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Within design relay temperatures?

 
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bobby4



Joined: 30 Oct 2014
Posts: 9



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:59 pm    Post subject: Within design relay temperatures? Reply with quote


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I have a slightly modified electric brewery build that was put together by my control tech father-in-law. There are a few parts I bought from Auberins back before Kal was selling them. We just replaced a dead contactor with one of Kalís, but now the main power contactor is running a bit warm. It is a back to back setup with 2x5500w elements, running on 240v. Everything is sized right. We are going to clean the contacts and check them, but I am wondering what is a typical external temperature for the relay? Ours is heating up to 65 with just one leg running.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10658
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

I'm brewing today and am a few hours into mashing, so I popped open the enclosure and used my laser thermometer to measure temps.

Power in relay: 40C
HLT relay: 40C
Boil relay: 34C (not in use yet so it's the ambient enclosure temp)

Mine's the standard 30A setup.

You mention both contactors and relays. I'm assuming your back to back panel is based off my 50A back to back design? That would use a 50A (or higher) contactor for power in, and then 30A (or higher) relays or contactors for boil and hlt. 50A relays are hard to find so you typically don't see those for the power in. Also confused how you would clean the contacts on the power in device as only relays can be opened. Most contactors are sealed. That said, you should never have to clean relay contacts on correctly designed equipment (I never have and have been running this panel since 2009).

Cheers!

Kal

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bobby4



Joined: 30 Oct 2014
Posts: 9



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it is based on your panel. Sorry, being the non-tech guy I am butchering the language. By cleaning I meant where the wires attach, the contacts for the contactors.😄. Plus check the wires donít have frayed strands, etc. The two legs are the same as yours, nice and cool. It is the main relay that is running warm on one corner, around 65. That is on the continuous heating run, once it is just holding the temp it cools down.

Also, thanks for checking!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10658
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You raise a good point: It may not be the relay/contactor itself that's running hot from normal use but a poorly done connection that is overheating (and that heat will spread).

Heat is created when current flows through an area that is too small to handle the amount of current. This can happen:

(a) with a loose connection where only a few strands are making contact because the wire is not properly tightened/fastened, and/or
(b) a wire that is too small to handle the current is used, and/or
(c) when a properly sized wire is used but some of the copper strands were cut/trimmed to get it to fit (this should never be done)

All of these cases effectively reduce the contact area meaning that more current flows through a smaller area which in turns creates more heat which can melt the insulation on wires and damage nearby components.

It could also be that youíre actually pulling too much current by using oversized heating elements. This would only be possible if an incorrectly sized breaker was installed in the electrical panel (larger than 50 amps) as otherwise the breaker would pop if more than 50A was pulled. Doesn't sound like this is the case however as you mentioned 2 x 5500W heating elements.

Cheers!

Kal

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Fal



Joined: 29 Dec 2014
Posts: 69



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not had issues since replacing my plugs, but I'm curious to the maximum operational ambient temperature for the panel. I live in south Alabama. I'm brewing today. It's currently 95F outside with no wind. I'm in a garage and it's probably close to 110 and humid since there is no wind moving air in or out.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10658
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

110F (43C) will not cause issues.

Kal

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Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
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