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Silvia PID - questions on what to expect after PIDding

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  • Silvia PID - questions on what to expect after PIDding

    Hi there.

    Thinking to PID my Silvia. Having concerns though regarding longevity/usability of the machine after PIDDING.
    On yourtube I see that after PIDding (with auber kit) Silvia seems to flash it's light every second. I guess that it permanently checks the temperature and runs the heater for few milliseconds every second to ensure that temperature is spot on? I find this blinking a bit errr ...unnerving.
    Questions:
    - does it really turn heater on every second?
    - how does it affect machine longevity (heater, indicator lamp etc)
    - how does it affect energy consumption. Standard machine consumes around 50 watt on average during a day (just to keep itself warm).

    And last question - how does it affect the usage pattern? Currently if I want to have three espressos during the day on Saturday I start my Silvia in the morning and keep it running all day.
    It means that machine is always hot and ready to go. Otherwise you need to wait for at least 30 minutes after a start before making a cup.

    With PID - should I do the same? Is it ready to be used quicker than the standard Silvia?


    Cheers,

    Viktor

  • #2
    Yes they can turn on every second or every 2 seconds with the auber.

    Heater should live longer from my reading, the quick bursts of current only increase the temperature a little each time and it is dissipated to the water quickly, with the default thermostats the 10+seconds of current heats the element alot more and it takes longer for the heat to dissipate, the steady temperature when pid'd should be less stressful on the element than the +-10deg cyclic thermostat temperature. The indicator lamp no idea, it can be re-wired to only come on when steaming though.

    The energy consumption will be about the same.

    It wont be ready to go any sooner.

    Comment


    • #3
      As for reliability issues, no problems from this end. Had mine for over 2 years now and no one else that i'm aware of has not had any problems either.

      Does not affect other electrics either, even if the house lights do dim ever so slightly when they are on and the PID is flashing.

      It's a machine with a small boiler, so leaving it on all day shouldn't drain the energy too much.

      You could run a timer as I do. I program it to come on half hour before i awake so that it's warmed up enough by breakfast time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, now it makes more sense for me.

        For the record - I've asked Auber the same questions. Their answer just arrived- and it tells essentially the same story with more technical info, I hope they don't mind me copying it here - gives more insight:

        - does it really turn heater on every second? >>Yes.
        - how does it affect machine longevity (heater, indicator lamp etc). >>It should not shorten the life of the hater and indicator. The control system use a SSR with a technique called "zero crossing switching" It turns on and off the power when the AC power switching the direction at the zero voltage. It is more gentle than the mechanical thermostat originally installed on the machine, because thermostat switches randomly. It can be at the peak of the voltage and cause shock to the heating element and generate voltage spike if there is a inductive device in the same circuit. Using SSR to control power device is proven technology used in industry for at least 50 years with billions of devices sold. So far, I have not seen any report on affecting the longevity of this type of devices.
        - how does it affect energy consumption. >> Energy should be about the same.
        ...Currently if I want to have three espressos on Saturday I start my Silvia in the morning and keep it running all day. With PID - should I do the same? >>Yes.


        Given that 90% of my shots are espresso I assume the cheapest one as below should be ok eBay link removed per the http://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-ne...icy-rules.html?

        Anybody with steam control/infusion - do you feel spending extra dollar (+30 steam + 70 infusion)makes sense for that?
        Last edited by Javaphile; 13 November 2012, 11:34 PM. Reason: eBay link removed

        Comment


        • #5
          The basic one is the best value by far, the steam is only controlled slightly better than standard with the steam version, the infusion one shouldnt be sold IMO, it pulses the pump+3 way so if you build any preinfusion pressure on the puck when the pump+3 way turn off for a second all the pressure is lost and the puck can get sucked towards the screen with the water rushing out of the grouphead. *Note Thats how the infusion version worked 3 years ago when I tried it, maybe its better now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by viktor View Post
            Anybody with steam control/infusion - do you feel spending extra dollar (+30 steam + 70 infusion)makes sense for that?
            Steam control, yes. I noticed an immediate improvement in the consistency and power of the steam upon installing the PID (as it keeps the boiler in a much tighter temperature range when steaming).

            I'd say that the 'pre-infusion' function doesn't have as much of an impact on my shot quality as the temperature control by the PID. It's a really really primitive form of pre-infusion that just involves a short activation of the brew switch and a subsequent pause prior to the start of the shot so I'd imagine you could replicate that manually. Your call as to whether that's worth $70 or so.

            Comment


            • #7
              Although, I should mention the perk of the pre-infusion Auber PID is that it's got a programmable shot timer...really handy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Is it possible to operate the PID with pre-infusion without the pre-infusion and shot clock if I just want to pull a shot manually?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, you can set Preinfusion time (1st pump on) and dwell time (pump off) to 0, or press the start button on the pid and wait for the timer to get to the brew stage then flick the brew button on the silvia

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've been in a relationship with my Silvia for 8 years and am thinking of adding a PID. I've read a few web pages on the subject and it doesn't look too hard to do.

                    However, I have a couple of questions that I haven't found an answer to so hoping you guys can help me out as I'm still a little confused. Obviously the thermocouple is just measuring the outside temp of the boiler. However, the critical temp is the water temp through the group head isn't it? How do the PIDers set the correct boiler temp to achieve the desired group head water flow temp?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by oztayls View Post
                      I've been in a relationship with my Silvia for 8 years and am thinking of adding a PID. I've read a few web pages on the subject and it doesn't look too hard to do.

                      However, I have a couple of questions that I haven't found an answer to so hoping you guys can help me out as I'm still a little confused. Obviously the thermocouple is just measuring the outside temp of the boiler. However, the critical temp is the water temp through the group head isn't it? How do the PIDers set the correct boiler temp to achieve the desired group head water flow temp?
                      Some clever person has measured the temperature needed at the boiler to give a certain group head temperature (assuming the machine is given time to stabilise), so the PID is set to that boiler temp. If you order one of the kits from Auber, the PID will come preset to 105C. It's fairly easy to change and the kit comes with full instructions for installing and changing settings. I had a go at changing it once but found no improvement, so I went back to the original setting.

                      You won't regret PIDing - it makes it much easier to use to get consistent results.

                      Martin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by oztayls View Post
                        I've been in a relationship with my Silvia for 8 years and am thinking of adding a PID. I've read a few web pages on the subject and it doesn't look too hard to do.
                        Are you getting consistent results today? If you've been using your Silvia for 8 years and are happy with the results PIDing is unlikely to provide any major benefit...

                        On the temperature, the drop between the boiler temp and the brew temp is fairly consistent so basically you set the PID a few degrees higher (how may degrees is generally discovered by trial-and-error) than your desired brew temperature.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks guys. I have bought a dual readout PID, so will set up one for brew temp and the other for steam. What would be good starting point temps to set on the PID? I see 109degC on a lot of sites.

                          PS. I roast my own beans and rarely drink coffee made from older than 7 day old beans. Not sure if that makes any difference.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            109 seems a bit high, I started out at about 100 and worked from there.

                            For steam, set it to about 120, if you get wet steam push it up a bit, 140 is ABSOLUTE maximum for steam (and is the opening temperature for the factory 'stat), you're liable to overpressure your boiler if you go any higher, I'd suggest keeping it to 130 max.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is it dual readout or dual setpoint? Dual display normally has one setpoint and shows the setpoint and current temps, you might need to setup the alarm function with an ac-ac ssr to control steam temperature

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