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snwcmpr
12/07/2019 9:29 AM
roar

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11/27/2019 11:44 AM
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allenb
11/27/2019 11:04 AM
Nice! I know Netrix is going through things and tweaking as he see's issues

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11/26/2019 1:35 PM
I got an email that I had a PM. So, that is working for me again. greenman

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Fluid Bed Roaster Build - bye bye Heat Gun and Flour Sifter
jbrux4
Hello. I am new to this site, but have been researching for quite some time. However, the amount of information has created a cloud.

I have committed to a fluid bed roaster beyond my current heat gun, flour sifter, and whisk method. I've been doing this for 3 years now, and there are limitations. However, fresh roasted is fresh roasted and, as long as my wife tells me it tastes better than store bought, I will keep supplying roasted beans. I just want to make them better.

What are my hopes here:
- to get assistance so that I build something that is safe to use and produces better results.

I used to brew beer and I still smoke delicious food. What this means is that I learn my equipment and get the most out of it. For example, with the smoker, I recognized flaws in the environment variable, so I sealed all mating points to lessen the amount of excess air from non-damper/baffle locations. But anyways......basically, I enjoy putting smiles on people's faces with good food and drink.

Here is what I have purchased and is on the way:
- Heating Element: Master Appliance, HAS-043K, 14.5A, 1740W, 110V, https://www.grain...-Kit-2A443
- Blower: Air Supply Florida, Ultra 9000, 1 HP, 4.5A, 105 CFM, 110V, www.amazon.com
- Variable Contoller: MLCS 9410 20-Amp Heavy Duty Router Speed Control, www.amazon.com
- Thermocouple: Omega, Rugged Pipe Plug Thermocouple Probe with 1/4 NPT Fitting, TC-K-1-4NPT-E-72, Type K, Exposed Junction, https://www.omega...s/p/TC-NPT
- Thermocouple Thermometer, Digi-Sense, EW-86460-03, https://www.colep...3?pubid=EW
I will test the variable controller against the element and the blower. If it works well on both then I will buy another. When I test the element, I will make sure to have air blowing over the element.

Problem is making sure I hook up the element correctly to power. Anybody have a diy tutorial for exactly what I am doing? Also, attaching it securely inside the tube, but allowing the ability to access for maintenance, removal, etc, is necessary. It will be on a 3-prong plug to plug into the router speed controller.

Regarding the K-Type Thermocouple, I will be able to test temps out of the heat pipe. The exposed junction is strictly for the Heat Pipe. If it works out, I will eventually get another set for the bean mass, but I will opt for the ungrounded junction thermocouple. But, I could conceivably roast coffee with only knowing the heat going into the beans. The rest would be to shoot for times through a little trial and error to find the Goldilocks zone.
The rest of the roaster will take shape after testing, but I am sticking with Tri-Clamp pieces for ease of disassembly, reconfiguration, and reuse. I do want to have Pyrex for the chamber and I was planning on a reducer to go from roasting chamber to heat pipe. I will also have thermocouples: one about 1" to 1.5" below the perforated plate and one in the bean mass where it is not affected by the air flow.

Your guidance and help will be much appreciated. I plan to keep it simple, 300 F in 4-5 minutes with FC 7-9 minutes. Can I call this “Relative Ramping” or “Relative RoR”? I can always upgrade or refresh to more automation and electrical control.

There will be trial and error to dial in the appropriate weight to roast and the dials for air and temp control, but I will find a way and make it work, and be consistent.

Thanks in advance.
 
renatoa
Welcome

4-7 minutes is too fast, 5-9 is the bare minimum, check these days discussions in other thread, related to optimal timing of various roast phases.

What is intended mass of greens to roast ?
 
jbrux4
renatoa wrote:

Welcome

4-7 minutes is too fast, 5-9 is the bare minimum, check these days discussions in other thread, related to optimal timing of various roast phases.

What is intended mass of greens to roast ?


The intended mass of beans to roast is dependent on the blower and the heat. I plan to test what I can get out of those two main components before I "intend" to roast a particular weight. This is a relative build because I want the target to not be forced or expected.

I can test the heat and blower with a SS heat pipe and perforated plate, and then I can test the loft capacity without the heat turned on and a PVC mock up of the chamber.

There will have to be some sweet spot analysis regarding heat transfer to the beans. Heat and Loft capacity are not exclusive when it comes to heat transfer I am guessing. I mean, what if this thing can spout 2lbs of beans and I tested that I can get 400-500F from the element at some % blower capacity. That does not mean that all of the benas can get roasted, correct? So, this is were I need to find the sweet spot of heat transfer to the beans along with the loft capacity/CFM and heat.

