Std Furnace Controllers

Instruction Manual

Before starting the controller

  1. Install the power rack on a flat surface, at about 4 or 5 m distance from the furnace.
  2. Connect to the furnace the vacuum gauge, the two thermocouples, the power supply of the heater. The water safety device has to be plugged to the distribution board of the experimental setup. Plug the control unit on to a 230 V/16 A socket, check that the white indicator light is on.
    Note: all connectors are different to avoid any inversion.
  3. It is mandatory to plug the primary vacuum pump to the main power socket for fully automatic usage. Leave the power switch of the pump "ON".
  4. Fix the sample at the end of the stick and check that the extremities of the 2 temperature sensors are in place in the sample holder to ensure reliable measurements.
  5. Gently insert the stick inside the furnace through the top flange. Warning: never force the insertion but turn the stick gently while introducing it into the furnace.
  6. Once the stick is in place, lock the flange without forcing.

Automatic controller operation

  1. Check that the white indicator light "Plugged In" is on. Turn the switch "Power on" to power the rack.
  2. Wait until the initialisation of the controller is completed.
  3. Enter a low-temperature setpoint from the computer for testing the communication. If the communication is operational, enter a 0°C setpoint.
  4. Turn the switch to Vacuum position to start pumping. The primary and secondary pumps will start one after the other automatically. The secondary pump starts once a vacuum of 10-2 mbar is reached.
  5. If the red "General Fault" light is on after powering up the rack, press "Fault Acknowledgment" to cancel the alarm.
  6. If all red indicator lights are off, the temperature controller is ready and waiting for a setpoint.
  7. If one of the red indicator lights is on with "General Fault", press "Fault Acknowledgment" to cancel the alarm. If that is impossible, analyse the origin of the fault.
  8. If a green indicator light "Heater On" is on, this means that the pressure is below 10-2 mbar. The controller would start heating if a setpoint were entered.

Manual controller operation

Same procedure as before except that the "setpoint" is entered manually using the Up/Down buttons of the main controller (sample controller).

Stop the controller

  1. Enter a setpoint of "0°C".
  2. Actuate the switch to "Room Pressure" and wait for the automatic back fill of the outer vessel. The following conditions are required: the temperature inside the furnace must be lower than 150°C and a 10mn delay is applied to protect the turbo-molecular pump.
  3. Warning: the orange light "At Room Pressure" only remains switched on for "10mn", i.e. only during the back fill.
  4. When the orange light "At Room Pressure" goes off, the valve is closed and the outer vessel is isolated.
  5. The pressure inside the furnace is displayed on the sample controller. Please check it before trying to unlock the sample stick.
  6. REMOVE THE SAMPLE STICK CAREFULLY. When removing the stick, never force but gently rotate the stick and hold it vertically.

Information about the synoptic

  • Plugged In: White light, powered rack.
  • Emergency Stop: Red push button, stops the whole rack immediately. Must not be used for "normal shutdown"; is only used in an emergency.
  • General fault: Red light, comes on each time a fault is detected, except a Vacuum Fault.
  • Fault acknowledgement: Yellow push button used to acknowledge a General Fault.
  • Power On: Switch on the cabinet.
  • Power Off: Switch off the cabinet.
  • Lamps test: Black push button used to test the indicator lights, except the white "Plugged In" light.
  • Vacuum Fault: Red light indicating a failure or unexpected stop of the turbo pump. The heater is not shut down immediately. The furnace continues to heat the sample as long as the vacuum pressure remains greater than 10-2 mbar. If the secondary pump restarts, the light remains on for "17s" and the fault disappears if the pressure remained below 10-2 mbar. As the "General Fault" light is not associated with the "Vacuum Fault", it will not come on. It is therefore not necessary to acknowledge it.
  • Water Cooling Fault: Red light indicating that the water cooling function is not operating as expected.
    • Water cooling stopped for less than 5s; nothing happens.
    • Water cooling stopped for more than 5s but less than 2mn 30 s, the red light "Cooling Fault" comes on and "Cooling Fault" is displayed on the controller. Heating is halted. If the water cooling restarts before 2mn 30s, the operation of the furnace is restarted automatically with the displayed setpoint.
    • Star cooling stopped for more than 2mn 30s: the red lights "Cooling Fault"  and  "General Fault"  come on. Look for the origin of the failure and fix it. Then press the button "Fault acknowledgement " for a long time to clear the fault so that the operation of the furnace restarts with the displayed setpoint.
  • Electrical Insulation Fault: red light indicating that there is a leak to the ground of the furnace with an impedance lower than 1 K.ohms.
  • Furnace temperature limit: red light indicating that…
    • there is no thermocouple plugged to the sample stick
    • the thermocouple is broken, and a "" message is displayed on the controller (Sensor Break)
    • the temperature has exceeded the maximum furnace temperature allowed.
  • Sample temperature limit: red light indicating that…
    • there is no thermocouple plugged to the sample stick
    • the thermocouple is broken, and a "sample temp. lim" message is displayed on the controller, followed by a " " message after pressing the "Fault Acknowledgment" button (Sensor Break)
    • the temperature has exceeded the maximum sample temperature allowed.
  • Low Power: green light indicating that the low-power mode has been automatically selected (setpoint below 423°C).
  • High Power: green light indicating that the high-power mode has been automatically selected (setpoint above 423°C).
  • Heater: green light indicating that the heater is ready waiting for a setpoint or in operation, see displayed temperatures on the controller.
  • Vacuum: switch actuated to evacuate  the furnace automatically with the primary and secondary pumps; threshold of 5.10-1 mbar.
  • Primary Pump: green light indicating that the primary pump is running.
  • Primary Vacuum: green light indicating that the threshold of 5.10-1mbar required by the turbo pump has been reached.
  • Secondary Pump: green light indicating that the secondary turbo pump is running, as the nominal speed of 2 7000 rpm has been reached.
  • Room Pressure: switch actuated to back fill the furnace once the temperature is below 150°C and the duration of "10mn" necessary to stop the turbo pump has passed.
  • At Room Pressure: orange light indicating that an automatic back fill has been requested. Warning: this light remains switched on during the "10mn" duration of the turbo pump.

Information about controllers

  • Sample Controller display
    • Furnace code indicating which PID parameters are used.
    • Sample temperature in °C.
    • Pressure in the furnace vessel in mbar.
    • Temperature setpoint that can be entered manually with Up/Down keys.
    • Bar graphs indicating the output power (OP) and the temperature.
    • Indicator lights indicating the functioning of the heating, the selected power mode and the vacuum state.
    • In case of a water cooling fault lasting more than "5s", a "Cooling Fault" is prompted to the screen (press Page and Rotation keys simultaneously to cancel).
    • Pressing the Rotation key once displays the maximum temperature setpoint and the temperature of the controller.
    • Pressing the Rotation key a second time returns to the display of the setpoint.
    • If an error is encountered with the temperature measurement, "Sample temp. lim" is displayed. If the fault persists after pressing the "Fault Acknowledgment" button, " " is displayed until the issue is resolved (Sensor Break).
  • Furnace Temperature Limit
    • Maximum furnace operating temperature in °C
    • Sample temperature in °C
    • If an error is encountered with the temperature measurement, "" blinks until the issue is resolved (Sensor Break).
  • Power Controller
    • Instant power consumption in Watts
    • Instant voltage and current amplitudes in V and A. 
  • Insulation Controller
    • Heating element insulation measured in K.ohms
    • Heating element primary voltage in V.