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Thread: 600 volt - 3 phase elements

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Hortonville/Grand Pre Nova Scotia
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    7

    600 volt - 3 phase elements

    Does anyone know if/where I could get 600v elements for a 1bbl system? We have three phase power and would like to use it if possible. So far the smallest 3 phase system I've come across is 7bbl.

    I have a feeling that this doesn't exist/is a bad idea but I am just looking to confirm my thoughts before scrapping this and sticking with 240v

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    311
    I guess your options are 120/208 volt, three phase, four wire grounded wye or 347/600 volt, three phase, four wire grounded wye. When you say 240 volt, that's typically not 3 phase, or if it is, it's usually wired open delta. I'm not sure if it's offered in your area or not. You'll want to be sure of which it is if you go that route, as that will affect the rated power of the element (e.g. a 2000 watt 240v element only produces 1500 watts at 208v).

    If the building is already serviced with 347/600, then you must have a secondary transformer that provides 120/208, right? If not, you'll need one, and that drives up the cost. It's highly unusual for a building to have service at two different mains voltages, unless its a large industrial facility (in some industries), or someone previously paid for it.

    For 1bbl, I don't know if it pays to go with the higher voltage. How many KW of heaters are you going to run? That will determine the size of your electrical panels and the wiring.

    I'm in the US and unfamiliar with electrical products for use in Nova Scotia, but it seems like 600 volt heating elements might be harder to find, as the market is smaller than one on the southern side of the the Canadian border which commonly uses 277/480v (or 120/208) 3ph 4W wye. However, you might find three phase wye connected heaters that are rated at 347 volts (which is your phase to neutral voltage on a 600v 3ph 4W system).

    If the current needed for your brewhouse is manageable at 120/208, I'd go with that. If you're planning on growing, the only other factor I can think of is how expensive would it be to switch to 347/600v in the future. If the building is already serviced with the higher voltage, and already has a 600/208 step down transformer, then I'd stick with the 208, because if your brewhouse grows significantly, it's not like you'll be able to re-use your 1bb system components. If you have to pick between 120/208 and 347/600, think about your projected growth, and compare that to the extra cost of installing a step down transformer for "household" power, and the extra electrical distribution needed to have both.

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    24
    Hi,

    It depends on what each line voltage is. Here in Europe (probably similar in Canada) single phase is 230V and each line of 3 phase is 230V. I think something like this is perfect for 150 L. It is physically 3 independent elements each taking one line of the 3 phase service. They also offer suitable SSR's for the controller. I'm not affiliated with them, but have bought some stuff and am happy with it.

    https://store.brewpi.com/mashing/sta...nt-8500w-9250w

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    607
    Three phase is nice definitely nice. As stated before, it is unlikely that you have just 600v 3 phase coming in, there is hardly anything that runs on those voltages save for large industrial motors, so there should be a step down transformer that would bring it down to 120/208 or 230/480, either will work. Nice thing with higher voltages is that the amperage goes down, and thus something that would need to be wired with say 8 or 10 ga wire at 120/208 could be done with 12 ga or possibly 14 ga wire at the higher voltage, thus you save money on wiring.
    As also stated before, there is a difference between wiring in houses that is 120/240, the 240, these are known as delta circuits, you get two lines that when taken to neutral are 115v, and when taken to the other line are 240v. In a wye circuit, the line to line voltage of any phase to another is the higher voltage, and the line to neutral voltage is the lower voltage, so 120/208 or 230/480.

