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Homeroasters.org » BUILDING A ROASTER » Fluidbed Roaster
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Oreck XL blower and Popper heating with recirc
ChicagoJohn
I just completed and tested my attempt at something larger than a popcorn popper. Seems to work good, so I thought Id post details. Thanks to oldgearhead for sharing his experience with using exhaust recirculation with lower wattage electric heat, to allenb for his posts covering heating dynamics, and to BenKeith for his discussion of DIY heating elements.

A $3.99 Oreck XL BB870-AD portable vacuum at Goodwill started this in motion, and I found various parts to go with it at Menards, Home Depot and from previous popcorn popper modifications. The baffled air mixing box and silicone recirc tubes were added after I realized Id need more heat, the 60 funnel insert after to improve bean motion, and the heating assembly modification to boost wattage up to 1850 at 115VAC.

The system has one Arduino Nano in the control box that continuously monitors the blower motor for outlet temperature and wattage. It activates the contactor which connects the heating PWM to the elements only after a preset minimum motor wattage is selected via the control knob. This prevents accidentally supplying heat without air which would quickly melt the 240C thermal fuse on the bottom of the heater assembly.

During operation, the Nano alternately displays the temperature of the blower case at exhaust and the motor wattage on the 7-digit LED display. These are input from MAX 6675 and ACS712 modules, respectively. If, for any reason, the wattage falls below a predetermined level, the contactor connecting the heat PWM and coils is immediately opened to prevent overheating. The blower has a SF113E resettable fuse replacing the lower temp one from the OEM. This activates at 113C, but the Nano also looks for a lower preset maximum and will open the contactor if that is reached. (In normal operation thus far, I have not exceeded 180F / 82C, and the OEM fuse was at 80C. but I think I could go up to 113C / 235F for a short period without permanent motor damage.)

The external Nano monitors the RC temperature and sends the data to the computer which plots it on a graph with the target curve to facilitate operation of the controls for tracking. These include the heating PWM, the blower PWM, and a valve allowing ambient air into the mixing box at the bottom. When fully open, about 60% of the air is ambient with the rest coming from the chaff collector exhaust, and this can be adjusted to 100% recirc.

So far in cold weather with ambient 38F, I was able to complete a 450 gm roast to after 1C and just at 2C in 16 minutes. Ive done 300 gm in 9 minutes with no problem with warmer ambient temperature, and Im hoping to reduce the time for a pound when its warmer and maybe by warming up the equipment before starting, but I think its at least in the ball park.

After in-chamber cooling, the chaff collector lifts off and so does the RC / globe assembly after the draw toggle clamps are opened, allowing the product to be poured into a collection container. There is a red silicone o-ring that rolls up and down to secure the globe onto the RC for discharge or allow it to be removed for cleaning.

Ill make a video when things warm up here.
ChicagoJohn attached the following images:
chaff-collector-detail.jpg riast-chamber.jpg heater-change.jpg fb-control.jpg blower-and-heater.jpg front-panel.jpg partially-disassembled.jpg roaster-setup_1.jpg

Edited by ChicagoJohn on 03/30/2017 08:10
So many beans; so little time....
x1 x1
 
oldgearhead
Looks like you are in business.
No oil on my beans...
 
renatoa
Great build ! Eager to see "the fountain" :)

What glass is the RC ?

Can you estimate the wattage of the blower ? is a 210W pump for inflatable pool enough for such task ? i.e. 500g of green.
DIY: TurboOven with drum, Popcorn
Moded commercial: Dieckmann RoestMeister, Nesco
PID/ramp/soak controllers
Grinder: mod'ed Porlex to 47 conical burrs
 
oldgearhead
renatoa wrote:

Great build ! Eager to see "the fountain" :)

What glass is the RC ?

Can you estimate the wattage of the blower ? is a 210W pump for inflatable pool enough for such task ? i.e. 500g of green.

We know that a two-stage, flow-through, vac/spa blower will easily float 500 grams of greens. Why would you try anything else? A typical vac/spa blower will draw six amp/120V at bean cooling speeds and three amps/120V at roasting speeds, or around 720 watts at max speed.
No oil on my beans...
 
ChicagoJohn
renatoa wrote:

Great build ! Eager to see "the fountain" :)

What glass is the RC ?

Can you estimate the wattage of the blower ? is a 210W pump for inflatable pool enough for such task ? i.e. 500g of green.


