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Insulate a PID'd machine yes/no?
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Insulate a PID'd...  
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Burd
Senior Member
Burd
Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 110
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID'd
Grinder: Nuova Simonelli MCF
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Cuisinart Grind & Brew...
Roaster: Behmor + i-Roast
Posted Fri Sep 14, 2012, 7:01pm
Subject: Insulate a PID'd machine yes/no?
 

OK I have seen every single post about insulating and all of the benefits.  There was one post that stood out and made me think for a minute.....do not insulate a pid machine because it messes with the cycle timer since it takes longer to cool back down....Huh, not sure if this makes sense to me?

Most of the posts I saw didn't mention a pid except one that said to insulate the pid itself, if it's internal.

It would be nice to hear from someone that has done a pid'd machine and the results.  I would assume that insulation is a win/win for the power bill, less stress on the boiler due to it not having to cycle as much and the list goes on.  I would like to get all of my mats before my pid comes in the middle of next week.  I see all the different things people used and some are very creative.  I am leaning in the direction of the melamine foam, I really like the finished look, only draw back is cost and availability.  If I have to order it that adds shipping costs.  Not sure what kind of local store i would find it in.  Any thoughts on another foam type material similar to the melamine?  I saw plenty that look very nice with that foam.  I was thinking after seeing one with neoprene that I have an old 5mm wet suit that is tore....but they said it smells when heated up...I certainly don't want to smell a burning wet suit as I am trying to enjoy my coffee (not to mention if it smells I would think there is a chance of a fire!)...

Any ideas would be great.  If I can find a local place for the melamine or equal material that would be perfect.
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,991
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri Sep 14, 2012, 9:33pm
Subject: Re: Insulate a PID'd machine yes/no?
 

Well, look at it this way: the new Rocket Espresso R58 is a dual boiler machine with insulated boilers that comes with a PID ex factory. The manufacturer claims that it enhanced thermostability.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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pizzaman383
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Joined: 17 May 2011
Posts: 32
Location: Roswell, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DDv2, KAProLinePID
Grinder: Fiorenzato Doge 83,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 6:00am
Subject: Re: Insulate a PID'd machine yes/no?
 

Insulation will make the boiler heat faster due to less waste heat leaving the boiler.  It will also make the boiler retain heat.  The PID parameters would need to be set slightly appropriately to heat optimally for either situation but the values should definitely be different.  In summary, it is nont required but needs to be considered when setting the PID.  I think the consensus of designers is to insulate because you are heating a smaller volume (just the boiler) rather than the boiler plus the environment.
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,213
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 7:42am
Subject: Re: Insulate a PID'd machine yes/no?
 

I know the boiler in my CC1 is insulated which obviously comes with PID control from the factory.
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,870
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:47am
Subject: Re: Insulate a PID'd machine yes/no?
 

I thought about insulation when I did my Gaggia Classic, and opted not.  It was new and I did not want to take it down to where I could get the insulation on.  I have a few thoughts since then.

What is the bang for the buck?  How much money and work?  Perhaps not much money or work in your case.

How long do you leave the machine on?

How do you use it?  Do you sometimes need it to cool after steaming to brew again?  Not all heat loss is bad.  The PID function is slow, relatively, damped heating as opposed to the steam switch or alarm function of the PID.  Ambient heat loss is slow, but contributes.  Obviously, water input is the quickest cooling.

The PID will not care or function significantly differently w or w/o.  I am not even sure that you will know.  Perhaps you change the P,I, and D settings if you do not lose heat to the surroundings, but that is a small contribution.  In reality, the PID function is damped and adding only little blips of heat and will easily add a little more or less for the insulation.  

It even has little "cool" value since you have to open the machine to show it off.  All that said, I cannot see a good reason not to insulate.

Silvia has operated all these years without her clothes on, why start now :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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PJK
Senior Member
PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,314
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Mon Sep 17, 2012, 8:51am
Subject: Re: Insulate a PID'd machine yes/no?
 

Hi Burd,

I have not PID'ed my machine yet.  I have most of the stuff.  I am leaning toward putting the electronics inside the case.  I have read that it gets a bit hot inside the case for the PID.  I did some tests a while back and decided that it was too close to the spec for my PID for my comfort.  I am planning to insulate the boiler in my machine to help keep the PID cool.  The added benefit is less energy consumption. These guys sell a pre cut insulation kit:

http://www.pidsilvia.com/insulation.htm

My machine is getting a bit rusty and my steam valve is getting funky.  Soon I will be switching to my back-up machine and tearing down the Silvia for the maintainence and up-grade.  The black parts need to be bead blasted and powder coated.  I will either get a kit for the valve or convert to the new steam valve and arm.  Anyone have any thoughts on the worth of the new steam set-up?  It will be more money but if the valve is of better quality and the swivel adds value I am willing to pop for it.


Phil


Burd Said:

OK I have seen every single post about insulating and all of the benefits.  There was one post that stood out and made me think for a minute.....do not insulate a pid machine because it messes with the cycle timer since it takes longer to cool back down....Huh, not sure if this makes sense to me?

Most of the posts I saw didn't mention a pid except one that said to insulate the pid itself, if it's internal.

It would be nice to hear from someone that has done a pid'd machine and the results.  I would assume that insulation is a win/win for the power bill, less stress on the boiler due to it not having to cycle as much and the list goes on.  I would like to get all of my mats before my pid comes in the middle of next week.  I see all the different things people used and some are very creative.  I am leaning in the direction of the melamine foam, I really like the finished look, only draw back is cost and availability.  If I have to order it that adds shipping costs.  Not sure what kind of local store i would find it in.  Any thoughts on another foam type material similar to the melamine?  I saw plenty that look very nice with that foam.  I was thinking after seeing one with neoprene that I have an old 5mm wet suit that is tore....but they said it smells when heated up...I certainly don't want to smell a burning wet suit as I am trying to enjoy my coffee (not to mention if it smells I would think there is a chance of a fire!)...

Any ideas would be great.  If I can find a local place for the melamine or equal material that would be perfect.

Posted September 14, 2012 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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Tomcody
Senior Member
Tomcody
Joined: 4 Apr 2011
Posts: 45
Location: Georgia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La San Marco Practical 95E
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Timer
Drip: Arçelik 3200 Turkish Coffee...
Roaster: Air Popcorn Popper
Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Insulate a PID'd machine yes/no?
 

PJK Said:

Hi Burd,

 Anyone have any thoughts on the worth of the new steam set-up?  It will be more money but if the valve is of better quality and the swivel adds value I am willing to pop for it.


Phil

Posted September 17, 2012 link

The new style steam arm is great. Its beefier, articulating, and will leave you with a general good feeling about your life and the world around you.  Seriously though it is nice, you can get a little more control over your frothing, its just too bad that little miss silvia doesnt have a little more umph in her steaming.  But you will be happy with that mod.

The PID/Insulation question.  You will have your machine insulated at the same time when you PID It, it sounds like, so when the PID "learns" how to control your boiler, it will be learning it with the insulation.  I see no issue.  Like if I was to insulate mine I would set the pid to relearn how to control the boiler, although I suspect the result would not change much. It would just heat faster and the pid would take that into account.

 
"Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love."
"A cup of coffee commits one to fourty years of friendship."
- Turkish proverbs
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