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Old December 1st, 2012, 08:12 PM
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Default Vac Controller

I built a Temp controlled Vac Power relay.

I used a PID controller and a RTD temp probe.
I have a switch that enable me to either run in Auto or Manual mode. In Auto mode the PID controller takes care of turning the power relay on or off.
I also have a switch so I can turn the PID on or off, that is the switch that is at the top to the right of the PID controller.

I have set the PID controller so that at 32.5 degrees the Vac will turn off. Then I have a 2.5 degree offset so that it won't turn back on till 35 degrees.
I will most likely change these settings to fine tune it. It takes all but 2 minutes to change these settings and I can do them even when it is running.

I will most likely use the same type of PID controller to build my auto draw off next year.

Yeah I know the electrical fittings that the power cord and controller device cord are not weather tight. I will be sealing them up with silicone before it is put into operation.
I just couldn't find any that was cheap enough for me to buy. So with the silicone and being on the bottom it shouldn't be an issue. The controller box will also be located under a roof that the vac pump will be located under.

I also got a nice quick disconnect fitting for the RTD temp probe from the same place I got the PID controller. It is a 3 pin plug that to release it is just like an air fitting, pull back on the outer body and it releases.
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Vac Controller-vac-controller-1.jpg   Vac Controller-vac-controller-2.jpg  
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Old December 1st, 2012, 10:41 PM
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Nice looking set up. No silicone use the fittings from HD they have them for that very application. They squeeze the wire to form a water tight seal. There in the flex conduit section.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 01:14 AM
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Cool build. You will be lowering the shut off temp Im betting. I watched vac pull sap for quite some time after the 32 degree mark.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 07:07 AM
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If you can stay leak free you will be pulling sap down to 29/28 degrees.

Can you post where you bought the material, Part # etc. and cost of unit.

Thanks.

Very cool.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 08:31 AM
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I knew I was going to have to adjust when the it will shut down, It is just kind of hard to get a really low temp at the workbench. I used a bowl of ice water to test the setup.
The whole reason I made it?
I have a remote sugarbush at my dads cabin about 25 miles away. I plan on going there every morning to collect sap, check the vac pump and releaser and check out some tubing.
I wasn't sure what I was going to do if the temps should rise above freezing before I got there and missed out on sap flow when the vac should be running.
So this is what I came up with.
I needed to have the offset in temp, it is really called the Hysteresis Band, so that if the temp would hover right at the set valve, 32.5, the pump wouldn't turn on and off fast. Not good for the motor, contactor or anything for that matter.


From Aubers Insturments,
PID Controller Item #: SYL-2362, $42.55
Platinum RTD. PT100 (6 ft. cable) Item #: PT100S, $15.65
Contactor, 2 pole, 30A, 120V Coil Item #: CN-PBC302-120V, $16.50
Panel mount connector for RTD sensor Item #: RTDCON, $3.75

From Lowes,
Plastic Electrical Box, $22.00

I had the 2 switches in my junk bin so they didn't cost me anything.
Aubers Insturments does sell small rotary style switches for $5.99. That is where I would have gotten them if it was not for the fact that I already had some on hand.
I also had the barrier strip/terminal strip on hand, I just needed to cut it down to only 4 terminals.
I probably could have made this without the barrier strip but since I had it I used it, makes a nice setup and look.

I still need to pick up a female plug end for the cord that the vac pump will plug into. I thought I had one and I found out I was incorrect, so I used a cord end I had on hand for now to test it out.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 08:44 AM
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Oh yeah this is the PID controller that I want to use not only for my bottler to have better control of temp but also the auto drawoff for the evap.

I will most likely will have to wait till next year for the auto drawoff. But the bottler controller I will make after the seaon is over and syrup is in the 5 gal jugs.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 10:31 AM
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As I am not an electrical guy, my question would be how would this be modified to go to a vfd unit. It has one tiny wire out to the temp whatever thingy and then one tiny wire back to make the connection..... That is what I would need.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Tapin you might help all us other non elec guys and share with us what a vfd??
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 10:58 AM
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variable frequency drive.... turn single phase into 3 phase power.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 05:38 PM
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Taplin, I think you would need a relay.
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