ECM & Profitec Heat-Up Time Upgrade?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Ssspressso Luva
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#1: Post by Ssspressso Luva »

Does anyone know about the recent upgrade to ECM and Profitec PIDs? The PID apparently has a fast (faster?) heat-up mode, like one used on the Profitec Go.

Can anyone confirm this as I have not been able to see any announcements by the manufacturer? Is the upgrade available only on the new machines or also used ones somehow? For buyers of new machines, how would one confirm that the machine has the new PID?

Any additional details would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Pressino
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#2: Post by Pressino »

Are you talking about the ECM/Pro PID "upgrade" that was introduced several years ago, which allowed steaming at higher steam boiler temperature...and which required a new 2.5bar pressure relief valve? There may be a more recent upgrade, but I'm not aware of any.

The old and new PIDs have a different appearance, the newer ones having a black readout panel and the older one's being a lighter gray. You can also tell if a machine has the newer PID by trying to set the steam boiler temp up to 270F.

Ssspressso Luva (original poster)
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#3: Post by Ssspressso Luva (original poster) »

Are you talking about the ECM/Pro PID "upgrade" that was introduced several years ago, which allowed steaming at higher steam boiler temperature...and which required a new 2.5bar pressure relief valve?
My impression is that the change is recent. I have emailed EMC and will post an update if/when I hear back.
The old and new PIDs have a different appearance, the newer ones having a black readout panel and the older one's being a lighter gray. You can also tell if a machine has the newer PID by trying to set the steam boiler temp up to 270F.
Has there been any difference between Profitec Go's PID and the rest of the Profitec / EMC line-up... appearance, max temp, anything else?

Nunas
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#4: Post by Nunas »

One cannot speed up the warm-up time appreciably by changing out the PID--it's simple physics. The Synchronika PID already has the brew heater full on in preference until it reaches its operating temperature. Only then will it bring the steam boiler up. The heater can't give more power out than fully on. There is, however, a rumour that a new version of the Synchronika is in the works. It reportedly will have a heated group, which will warm up in a quarter to a third of the time that the current model takes. It would be great if the older Synchronikas could be retrofitted, but I'm not holding my breath :wink:

JordanK
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#5: Post by JordanK »

Nunas wrote:One cannot speed up the warm-up time appreciably by changing out the PID--it's simple physics. The Synchronika PID already has the brew heater full on in preference until it reaches its operating temperature.
I don't know about the Sync's specific programming, but as a general rule, PIDs don't heat at 100% until the set point is reached. That is what as simple thermostat does, and that tends to cause big temperature swings. If the PID worked this way, it would significantly overshoot the desired temperature on initial heat-up. Instead, the PID eases off the heating as it approaches the set point, slowing down the rate of heating the closer it gets.

Again, I have no info on this specific question, but I'm pretty sure a better programmed PID could conceivably heat the boiler faster by delivering more heat later while still somehow avoiding (or at least minimizing) overshoot. On high end PIDs, such settings are user adjustable so you can balance heating ramp rates with initial overshoot and temperature fluctuations once at the set point, since they tend to be contrary to each other (the faster it heats, the less likely it is to perfectly hit and then sit at set point temp, and vice versa).

Nunas
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#6: Post by Nunas »

JordanK wrote:<snip> PIDs don't heat at 100% until the set point is reached. <snip>
I beg to differ. I have several PIDs on my roaster and the one on the Synchronika. Your explanation is backwards. That is, they heat to 100% from cold and keep that up until they approach the set point. Then, they kick in and out to land exactly at the set temperature. I can see this on my roaster's current meter and if you watch closely, you'll see this too on your Synchronika. For the last minute or so, the Synchronika will begin to bring the steam boiler on and off when the brew boiler is going off and on; it's quite clever, really. In any case, in my explanation, I intentionally used the word appreciably, specifically because of this tapering off at the end. I stand by my view that no appreciable change in speed beyond some fraction of a minute could come from changing the PID or adjusting the parameters.

JordanK
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#7: Post by JordanK »

I have no position on whether it could be appreciably faster or not, but your description of how the PID works seems to be identical to mine... not opposite as best I can tell. Heats at max until it approaches set, then backs off from max until set is reached, then cycles to keep at set. It stops heating at max before set point is reached, not after, which you seem to agree on, right?

Whether that tapering off is seconds or a minute or two before reaching set, I don't know, but tuning the parameters of a PID system can affect heat up timing without increasing available wattage in principle because of that time at the end when not at max, however brief. All I was saying... I never claimed it would be significant or even noticeable.

I was basing my response on my experience with tuning PIDs on laboratory furnaces, not on inside knowledge of the details of how the Synch's is programmed, which I tried to make clear. But now I'm curious, so I'll use a watt meter tomorrow to monitor it as it heats to measure more carefully how it behaves. For instance, does it just cycle on/off as it approaches set, tuning off time, or does it tune wattage but keep on constantly?

LittleCoffee
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#8: Post by LittleCoffee »

If this were true it would be at best a marketing gimmick - heating a very big lump of metal (the E61) via a thermosyphon is restricted by physics in a way where you can do little to change it. I guess you could have a PID algorithm where for the first few minutes it deliberately aimed to over shoot so that you could get a bit more heat into the head, but that won't be a free lunch - it's likely to result in bigger errors from target temp at the 10,15,20 minute mark (who knows) and it's not clear whether you will reach a thermally stable head any quicker.

JordanK
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#9: Post by JordanK »

I completely agree! The faster it reaches set point, the more it tends to overshoot. Because of the time it takes to reach thermal equilibrium, heating has a sort of "momentum" such that temp continues to rise even after no external energy is added to the system (just like resistive heating on an electric stove). And the more it overshoots, the more it over-corrects, leading to temp instability.

Pressino
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#10: Post by Pressino »

The problem with getting the e61 quickly up to brew temperature is that you are doing so by circulating hot water from the boiler to the group by convection using the thermosiphon. That's just going to take time. You might speed it up by putting a pump to circulate the water through larger diameter thermosiphon tubes, but that costs electrical energy. The PIDs currently in use heat the boiler about as quickly as they can. I suppose you could program them to do so a bit quicker, but the bottleneck is still at the thermosiphon. If you really want significantly faster e61 heat up times, it's probably better to dispense with the thermosiphon and hollow the group head out and fill it with hot water from a directly connected boiler...in other words make it a saturated group. Or you could embed an electric heating element inside it to quickly heat it up to temperature then let the good old thermosiphon maintain it from there on.