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Brucontrol suitable to control 50 fermenting tanks?  

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(@maddel)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 5
December 8, 2019 8:23 am  

Hi guys, I got here by advice from a Fermentrack forum.

I run a winery and I want to digitalize my fermentation process. At the moment, I use china thermostates together with NTC10K thermistors to control my fermenting tanks. The thermostat gives +12V to a ball valve that opens when temperature is too high.

I have about 50 tanks to control, in four different locations at my wineries buildings.

So I thought about using four microcontrollers together with 16ch one wire relay boards to open the valves. Temperature measuring would be done by DS18B20 or alternatively NTC10K (already installed, but feels like it' s more tricky to catch all those analog signals instead of installing new DS18B20).

I didn't have the possibility yet to have a look at the brucontrol software. Do you think this could work with Brucontrol?

Cheers from Germany,

Matt


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(@pbruno3)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 266
December 8, 2019 4:25 pm  

Hi Matt,

You can certainly do what you are looking for. I would actually recommend you stay with the thermistors - these will work well. We also have a limit on the number of 1-wire sensors per interface. Depending on the layout (physical size), it may make sense to have more than one interface per building. Do you have a plan view drawing?


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(@maddel)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 5
December 8, 2019 5:51 pm  

Hi, yeah, there's actually four different tank rooms at the moment. I have a plan of three (see attached), and there's a fourth new one with another 10 tanks. 
Well, you do need a lot of analog inputs to get all those thermistors into digital?

This is room one and two, it's already wired with NTC10K and 12v ball valves:

//imgur.com/a/yAau2GC

This cellar is not wired yet:
//imgur.com/a/UqB9944

And the new cellar has 10 tanks and is not wired yet as well.

Between, is your Vizsla's name Bruno? 😉

This post was modified 6 months ago by maddel

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(@pbruno3)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 266
December 15, 2019 3:51 pm  

I would suggest you do this in "modules". This would allow you to integrate over time, which will minimize your risk. Build an initial control box... learn from it, then make whatever changes you like for the next builds and continue. This, of course, would require a "Do-It-Yourself" build effort.

I would recommend an Adafruit Feather M0 WINC1500 (Wi-Fi). Mount that in a plastic enclosure with power supplies (either a dual voltage or a single voltage with a DC-DC step down converter), thermistor filter board, and relay board to control your valves.


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(@maddel)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 5
December 15, 2019 4:04 pm  

Ok well, then I might start with part of the tanks that don't have a fermentation control yet.
Shall I go there with NTC10k as well or should I use DS18B20 for a new system? Did you recommend the Adafruit Feather because it has more analog inputs? I'm used to NodeMCU at the moment.
Cheers


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(@pbruno3)
Reputable Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 266
December 15, 2019 5:46 pm  

The ESP8266 that the Node MCU is based on only has one analog input - that isn't enough. The Feather has 5. Alternatively, you could use the ESP32... it also has 5. The Arduino MEGA has 16, but in order to make it Wi-Fi, it needs a Wi-Fi shield... no downside their other than size, which is probably not an issue for you.

Since you already have the NTC probes, I suggest you use those. I have a personal project using them for my dispenser and fermenter, and it has worked well (running on a Feather M0). Here is a look at the build... it isn't a professional build - just to get it going.

 

Link: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/brundog-50a-erig-no-hlt-for-me.542899/page-6#post-7786009


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(@maddel)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 5
December 15, 2019 6:30 pm  

Thanks for your reply.
Well, for my new tanks I don't have any wiring yet anyway, so I thought about the following configuration to control ten tanks and get started:

1. Use the ESP32 as controller
2. Use DS18B20 as temp probe (less wiring, digital solution)
3. Use a 16ch relay board to control the ball valve (ESP32 should have enough outputs to get along with 16 relays, right?)

P.S. My vizsla's name is Bruno, your's too? 🤣 


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(@pbruno3)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 266
December 16, 2019 1:27 am  

Hi,

Yes, that configuration will work. You seem set on 1-wire, so go for it.


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(@maddel)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 5
December 16, 2019 6:37 am  

No, it just feels like it's easier wiring and easier than setting up a thermistor filter board. Will start with that and report. Thank you very much


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