And, thanks for the info on the times. I will take a look and adjust my testing parameters as needed to meet intended profiles. I expect to learn a lot in this process, and I don't have it all figured out. All I know is that I want it to be simple now with opportunities for upgrading components for more automated control later. I prefer to use my senses when cooking and or making things for consumption.

When I brewed, there were a lot of calculations involved, but the results and tasting gave me the information I needed to adjust the process. There are several measurements I can get from the basic equipment I have: power to spa blower, power to element, temperature of heat going into beans, potentially the bean mass, and time.

R/
Jared
 
renatoa
If having 500F = 260C at perforated plate, and good "fountain-ing" of beans, there is no reason to not roast all the beans.
After all, this is the reason of your fluid bed choice... the belief they roast the most even, I guess... else would go with other method.
 
jbrux4
renatoa wrote:

If having 500F = 260C at perforated plate, and good "fountain-ing" of beans, there is no reason to not roast all the beans.
After all, this is the reason of your fluid bed choice... the belief they roast the most even, I guess... else would go with other method.


That is great news and simplifies the testing parameters. I was really hoping I would hear that.

My choice for fluid bed is pretty simple. I don't want to have to keep checking beans. I can visually see the beans in a fluid bed. Plus, I like the spectacle. I have gathered that Fluid Beds are almost 100% convection whereas drum roasters are like 85% convection and the other 15% consisting of conduction and radiation. I also understand that cooking/roasting methods do matter, but I am not opening a coffee shop any time soon and those nuances between methods are beyond my scope.

Heat + Bean equals roasted coffee. There are experts out there who get the subtleties out of their beans whereas I am looking to get some great coffee and some great smiles from friends and family. Naturally, I will be able to tweak process to get better roasted beans as this is naturally what we humans do with constant pattern analysis.

Who knows, I may want to add a drum roaster to my arsenal some day.

Again, thanks for the info.
 
jbrux4
I got the spa blower and the variable control in for testing.

The test produced undesirable results. The variable controller has a FULL switch and a VAR switch – with the VAR having a dial for less to more power.

When on VAR, the variability did work, but maxed out at probably 2/3 flow capacity. When I put the switch to FULL, the spa blower has a significant increase in flow.

This outcome does not give me the control I want or need.

I will still test the variable control with the heating element to see if the variable controller is worth keeping.
R/
Jared
 
renatoa
You can try using a regulator like this:

https://www.ebay....2691805358

... very popular to control heater in my community.
Not sure if suitable for your blower motor though... what is sure is it works for most brushed motors, and don't work for induction motors.
 
jbrux4
I just wasn't pleased with the spa blower, even at full power because I don't think it had enough pressure. Too many thread discussions regard pressure as the main attribute of a blower for this fluid bed application.

So now I am up in the air regarding a tangential bypass or a flow-through blower. I am considering a flow-through because the air will be heated as it flows through to cool the motor. Any type of heated air will benefit the heating element and allow for more air flow. The flow through must be filtered because any foreign media could harm the motor. Is there any reason NOT to get a flow-through blower?
R/
Jared
 
jbrux4
renatoa wrote:

You can try using a regulator like this:

https://www.ebay....2691805358

... very popular to control heater in my community.
Not sure if suitable for your blower motor though... what is sure is it works for most brushed motors, and don't work for induction motors.


I have already triggered the return of the variable speed controller - Amazon Prime makes it real easy. Thanks for the link. It is really inexpensive as well.

As I get into this build a little more, I am thinking that I would want the electrical element controlled but with the blower being under manual control - while the controller for the element makes its own adjustments regarding the temperature. Reason for the manual blower - how can any controller recognize the actual bean loft and fluid bed in the chamber?

Do you have a recommendation for the auto-control of an element and manual control of a blower. Could be the TC4 or some other controller. I am just hoping for some good wiring diagrams and parts list.
R/
Jared
 
renatoa
TC4 is the ubiquitous choice, almost a standard in our field, what else...
The only problem is to buy it, I mean the original, because was been discontinued.
However, some people are still building it, or variations, as TC4+.
Or, there are forks into other projects, allowing you to build one using exiting boards, if you like to tinker electronics.
 
jbrux4
renatoa wrote:

TC4 is the ubiquitous choice, almost a standard in our field, what else...
The only problem is to buy it, I mean the original, because was been discontinued.
However, some people are still building it, or variations, as TC4+.
Or, there are forks into other projects, allowing you to build one using exiting boards, if you like to tinker electronics.


