Friday, 5 October 2012

Brewery Build #25: Control Box #2

The (free) plastic fuse-box that I was using for the Brewery Control Box was a little cramped - inside and out - to use effectively.  Having to position the PID and HLT controller on the sides of the box made it more difficult to use and and I couldn't work out any brew-stand-design that included that 'feature' in the design.

So, I moved everything into a new steel-box:, using solder-less fittings, clips and plugs.  The bigger box allowed for a neater and easier to use lay-out both inside and out.

The first step was to make the cut-outs needed for the PID, HLT controller, LED-lights and switches:

From the inside, with each component in place:

Wires are attached to the switches using insulated spade-connectors and the LED's are fitted via fork-connectors:

Since I need to run 2x 2400W elements at the same time, but are limited to standard domestic 10A circuits with no RCD (Safety Switches), the Control Box has two circuits (left and right side of the box) - each connected to a different house-circuit - and the input connections run directly into the RCDs:

From the RCD's the power is split and runs to the two double-pole switches, one single throw switch for a pump on each circuit:

And one double throw (center-off) switch that runs either a kettle-element directly or the PID/SSR on one circuit or the HLT-controller on the other.
The SSR and copious quantities of tape - that cover every exposed terminal/connection/screw - make it difficult to see what's going on, but it's all quite logical and well spaced-out.

In use, while recirculating a step-mash (during the Maltase Rest):
The top-red-LED's indicate that both circuits are provided with power, one pump is switched on to recirculate the mash (bottom left), the PID is stepping the temperature up to 63C, and the HLT-controller is heating the sparge water.

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