    Bottom line, if you haven't ever done 3 phase wiring, find a friend who has and let them help you. Not terribly hard to learn, but it can be confusing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    311
    Quote Originally Posted by jebzter View Post
    TAs stated before, it is unlikely that you have just 600v 3 phase coming in, there is hardly anything that runs on those voltages save for large industrial motors, so there should be a step down transformer that would bring it down to 120/208 or 230/480, either will work.
    [...]
    As also stated before, there is a difference between wiring in houses that is 120/240, the 240, these are known as delta circuits, you get two lines that when taken to neutral are 115v, and when taken to the other line are 240v. In a wye circuit, the line to line voltage of any phase to another is the higher voltage, and the line to neutral voltage is the lower voltage, so 120/208 or 230/480.
    Nova Scotia does not have 277/480 or even three phase delta service types, according to this: https://www.nspower.ca/site/media/pa...quirements.pdf

    I didn't mean to imply that 347/600 is unlikely; it might be the normal existing service voltage for an industrial building in NS. For a large building, it's not unusual to see high voltage lighting. For example, HID or fluorescent fixtures wired phase-to-neutral. I've seen many grocery stores in the US, for example, that are wired for 277 volt lights. Makes sense when you're going to install hundreds of fixtures. Smaller buildings are almost certainly wired with 120/208 3ph 4W grounded, as this is the most flexible and the cheapest for general tenant improvements, but honestly, I'm not so sure if that's the case in Nova Scotia. It appears that 347/600 is more common in industrial settings there.

    In any case, 1bbl is a small batch size, so the choice probably matters most on what the building is wired with in the first place, with a preference for 120/208, unless there is a plan for big growth (and staying electrically heated). If you go with the lower voltage, make sure you know whether it's 208 or 240 volt. As I mentioned, the difference in wattage is significant if your heater is rated for one voltage, but you have the other.

    Don't try to do this work yourself; there's a lot of stuff that you need to know to do this safely.

    Regards,
    Mike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Hortonville/Grand Pre Nova Scotia
    Posts
    7
    Hey Mike,

    Thanks so much for the great info.

    We do indeed have a stepdown to 120/240. The 600v is used to run the kiln and malting equipment. We most certainly will not be doing this ourselves. We have an electrician doing all the wiring.

    We are looking at a four element system (2 in HLT and 2 in boil kettle) with each element being 5500w at 240v. In theory, 3 phase power is more efficient that single phase but in a 1 bbl system is it worth the extra work and cost to go three phase?

    Also for expansion, it would have to be outside the current facility.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Hortonville/Grand Pre Nova Scotia
    Posts
    7
    Another question I have, is with a 8500/9000watt element in a 1bbl system, is scorching of the wort a possibility? I mean that's a lot of heat in a much smaller surface area than a standard 5500w element

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    311
    Not sure if I'm reading you right, but if it has less surface area than a ULWD 5500 watt element, but nearly twice the power, I'd be concerned. I've read (but don't know for sure) that 45 watts / sq. inch is about as high as you want to go. It's probably better to go with several smaller elements than one large one, because 1) lower watt density and 2) if one burns out, you can probably still brew. I have these really nice 3300 watt all stainless elements that attach with 2" triclamps, but unfortunately, I can't get more. I also have a 26 gallon kettle with a single 5500 watt element that boils water fine--I haven't used it yet for wort. I should think that two to three 5500 watt elements would be fine for one bbl. Use three to get it to a boil, and then possibly turn one off.

    You can dial back the power on a heating element using a PWM controller with SSRs, but that sort of defeats the purpose of a larger element.

    Maybe someone who uses them can chime in here.

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Minocqua WI
    Posts
    792
    Or better yet a steam fired system....
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by smastroianni View Post
    Does anyone know if/where I could get 600v elements for a 1bbl system? We have three phase power and would like to use it if possible. So far the smallest 3 phase system I've come across is 7bbl.

    I have a feeling that this doesn't exist/is a bad idea but I am just looking to confirm my thoughts before scrapping this and sticking with 240v

    Many thanks
    Old thread but... were you ever able to source 600v elements?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Lachine, Quebec
    Posts
    5

    Screwplug heater for processing

    Quote Originally Posted by smastroianni View Post
    Does anyone know if/where I could get 600v elements for a 1bbl system? We have three phase power and would like to use it if possible. So far the smallest 3 phase system I've come across is 7bbl.

    I have a feeling that this doesn't exist/is a bad idea but I am just looking to confirm my thoughts before scrapping this and sticking with 240v

    Many thanks
    Hello,
    Yes, take a look at WATTCO.COM or https://www.wattco.com/products/
    or call 514-488-9124

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