The glass is a Coleman lantern globe, around $10 as I recall.
The blower is from an Oreck XL I got at Goodwill for $3.99. I got a spare on eBay for around $20. It is 4 amp, ~ 500 watt.

Kind of cold here and I'll do a video when we get a nice day.
Edited by ChicagoJohn on 03/30/2017 08:11
So many beans; so little time....
 
renatoa
Sorry, there are parts of the world where some things can't be sourced, so I try to figure the raw specs, to find equivalents.
DIY: TurboOven with drum, Popcorn
Moded commercial: Dieckmann RoestMeister, Nesco
PID/ramp/soak controllers
Grinder: mod'ed Porlex to 47 conical burrs
 
oldgearhead
Another point to remember about a vac/spa blower is they usually can deliver 100 CFM and 100 inches of H20 pressure (not at the same time),,
No oil on my beans...
 
coffeeroastersclub
ChicagoJohn wrote:

renatoa wrote:

Great build ! Eager to see "the fountain" :)

What glass is the RC ?

Can you estimate the wattage of the blower ? is a 210W pump for inflatable pool enough for such task ? i.e. 500g of green.


The glass is a Coleman lantern globe, around $10 as I recall.
The blower is from an Oreck XL I got at Goodwill for $3.99. I got a spare on eBay for around $20. It is 4 amp, ~ 500 watt.

Kind of cold here and I'll do a video when we get a nice day.


John, the blower you are using (the oreck), are you going to have it draw from any heated recycled air? I ask because I used a few of those in some bean coolers I made and found that they had a very sensitive thermo cutoff switch. Very troublesome. It would cut out in about a minutes time when under what I thought was not really hot air (around 180 degrees F, if that).

Len

Len
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." ~Abraham Lincoln
 
http://www.coffeeroastersclub.com
walt_in_hawaii
John, GREAT build! awesome job, eagerly awaiting the video of it in action! I agree with Len, I had to remove the thermostats in my poppers, their settings would drift and sometimes they'd interfere with the roast, other times they would leave me alone... troublesome when you don't have any idea what they'll do. I've been accumulating parts to do a much larger fluid bed roaster than my P1, but at the same time juggling with my conscience, as I am not sure if the flavors we can get from air roasters vs drums will differ at all... so I bought a small drum just to try it out. My own personal jury is still out on the verdict, not enough time with the various systems yet. But you have done a wonderful job, as usual, judging from what I see there. $3.99 for an Oreck? I think my spa air blower alone was close to $100... although that appears to have been the most expensive part of the fluid bed parts.

aloha,
walt
 
ChicagoJohn

John, the blower you are using (the oreck), are you going to have it draw from any heated recycled air? I ask because I used a few of those in some bean coolers I made and found that they had a very sensitive thermo cutoff switch. Very troublesome. It would cut out in about a minutes time when under what I thought was not really hot air (around 180 degrees F, if that).

Len

Len


Yes, I am using recirc. The original resettable fuse was 80C. I have replaced it with an SF113e. This was a hand-held portable vacuum and I think that's why the designed it using the 80C one. We'll see :). My temps are getting up to around 180F / 82C so it's not too extreme of a deviation. I monitor it constantly and can set the Arduino shut off point anywhere I want to.
So many beans; so little time....
 
ChicagoJohn
walt_in_hawaii wrote:

John, GREAT build! awesome job, eagerly awaiting the video of it in action! I agree with Len, I had to remove the thermostats in my poppers, their settings would drift and sometimes they'd interfere with the roast, other times they would leave me alone... troublesome when you don't have any idea what they'll do. I've been accumulating parts to do a much larger fluid bed roaster than my P1, but at the same time juggling with my conscience, as I am not sure if the flavors we can get from air roasters vs drums will differ at all... so I bought a small drum just to try it out. My own personal jury is still out on the verdict, not enough time with the various systems yet. But you have done a wonderful job, as usual, judging from what I see there. $3.99 for an Oreck? I think my spa air blower alone was close to $100... although that appears to have been the most expensive part of the fluid bed parts.

aloha,
walt


Thanks for commenting, Walt. It's fun to experiment, isn't it? :)
I went into the Goodwill (thrift) store looking for used popcorn poppers for spare parts and happened to see this hand-held vacuum sitting there with no attachments or anything and picked it up for $3.99 just for the heck of it. And then one thing led to another, as they say :). The Arduino Nano that monitors the motor temperature and current gives me a bit more confidence I'll be OK with the recirc. My research on vacuum cleaner and other small appliance motors leads me to believe they can take 113C for limited upper limit exposure (around 235F), so I think that in this application anything under 205F will be OK and certainly where I'm running which is just over where the engineered resettable thermal fuse was at, 80C. Time will tell.

