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Thread: Fermenter PID?

  1. #1
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    Fermenter PID?

    I'm about to start building a control panel for my fermenters and I'm looking for recommendations on which PID's to use.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by baer19d View Post
    I'm about to start building a control panel for my fermenters and I'm looking for recommendations on which PID's to use.
    There are a number of options out there, but probably the most frequent I have seen are Fuji PXR4's. I have had one burn out on me (5 years old), however they are usually quite reliable. You can get a knock-off for significantly less $$$, but be prepared to replace it more often.

  3. #3
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    I have one of these SOLO PID's on my keg washer really nice and also has rs485 communication so you can communicate with a computer or PLC for data logging. Automation directs tech line is very helpful with problems. https://www.automationdirect.com/adc...ss_Controllers

  4. #4
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    Check out: https://www.auberins.com/index.php?m...=index&cPath=1

    Many choices to choose from.

    mtn

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushstop View Post
    I have one of these SOLO PID's on my keg washer really nice and also has rs485 communication so you can communicate with a computer or PLC for data logging. Automation directs tech line is very helpful with problems. https://www.automationdirect.com/adc...ss_Controllers
    I have these also.... the SL4824-RR. They have ramp and soak programming which is nice

  6. #6
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    Another vote for the Fuji PXR line. In twenty years, I've had to replace two out of twelve in our control panel. The initial parameter set-up can be intimidating, so, if possible, have the vendor set them up for you.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  7. #7
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    Thank for the info. I have another question. Since there's only one process pump on the chiller that supplies all the fermenters with glycol I'm going to need to install a relay per PID that will turn on the pump when the PID is calling for glycol correct?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by baer19d View Post
    Thank for the info. I have another question. Since there's only one process pump on the chiller that supplies all the fermenters with glycol I'm going to need to install a relay per PID that will turn on the pump when the PID is calling for glycol correct?
    I'm not sure what your setup is but I can't think of a scenario (maybe something very small?) where you'd do it that way. The process pump on your chiller should essentially run all the time, circulating glycol through your system at all times. What the PID will do when the temp calls for glycol is signal a solenoid or actuated valve (mounted on the supply side of that particular tank) to open allowing glycol to flow through that tank. Relays may still come into play depending on the voltage and type of the solenoids.

  9. #9
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    I'm only a garage expert here, but I think most quality (and even most knockoff) PIDs such as the Fuji and Solo mentioned will offer a model containing a built in relay. Usually rated up to about 10 amps, in varying voltages. Generally sufficient for the glycol solenoids/valves that would typically be used. If you want to switch a large amperage relay then I think you have to move into the separate Solid State Relay stuff. I'm sure someone with more knowledge can chime in on that part.

    As stated by GlennL, your chiller should basically run constantly around the loop with drop downs for the tanks. On the drop downs you should have an individual tank solenoid/motorized ball valve. You will need a bypass valve/regulator on the loop to make sure you don't dead-head the chiller pump when all tank solenoids/valves are closed and to regulate the flow volume. Chiller will generally come with a control of some sort (maybe a Ranco A419 or the like) to regulate the temperature.

    I second AutomationDirect.

  10. #10
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    Okay! now I got it. I didn't realize the pump ran continuously. That actually make it easier to build the panel. I thought a process pump turned on only when a fermenter called for glycol.

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    I have seen chillers that have a pressure transducer on the glycol output that is hooked to a VFD. When the transducer detects a deadhead/high pressure spike the VFD slows or shuts down the circulation pump.
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Goodwood Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    goodwood.beer

  12. #12
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    I use dual pole relays for my setup so when the temp controller calls for cooling it activates the relay One pole of the relay powers and opens the 24v solenoid valve for the conical jacket that needs coolant and the other pole turns on the 240v pump in the chiller that pumps through the shared manifold...
    any cheap relay pid with built in 10a relays or even ssr output control models should be using that output to power a larger relay or "contactor" for the actual valves and pumps...

    in fact I would think a person would want to use an hysteresis temp controller and not an actual pid for this?
    Last edited by augiedoggy; 02-09-2018 at 08:08 AM.

  13. #13
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    Is there a specific reason to use PID here?

    Why not stick with simple temperature controller and K type (or similar) probe..?

    Sent from my GM 5 d using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by augiedoggy View Post
    in fact I would think a person would want to use an hysteresis temp controller and not an actual pid for this?
    Again, in my limited knowledge, a PID is generally more accurate at maintaining a set temperature than an on/off with hysteresis. Also, I don't think you can program ramp/soak into a temperature controller with hysteresis, but I could be wrong. I forgot about the contact, which is definitely a good idea to include, but I am fairly certain I don't have one on my pub setup. It controls 24V red-hats and have not had to replace anything in 5+ years.

    I don't know that you would actually save anything from having the main chiller pump only kick on when calling for chilling, but it probably depends on the size of your cellar and chiller. We generally have at least one tank cooling at all times anyways. I would have concerns of the relay or contact failing due to constant switching. The VFD setup is interesting but again your dependent on no failures in the pressure transducer. In my general experience (both in and out of brewery) sensors fail a lot more often than working components such as elements, pumps, valves, ect. I often subscribe to the KISS method.
    Name:  Hysteresis vs PID.jpg
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by darko View Post
    Why not stick with simple temperature controller and K type (or similar) probe..?
    Having worked with both, either TC or RTD can be used but there are positives and negatives to each. Simplifying it a bit, RTDs are generally more accurate and more stable, TC's are cheaper and have a quicker reaction time. There is a lot more to it than that, so I added one of many links on the subject for anyone interested.

    http://www.ultra-nspi.com/informatio...le-comparison/

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