I am not an electronics tinkerer. I have found a TC4 that ships and sells from AU https://www.tindi...rod_search
R/
Jared
 
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jbrux4
If I put two Master Appliance HAS-043K elements in series, that would put me up to 3500-3600 potential watts. I have read somewhere that putting two 110V heating elements in series requires a 220v outlet able to support the circuit. I am guessing that the 14.5 amp elements, when in series, require 29 Amps, so a 35 or 40 Amp breaker on a 220V circuit?


I have gotten better info on this. The 110v elements in series would require a 40Amp 110v circuit.

I wouldn't consider this ideal. I need to get some heat. It was also said that in parallel on 220v each with a 20amp would be much better.

Can 110v elements switch to 220v without issue?
Edited by jbrux4 on 10/31/2019 5:45 AM
R/
Jared
 
CK
To avoid wiring new circuits in your panel, or overloading the capacity of a single circuit, you could keep each element and blower separated. They can use their own circuits by using multiple extension cords input to the machine, each pulling from a different 15A breaker. This is how the Transparent Roaster overcame electrical limitations in a simple way. I use 3 extension cords when roasting and never had an issue. The heating circuits fire in tandem from the TC4 pulse to separate SSRs.
 
greencardigan
jbrux4 wrote:
I am not an electronics tinkerer. I have found a TC4 that ships and sells from AU https://www.tindi...rod_search

Yep, I ship from AU.

You have the parallel vs series idea backwards. The two elements in series will require 220V at 14.5A. The two elements in parallel will require 110V at 29A.

I have three home built air roasters with no recirculation. All three use vacuum cleaner flow through motors, usually 600W.
- One 1800W element, good for about 350g
- Two 1800W elements in parallel, good for about 1kg
- Three 1800W elements in parallel, good for 1.5+kg
 
jbrux4
greencardigan wrote:

Yep, I ship from AU.



Order is in.

Can you kindly give specs on the ZCD?

Or are the specs of the ZCD derived from what I will use in the system?

Also, I just found a great deal for an Ametek 3EAK7 off ebay, so that is on the way as well. I got the LCD and Arduino UNO off Amazon Prime (please don't be disappointed). Looks like I will need to do the dual HAS-043K elements in parallel. If I get 1kg, I would be more than happy. Anything in the range of 600-800 would be sufficient, but having the capacity to do more is better in my book.
R/
Jared
 
greencardigan
The ZCD (zero cross detector) is an optional add on. It allows you to control the speed of a blower motor. It allows the TC4 to monitor the input power and control the blower motor using phase angle control.
 
jbrux4
greencardigan wrote:

The ZCD (zero cross detector) is an optional add on. It allows you to control the speed of a blower motor. It allows the TC4 to monitor the input power and control the blower motor using phase angle control.


Understood. For some reason, I can't wrap my head around how it doesn't just eject the beans or go so low the beans cease fluidity. I am guessing there is a min and max parameter that could get set to avoid such things.
R/
Jared
 
jbrux4
greencardigan wrote:
- Two 1800W elements in parallel, good for about 1kg


Two elements in parallel is the route I will take.

How does this affect the TC4 set-up and requirement for SSR? OT1 is for the heating element and OT2 for the blower. Now with two elements in parallel, what is the SSR requirement? How does this hook into the TC4? Does the arduino configuration require more code/configuration?

and, to everybody - THANK YOU for all the help and assistance. It is much appreciated. I am learning a lot and I will continue to learn more as I dive deeper into all of this.
R/
Jared
 
renatoa
If current is 29 Amps, then you can get a 40A SSR, which is the most popular.
So popular that are faked copies in every shop that ask you a price less than $10 Grin
For example the Fotek SSR was been demonstrated using 25 Amps switcher component in a 40 A labeled SSR. And 16A switcher in 25 A SSR,
For many people this works, and they know and accept use these underrated SSR model because driving a single element don't draw more than 15 A. But not the case for you...

Beware, at this current you need heatsink !

For this reason I would go with 230V, to reduce the current value and ease wiring.
Less current is best always when we want to reduce power losses.
Edited by renatoa on 11/01/2019 8:16 PM
 
greencardigan
In the downloads on Tindie there is a guide that shows some example ls for connection setups and other useful info such as code configuration options.

If you are intending to control the blower speed using the TC4 then you will need the ZCD (I noticed the ZCD option wasn't included in your order). And the SSR used for the blower speed control needs to be an instantaneous fire type. Alternatively you could control the blower using a separate speed controller.

And regarding blower control. Many of us control the blower speed with the TC4 and the Artisan software but still with manual control rather than automatic. Automatic control would be possible but probably only if you roast the same beans with the same amount each time.
 
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