If the motor does fail, the Arduino will immediately shut off power to the heating coils. That's why it's there -- the unknown ... :)
So many beans; so little time....
 
allenb
This is a superb build! Lot's of high tech features, looks to be easily taken apart for tweaking the design or cleaning/servicing and should be a fun roaster to operate!

Also looking forward to showtime movie of some green coffee taking a ride. BBQ grill

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
ChicagoJohn
allenb wrote:

This is a superb build! Lot's of high tech features, looks to be easily taken apart for tweaking the design or cleaning/servicing and should be a fun roaster to operate!

Also looking forward to showtime movie of some green coffee taking a ride. BBQ grill

Allen


Thanks so much for your help and encouragement, Allen. It's always fun to learn and try to solve problems and figure things out And I've found it's even more fun after six cups of coffee first thing in the morning. woohoo
So many beans; so little time....
 
PhilH
Wow - thats very cool ! ThumbsUp

There's a Lot of work gone into that control box too. Well done - looking forward to seeing the roast video.

Are you using Artisan for live datalogging or something else?

rgds Phil
Edited by PhilH on 03/31/2017 03:53
Dalla Corte Mini, Compak K10F, 1.2kg FB LPG/PID FB, 5kg FB LPG/PID
 
ChicagoJohn
PhilH wrote:

Wow - thats very cool ! ThumbsUp

There's a Lot of work gone into that control box too. Well done - looking forward to seeing the roast video.

Are you using Artisan for live datalogging or something else?

rgds Phil


Thanks. The data acquisition system is serial transfer of temperature from the Nano microcontroller to Excel via free PLX-DAQ and selmaDAQ software. That overlays time-temperature for a roast onto an Excel graph containing the target profile curve, facilitating steering of input parameters. I automated my popper mod with the same system by outputting control of a stepper motor on the heater PWM, but the larger bean mass is so much more stable in the new system and with the broader availability of control parameters -- heater, blower, ambient : recirc ratio -- I think it will be much easier (and more fun) to control manually based upon real-time graphic input.
So many beans; so little time....
 
ChicagoJohn
OGH gave me some operating pointers so I tried another 1 lb today using a preheat of a couple minutes and keeping my ambient air inlet closed to run on 100% recirc. Recirc temp started off around 150F and ended up at 180F. I pretty much ran at full power (1725 watts) and it just followed a natural curve -- a bit faster than my target but should be OK I think. I ran at the max of 500 watts on the blower motor until a minute or so before the end when I backed off to 440 watts. Yield was 87% instead of my normal 85% probably attributable to inclusion of the peaberry in this blend. The Yirg was washed.

The time temperature log is attached.
ChicagoJohn attached the following image:
pound-trial.jpg

So many beans; so little time....
 
renatoa
On the other side of the ponds it seems we live with "alternate grams and watts" :) kidding :)
This video shows 500 grams of greens bubbled by that 210W inflatable pool pump I was talking.




https://www.youtu...U4J9m9mXfM

We know that a two-stage, flow-through, vac/spa blower will easily float 500 grams of greens. Why would you try anything else? A typical vac/spa blower will draw six amp/120V at bean cooling speeds and three amps/120V at roasting speeds, or around 720 watts at max speed.

Edited by JackH on 04/02/2017 15:09
DIY: TurboOven with drum, Popcorn
Moded commercial: Dieckmann RoestMeister, Nesco
PID/ramp/soak controllers
Grinder: mod'ed Porlex to 47 conical burrs
 
jkoll42
That looks really good. I love that you are using a pitcher for the roast chamber!
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
renatoa
Is a French Press glass, with the bottom cut.
DIY: TurboOven with drum, Popcorn
Moded commercial: Dieckmann RoestMeister, Nesco
PID/ramp/soak controllers
Grinder: mod'ed Porlex to 47 conical burrs
 
coffeeforblood
That's quite a project. I hope it works well for you. good post
 
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