The control panel is the brain of a heating system. It controls and regulates operations for optimal performance. To get the best results, you need to pair the right brain with the right system. This guide explains the different types of control panels and how they operate, to help you select the best control panel configuration.
A control panel has two primary functions:
To maintain or control a set value, a digital control panel requires a variable or parameter at a set value. For instance, in freeze prevention, the value would be a temperature range that keeps the medium above freezing.
The required variables are:
The control panel uses these values to determine when to engage or disengage the control action. The control action depends on the controller. For example, a motor controller would engage the motor, where a temperature controller engages an industrial heater.
Temperature controllers are tasked with achieving or maintaining a set temperature. They are often paired with a heating system such as an immersion or circulation heater. The controller itself is one part of a larger control system which also includes:
Using the input sensor, the digital controller is able to monitor the temperature of the target medium. This allows it to maintain a set temperature range.
If the temperature falls below the range, the thermostat alerts the controller, which engage the control action – turning on the heater. Once it reaches the target temperature, it signals the controller to disengage.
Most temperature control panels perform calculations involving temperature fluctuations and rates. This improves accuracy and reliability.
Temperature controllers are essential in a number of heating and cooling applications, such as:
A motor controller is responsible for starting, stopping, and running motors. The digital controller receives supply voltages and provides signals to the motor drives. They allow for motor operation in a programmed manner.
Programmed operations go beyond simply turning the motor on or off. The motor control panel can also increase speed, torque, or reverse the rotational direction of the motor.
Automation makes digital control panels a valuable tool for industrial applications. Motor controllers allow industries to meet the demands of the operating system and match installation requirements. As well, they are able to increase motor efficiency to better streamline operations and profits.
Motor controllers are application-specific devices. Some of their uses include:
Electronic controllers use an electrical signal to control actions. They can also be programmed to respond to system inputs and setpoint values. Electric controller units can include features like soft starting and variable frequency drives.
An electromechanical controller uses electromagnetic contactors or relays. These allow them to stop, start, and reverse a motor’s direction.
A limit controller offers basic “On-Off” controls. It turns the heater on and then turns it off once it achieves the SP temperature. For many processes, this is sufficient. Especially where the environment is controlled.
Proportional controllers are more complex. They don’t use a thermostat with an obvious setpoint. Instead, they use an effector device to measure the temperature in proportion to the environmental temperature. This allows them to adjust when equilibrium temperature changes.
PID Controllers are frequently used in industrial controller systems. They have a continual feedback loop allowing the device to constantly monitor and modulate for a greater degree of accuracy. They continuously calculate the margin between the PV and the SP and adjust the output accordingly.
The International standards and directives for electrical equipment are continually changing. There are various standards for the construction of control panels depending on the region. But the general purpose is to ensure manufacturers provide control panels with attention to electrical safety.
Different working conditions and environments present a variety of safety considerations. Digital control panel construction customization is available to address a variety of potential hazards.
For example, explosion-proof temperature control panels are common for industries like chemical processing and mining. The design of explosion-proof control panels prevents a spark from occurring where volatile liquids or gases are present.
Wattco custom manufactures control panels and industrial heating systems. Get in touch with our team to help determine the right control panel type and configuration to streamline your operations. Contact a Wattco representative today.
Why is Mineral Oil Used in Thermal Heaters?
Thermal heaters, also known as thermal fluid heaters, employ the use of a thermal liquid such as wat...
What to Use When Heating Wax
SituationA popular chemical compound that often requires heating is wax, which is an organic compoun...
What is Passivation? Why do We Need to Passivate Flanged Heaters?
Most of the parts of flanged heaters are made of stainless steel—an alloy that is mainly compri...
What is a Digital Controller?
Control panels are essential elements of any electrical device. Control panels are especially i...
Vegetable Oil Heating
Food Industries and Vegetable Oil Viscosity In Cleveland Ohio, a large food manufacturer called WATT...
An Introduction to Industrial Heaters and Its Applications
Industrial or process immersion heater is a device used in industries for the manufacture and preser...
Taking a Look at Industrial Control Panels
It would be appropriate to say that industrial control panels are the back bone of many activities i...
Flange Heaters for Waste Oil Applications
Less waste = more revenue. Waste is a major industrial expense, it results in getting less use out o...
Methods of Industrial Oil Flushing
Industry machinery and equipment can be touchy sometimes. Hydraulic and lubrication systems need car...
Electric Circulation Heaters—Safety and Efficiency
Electric circulation heaters play an important role in a wide range of industries. Their ability to ...
Electric Heating Coils: Selection & Design
Electric heating coils transfer energy into heat in a variety of heating applications. They’re an ...
Duct Heating in HVAC and Building Construction
Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are used for heating and cooling residenti...
.Crude oil, unprocessed fossil fuel, is one of the most important natural resources. In its unproces...
Temperature and Power Controls for Industrial Electric Heating
A control system is an essential part of every industrial heating system. Whereas some applications ...
Preheaters of Natural Gas
Natural gas is one of the most commonly used fossil fuel and a nonrenewable source of energy. It ...