Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Arduino Ethanol Distiller Controller

We have been a fan of brewing your own ethanol fuel for many years. It's basically a higher purity (less water) version of what is commonly called moonshine or everclear. Gasoline engines need some minor modification to run this, but it burns clean, it's non-toxic and can be made at home (not imported or spilled all over the Gulf). There are many resources to teach you how to distill alcohol, but this article is about how to run an automatic still with an Arduino.

The core functions are to read up to six temperature inputs, run a single power controller for the boiler and be able to operate up to three solenoid valves. That's enough for most purposes and there are more digital ports available if you've got more things to control. Six temp probes, AC power controller and three switching outputs is enough to do most automatic stills.

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