NEMA l six dash 30. In the L six dash 30 is a twist in plug in, it's only got three connectors. So all we need is a hot and a ground and that'll be for your element. 

See you in Part 2!

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Happy Distilling!