How to handle power interruptions, blackouts, and bad electrical power grids

In some places the electrical power is very inconsistent with power outages, interruptions, blackouts, voltage spikes, voltage drops, or excessive environmental line noise (such as is caused by large 3-phase motors or phase angle fired SCRs) and other inconsistent noisy electricity. These are conditions found on overburdened power grids, in some factories, and sometimes in rural areas and in many countries. This can make the computer circuits in an automatic control produce errors that could affect your firing. 

If this is something you are experiencing or expect to regularly experience there is an easy solution. You can do this yourself on an existing kiln or have it done by the factory. Basically all you need to do is to install a household type plug (the type of plug varies with country) to the control circuit and plug that into an Uninterruptible Power Supply with a battery back up.

The normal way of wiring is have the power voltage for the kiln feed a small control transformer that has 240-200 or 100-120 volts input/primary and 24 volts output/secondary. However, you would simply attach a plug to this control power supply (at the transformer). This plug would be separate from the main power. Then buy a small UPS system like you would use for a computer. The control circuit of the kiln uses very little power so it really can be very small. These will be country specific to account for the household voltage in your country.

Note that the control transformers we use have different inputs for 100-120 volts or 200 to 240 volts and you need to use the right terminal for your voltage.

  1. Control Transformer #1 and #4 terminals are for 100-120 volts. In addition there is a jumper between #4 and #2.
  2. Control Transformer #4 terminals for L1 and #7 for ground are for 200-240 volts. In addition there is a jumper between #3 and #2.

This will keep the control circuit on during the power outage. You will not get a Power Failure error message. (See this link about power failure in the control.)

You may get an Err1, E-1 message that indicates that the kiln is taking too long to fire a program. You may need to turn off the error codes. (See this link that tells you more about turning off error codes). Note this from that link however: "In addition E 1 (indicating slow temperature rise) and E 8 (temperature falling) is not turned off in the last segment of an EASY-FIRE program. This is because the built in calculations would make no sense if the kiln were firing too slowly." You may have to use Vary-Fire programs.

Here is the factory solution where, in addition to the extra plug as described above, a noise filter is added.