Upgrading the Larder

My wonderful ex-refrigerator that was turned into a larder needed a functionality face lift. My temperatures were accurate but the larder was inefficient when it switched on and off every second. The PID controllers allow more precise control when it comes to temperature and it is more affordable.

To get this done I invited my sous chef and lead line over, and after a six-pack of beer we were able to successfully attach the PID controller. The wiring took a moment of thought, just trying to remember what all the abbreviations meant from the last project I used a PID on was the most challenging. Once we deciphered the little black box we began to disconnect the old thermostat and plug the wires into the PID.

What you will need for the upgrade:

Auber PID Controller – $42.55

K Type Thermostat – $7.55

This should be all you need if you have extra 16 gauge wire, if not pick up another roll of white and black.

  • Unplug your main power source so you do not get zapped!
  • When you remove the old thermostat make sure to mark the three wires: Red = Hot from wall, Blue = Light/heat source hot, Yellow = Condenser hot.

  • Looking at the back of the PID controller the picture below shows where the wires will go.

  • Thermostat: Starting on the left with slot 9 and 10, plug the red end into 9 and the yellow into 10.
  • Looped green wires: You only need a short wire for these next two. One end goes into slot 14 and the other goes into 4 with the start of a second wire, this second wire ends at slot 1.
  • With slot 1 is your main power from the outlet, therefore the one that was RED going into the old thermostat now goes into slot 1.
  • Neutral, normally white but since I ran out of wire I made it green, this will go from slot 2 on your PID to the cluster of neutrals anywhere in the circuit.

  • Here you can see that I have my neutrals bundled and my ground wires bundled, again the wire going from slot 2 will connect to the neutral bundle.
  • Refrigerator Condenser: The hot end of the condenser will go into slot 13
  • Heat Source: The hot end of the heat source will go into slot 5

To Re-cap:

Slot 1: Main power line from the wall and one wire ending at slot 4.

Slot 2: Neutral, this wire should join the rest of the bundle of neutrals.

Slot 4: The end of the wire from slot 1, and the beginning of a wire that will be looped to slot 14.

Slot 5: Hot wire from the heat source.

Slot 13: Hot wire from the condenser.

Slot 14: The end of the wire from slot 4

Empty Slots : 3, 6, 7, 8, 11,12

  • You should now have a PID controller that will turn on and off a condenser and a heat source for your larder. The benefit of having a PID is that it can be a lot more precise with a smaller margin of error. Since I put it in my larder has kept a steady 58° with very little fluctuation in temperature.

Next step is to program the little black box, this took me a while to figure out what all the abbreviations meant and how to properly set it up. As long as you are using the K-type thermostat that I linked at the top, then setup is very easy.

  • Now my device was already set to Fahrenheit but we will check it anyways.
  • (1) Press SET to enter setting mode;
    (2) Press , and to enter parameters, in this case enter 0086;
    (3) Press SET to confirm;
    (4) Press or to select the new parameter, press until it reads CorF. If it reads 0 then you are in Celsius, if it reads 1 then you are in Fahrenheit.
  • Once that is set up exit back to the display.

Now we will set the temperature parameters.

I will simplify this chicken scratch below, all I had at the time was a sharpie and an air filter.

  • (1) Press SET to enter setting mode;
    (2) Press , and to enter parameters, in this case enter 0001;
    (3) Press SET to confirm;
    (4) Press or to select the new parameter, go to SV (Set Value), set this number to 58°F
  • Setting the parameters for the condenser, follow steps 1-3 then read below
  • Press or to select the new parameter, go to AH2(Absolute High), set this number to 62°F
    • This is the number that the condenser will turn on at, yes it is reverse thinking seeing how the next value AL2 (Absolute Low) is a bigger number.
    • Press or to select the new parameter, go to AL2 (Absolute Low), set this number to 59°F
    • This setup will tell your condenser to turn on at 62°F and turn off at 59°F
  • Setting the parameters for the heat source, follow steps 1-3 then read below
  • Press or to select the new parameter, go to AH1(Absolute High), set this number to 55°F
    • This is the number that the light/heat source will turn on at, yes it is reverse thinking seeing how the next value AL1 (Absolute Low) is a bigger number.
    • Press or to select the new parameter, go to AL1 (Absolute Low), set this number to 57°F
    • This setup will tell your heat source to turn on at 55°F and turn off at 57°F

    This completes my installation and setup of a PID controller to my larder, you can see my original post here.

    Feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts on how to make the larder more efficient.

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