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Author Topic: DIY temp controller using SSR-RA & SSR-VA  (Read 94 times)


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DIY temp controller using SSR-RA & SSR-VA
« on: October 05, 2018, 10:30:21 AM »
So I've been researching the difference between SSR-RA & SSR-VA.  Basically, they are both solid state relays, but they differ by the input that triggers the relay to complete the high voltage/current side. 
The SSR-RA is designed to work with a PID and adjusts the ouput by switching the hight voltage/current side on and off quickly. 
The SSR-VA uses a POT to adjust the output in a directly proportional way.  More resistance across the input means lower output(possibly vice versa but it's important that it's just proportional at this point).
So, given that, I'm thinking about putting together a controller that has the PID controlling the SSR-RA for "on-off" control giving overall temperature control.  The high voltage/current side output of the RA goes to high voltage/current input side of the SSR-VA.  The POT would control the % of output that actually goes through to the VA final output.
The net result is the PID sending pulse on/off's that the RA turns on/off accordingly and when it is on the VA adjusts the % of voltage/current through.  Does this seem right or am I missing something?

Why do I want to do this?  So that I can control the temperature accurately, AND have the ability to control how vigorous the element tries to affect the temperature.  I do want to get water to temp as quickly as possible, however, I may want to slow down the boil or time to boil to prevent possible scortching if I'm using a large element in a small batch.
Has anyone thought about this or done this?



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Re: DIY temp controller using SSR-RA & SSR-VA
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2018, 07:58:21 PM »
yeah, when i was thinking of doing a 3 keggle brewery. i wanted to control the temp of the mash so it would stay close. using a 5500w element and a PID.  then i figured i didnt have the room for what i wanted and bought a Grainfather which basically does the exact same thing. it pulses while mashing and then full power to boil.
one of the things i was worried about with the 5500w element was scorching the wort, since i mostly brew 5 gallon batches and the kegs are 15 gallon, that was the other factor for the grainfather.  interested in what others think about this.
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Re: DIY temp controller using SSR-RA & SSR-VA
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 07:26:47 PM »
I would go with the SSR-RA (standard SSR) with a PID controller and bias your concerns with the hysteresis setting.

I am an Instrumentation & Controls Technician by trade, and I've noticed that if you set the hysteresis pretty high that the PID will rarely overshoot the setpoint.

Set it too tight, and it will overshoot / undershoot the setpoint for a few cycles.  But either way, a good PID controller won't let that happen for more than a few cycles.  They learn pretty quickly.

Consider sending a PM to Tonyyates to see what he used for his PIDs and SSRs.
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