Hot energy meter

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Jules
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Hot energy meter

Post by Jules »

So I got my bits together to do a gin run on my megahome distiller next week and was testing them out. Everything seems to work fine but the energy meter of all things, gets hot and smells burned. I checked the power regulator and everything looks fine, I replaced the plug on it with a heavy duty one but still the same issue. Individually, the energy meter seems OK but it does not like the power regulator at all. I was expecting the regulator to get hot, if anything.

This is the energy meter

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UK-Plug-Elec ... 890.l49286

And this the regulator

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4000W-SCR-Vo ... 890.l49286

Any tips what could be the issue?

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Trigg
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Trigg »

I use exactly the same and no issues at all. Maybe you have a dud....

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Jules
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Jules »

Seems like it if you use the same setup without issues. I will get a new energy meter and see. Are they really necessary btw, rather than just adjusting it by the drip rate of the still?

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Trigg
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Trigg »

You could probably do without. I found it interesting how much power my air still drew. It is 750w rated but at full power was actually 900w. Gets the wash upto boiling very quick then dial back to 500 ish for stripping and 300w for the stripping run. I find 125v on the reg gives 300w on mine.

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Jules
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Jules »

Thanks Trigg that's really helpful. Mine is only 580 and shows 600w on the meter so to get 300w, I was at about 145 on the dial of the regulator. I might just plug the energy meter in one more time and mark out the positions on the regulator and try without it. I've got neutral ready from the T500 so Wednesday will be gin day 👍

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Steve1262
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Steve1262 »

Does it get hot with any other heavy loads plugged into it, say a fan heater or the like ?

This is worth a look if you are curious.

https://youtu.be/fRGKilvExMo

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Mash
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Mash »

Jules wrote:
Sun May 23, 2021 8:19 pm
Seems like it if you use the same setup without issues. I will get a new energy meter and see. Are they really necessary btw, rather than just adjusting it by the drip rate of the still?
They are a good indicator to get the accuracy and be able to set it next time - but you are quite right, drip rate works too. Certainly drip rate in experienced hands is just as accurate.

If you bought the energy meter off eBay, you should be able to get a full refund.

I have considered in the past doing a video of drip rate, with an energy meter in the background, so that you could see the different drip rates at different power settings. My power meter doesn't video very well tho' too small.
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Mash
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Mash »

Steve1262 wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 8:08 am
Does it get hot with any other heavy loads plugged into it, say a fan heater or the like ?

This is worth a look if you are curious.

https://youtu.be/fRGKilvExMo
Mine never has......... ultimately it is testing the energy not using the energy. IMO logic says it should not get hot under any load.
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Jules
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Jules »

I did try that Steve and it still gets warm with my Dyson fan heater so something isn't right. I did get it of ebay mash, and they will send me a new one. Just makes no sense why this, of all things, would get hot. Maybe it really is faulty. But I know that 140V on the dial of the controller results in 300W so I'll go with that and rely on my eyeballs and the drip rate for the gin run tomorrow. Good luck to me 😂

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Steve1262
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Steve1262 »

It would be interesting to see what's going on inside, the heavy shunt loop inside is what carries all the current so I wonder if it has become loose or badly soldered onto the circuit board.
I've ordered one despite your unfortunate problems, luckily they don't break the bank. I've got the Chinese voltage controller on the way too, neither of them will be left running unattended if you know what I mean.
Good luck with your new one, hope you're up and running soon.

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Easydrinker
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Easydrinker »

Sometimes these bits of kit do come with bad connections, solder internally, or a screw in a plug.
The worst seeming to be the two pin to UK 3 pin adaptors.
These days I simply replace the adaptor by chopping the cable and wiring in a standard plug.
I do have a double mains socket to replace, due to overheating from a Chinese plug.
I suspect that many problems are due to cable of too small a size being used.

Robert.
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Mash
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Mash »

Jules wrote:
Tue May 25, 2021 6:17 pm
.... I know that 140V on the dial of the controller results in 300W so I'll go with that and rely on my eyeballs and the drip rate for the gin run tomorrow. Good luck to me 😂
Yup that is about right. It won't be exactly the same the for everyone. I am about 130 on the controller. But there are a few things that vary.

You can think about the setup like the knob on your cooker. Turn it up or down until you get the simmer you need. Aka.. watch the drips.
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Jules
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Jules »

I definitely agree Ed. First thing I do with Chinese things is cut the plug and put a new one on. I don't feel safe without a fuse in there to start with. I will open up the energy meter when I've done this gin today and have a look Steve. I tried it again this morning and it seemed fine so who knows what's up with the little bugger.

Thanks Mash I will see how that goes. I've done quite a few runs on the T500 now so fingers crossed I can handle an Airstill 😊 will be odd using something so small. I should have started out the other way around 😂

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Jules
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Jules »

The seller sent me a new energy meter so I tried it out today. Same thing. It's fine if the power regulator is at full power but as soon as I turn it down, the energy meter gets hot and can't cope. The power regulator on its own works fine so I just eyeball the voltage now to get it to 300W. Works fine and I don't mind

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Easydrinker
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Easydrinker »

I don't mind things running hot.
When white plastic turns brown, I do give a shit!
Bad electrics will maybe burn your house down and make you as dead as bad booze or exploding stills.

Stay safe .

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Mash
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Mash »

Plug in Chinese bonfires.

Any doubt, no doubt.don't leave it unattended.
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Jules
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Jules »

Completely agree with you both. I don't need the energy meter and I rather not use it. The heat wasn't bothering me but it smelled like there was a small fire in there and that's beyond my comfort zone. I like my house 😂

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Windoe
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Windoe »

Hi, Shooting in the dark here. Have you plugged the energy meter before or after the power regulator?
I would plug the energy meter into the mains and the power regulator into the energy meter. The energy meter possibly uses a capacitor to drop the mains down to low voltage for the electronics, cheaper than a transformer. The power regulator works by delaying the turn on of the voltage over a half cycle of the mains. The switch on of the triac in the power regulator when the instantaneous mains voltage is anything but zero (or there abouts) gives a massive dv/dt that will effectively bypass the capacitor in the energy meter (its impedance is a function of dv/dt and the 50hz mains is relatively small in comparison) there will be a resistor in series with the capacitor to limit the current to cope with one off transients. This resistor is likely to be cooking as a result of having to limit the current 100 x a second.

Better explanation of phase control here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-fired_controller

Using the power converter at max will be the equivalent of plugging the meter into the mains.
By plugging the power meter into the mains first you will be giving the capacitor ‘clean’ AC for which the power supply was designed for. The meter should still display the energy used (plus a tiny amount for the power regulator).

I could be wrong, after all it is Chinese made shit!

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Mash
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Mash »

Good question.

The right order is...
Wall socket > energy meter > power controller > still

Never thought what would happen if you turn the meter is after the controller?
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Jules
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Jules »

Very good point windoe. I did try both ways with the first one and it got hot both times. I've only tried the second one after the regulator and gave up because I don't rally need it and it pissed me off. but what you say makes sense. Although I didn't think it would make a difference. I will try the 2nd one with the correct order Mash, on my next run. Thanks guys 👍

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Easydrinker
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Easydrinker »

Windoe,
I had forgotten how your electric speak fried my mind and made me think!
And what you posted makes sense.
But given that most of us do ;
Wall socket > energy meter > power controller > still
Lets put the blame on the manufacturers :?:

Robert.
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Mash
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Re: Hot energy meter

Post by Mash »

Yup got to be meter first.
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