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Low amperage setup

 
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TexanAv8R



Joined: 26 Oct 2016
Posts: 13
Location: Dallas, TX


PostLink    Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:21 am    Post subject: Low amperage setup Reply with quote


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Well, its official, were moving to Australia! Super exciting, and so many awesome things down there...

Except for the whole electricity thing... they seem to be really upside-down and backwards on that one. Since well be moving into an apartment for the first year or two my brewing options will be limited to begin with, but even after that the electrical system here is WEIRD!

Turns out that its nearly impossible to get high amperage circuits in most homes... EVERY wall outlet has its own switch, and is effectively limited to 15is amps!!! Even kitchen stuff like stoves and ovens!

In the states, I was happy as a clam plugging in to my 4-wire dryer outlet and pulling 25 amps into my rig - the vast majority of course to the kettles.

Ive been racking my head over how Ill be able to use my brew rig, and after several days of looking at how to get an electrician to rewire the house ($$$$$$$$$$$$...) it occurred to me that I can simply drop the current draw of the heater element by adding a resistor to it... or more specifically, just running a second element in series into the kettle.

Did the math and it seems almost too simple to be workable... so please, someone... tell me that I missed something!

Ignoring the minimal draw of the panel, assuming a 4500w /230V element it would pull 19.5A at 11.8ohms.

If I run two of these elements in series, Id end up with 9.7A at 2242 watts... less power but usable on a regular circuit!

Anyone see any issues with this?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10130
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had to do some math around this just to confirm: Wwith two identical elements in series across 240V, they should both see a 120V drop. The rated power output is only when run at 240V. At 120V it's actually 1/4 the power so a 4500W element would output 1125W. Australia runs at 230V so it would actually be just slightly lower than 1125W.

Good luck with the move!

Kal

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Builder



Joined: 03 Sep 2017
Posts: 24
Location: Indiana


PostLink    Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that out about the outlets a few years ago when I went to New Zealand. Plus the switches are backwards, up is off and down is on.
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Edward



Joined: 02 Jan 2019
Posts: 7
Location: South Carolina


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no expert...but also keep in mind that in Australia the 230V is three wire - one hot, neutral, and ground. Your four wire control panel is likely not going to work.

Power is also at 50HZ instead of 60HZ so even if you are using a voltage converter any motors will be running 20% slower.

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rogosrestos



Joined: 02 Jan 2019
Posts: 3
Location: Sunshine Coast QLD Australia


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some tips for your move "down under"and electric brewery conversion:
I am based on the Sunshine Coast for over 30 years - about 2 hours north of the Gold Coast. I work in the desalination industry and have a lot of experience on electrical switchboards for many countries. We build electrical switchboards for many countries and often have to strip cabinets supplied from the US and rebuild them to meet Australian standards. The system here will seem very different to you because your not used to it but it is very simple and straight forward.

Domestic Power supply in Australia is via the grid, 3 cables (3 phase 415VAC 50Hz) each phase is 240VAC. Domestic homes are usually connected to 1 cable (phase), large homes and homes that run large airconditioners are often connected to 2 cables (2 phases) or sometimes all 3 phases. Standard power outlets are 10A with up to 10 outlets on each circuit. 15A & 20A outlets are not uncommon but these will be on a single circuit. Circuits are 3 wire, Active (A) red, Neutral (N) black & Earth (E) green/yellow stripe. All powered outlets MUST be protected by an RCD as detailed in Kals manual.
Current is not the defining characteristic but rather voltage in Australia, the device itself will regulate the amount of current it uses.

Some things to consider when you move from your apartment and start looking for a house;
Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world for electricity, more than double the price of your electricity in the US. Consider buying a house with a Solar electricity system, many houses in SE Queensland have solar systems installed. Systems range from 1.5 to 5 kW and will feed excess power back to the grid thet you will get paid for.
Check the switchboard supply on the house, try to get 2 or 3 phase supply if possible.

Some options for your electric brewery;
Follow Kals instructions for adapting your system to 220-240VAC countries.
You have 2 options for the power supply to your cabinet, single phase 32A or 2 phases (if available) 20A each phase.
Either way you will not be able to use the 30A power in socket on your brewery cabinet, it does not meet electrical standards for Australia.
For single phase you will need to use a cable hard wired into the cabinet with a 32A plug attached to the cable. Have an electrician install a 32A circuit from your home electrical cabinet to a 32A outlet where you plan to locate your brew stand. Your electrician will need to check the cable sizing on your mains supply to ensure it is adequate.
For 2 phase your brewery electrical cabinet would need to be hard wired to your house electrical cabinet (no plugs). Your brewery electrical cabinet would also need a lot of re-wiring to split the 2 circuits between the 2 heaters.

You would probably be better selling your 110V March pumps and buying some 240VAC Chugger pumps in Australia. With the current exchange rate you will be getting $1.35Au for $1US so your buck will go a long way.

Good luck with the move, it won't take long to settle in down here - we are a pretty friendly bunch and most importantly we love beer!

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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10130
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some good info from rogosrestos!

If you do decide to replace the pumps, check out our 230V versions here: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/collections/pumps-parts
We have 230V Chugger and March pumps available, with custom plugs / expandable sleeving if you prefer. We also have the Chugger Mini Max pump which allows you to switch between 110V and 230V.

You may want to buy before you go as everything is (generally speaking) more expensive in Australia.

Good luck!

Kal

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Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0


Last edited by kal on Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TexanAv8R



Joined: 26 Oct 2016
Posts: 13
Location: Dallas, TX


PostLink    Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reviving this thread because we just got word today that our Permanent Residence application has been approved and we'll be there in June!!! Sadly, I'm guessing that we'll be in an apartment for the first year, but the trade-off is that it'll be near Broad Beach / Surfer's Paradise. Looks like I may have to stop by and just help RogosRestos with a brew or two and load it into my fermenter.

Thanks for the pointers, I'm a greeny at heart so I've already been looking at solar and other options when we get there.
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rogosrestos



Joined: 02 Jan 2019
Posts: 3
Location: Sunshine Coast QLD Australia


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:58 pm    Post subject: Move Down Under Reply with quote

Great news on your Visa approval, not so great news "no brewing when you get here". You will heve plenty of options from the Gold Coast, get settled in and then decide where to start. I am currently building a "brew house" so my brew days have been suspended to brewery building. Currently I am brewing at the local micro brewery until my project is completed. There are many micro breweries around where you can brew for the short term, just a matter of finding one that is flexible and suits your style. They are predominantly extract but you can add some specialty grains to your brew & also use your own recipe's. There is also a supplier on the Gold Coast that sells fresh all grain wort kits that are ready to go straight into your fermenter https://www.ibrew.com.au/
I was hoping to be up and running by June but my real job has become pretty busy so I expect to be done somwhere around September. Once I am up & running we can hook up for a "brew day", keep in touch through the post once you get settled in.
Mug

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