Simple Voltage Regulator

I decided I needed to be able to control the power to my boiler when running the pot still.  I was losing a lot of vapor from the condenser as the boiler was just going hard nuts the whole time.

 

I started by ordering a controller online.

 

I got this unit: http://www.dx.com/p/high-power-5000w-220v-electronic-voltage-regulator-scr-dimming-thermostat-regulator-white-381969 from dx.com.  It cost me about $10 US.

 

I also got a small plastic jiffy box from jaycar to mount it in. ($8.50)

 

Found some old cables in the shed, hacked the ends off them and stripped the wires back.

 

Check which wire was live: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_wiring

 

Never work on the cables when the are plugged in. ALWAYS UNPLUG before touching exposed wires!

 

Connected the live wires to the controller, making sure that I had the male plug on the 'in' side and the femail socket on the 'out' side. Then I linked the other wires up using a plastic brick conector I srounged up from a mate down the street.

 

Tested it on a stripping run to make sure it was going to work.  It did!

 

I also put my temperature probe deep in the fins on the side of the controller to check how hot it gets. It was in the mid to high 30 degree celcius range, it never got over 40 degrees.

 

Then I drilled some holes in the plastic jiffy box, threaded the cables in, mounted the controller and hooked it all up again.

 

The last step will be to stick some velcro to it and hang it on the wall out of the way next to the power point where it can be easily hooked up and adjusted.

 

In my system, I run it at about 60% of full power, takes longer, but vastly reduced vapor loss. 

 

I'm looking forward to using it on a spirit run!  :)

 

You can watch it run here http://www.nzhomedistiller.org.nz/?q=content/uj-whiskey-stip-run-and-con...

Video: 

Comments

Top stuff Wolfric, I am sure this will come in handy for plenty of guys :)
 
Are you going to put a small computer fan or something on the side of the case at all to help with heat? Once it is enclosed it may tend to accumulate more heat than when it was out in the open in the test run?
 
 

I was going to drill some ventilation holes in the top, will see how it goes before I decide if I need a fan.
I did a run yesterday with it in the box, but I didnt have the back on, the plastic was warm to touch, not super hot or melting.

I know some of the controllers have a safe operating range and if they get outside of it they go poof, specially with the cheapies it may be worth investigating?
 
If you go ahead and do it just wipe these comments and edit the main post ?
 
Or whichever afterwise.

 Nice. Very cool. 

 It has inspired me to do the same
 
Thanks
 
 

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