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 Post subject: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '12, 03:21 
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I like the idea of solar because obviously the grid isn't a concern.
However, getting a pump that is high quality, preforms, and such doesn't seem to be easy. I've been reading around and in the end I see fountain pumps. If good sinewave inverters were free then I'd use a Coralife Luft pump, combined with a Mag Drive. In the end are there any good water and air pumps that exist? I realize the solar panel won't be heap, but that seems to be the easier thing to find.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '12, 03:57 
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You could use a 12 volt bilge pump. Their reliability can be suspect, but Johnson Pumps bilge pumps seem to last well. Shurflo makes mag drive bait pumps they also have a good warranty, but they are meant to be plumed outside the tank. If you wired a relay inline on a primary pump to make a backup pump kick in you could resolve the reliability issue. It would be the type of relay that would hold the circuit open when energized, and close when power is cut. An inline circuit breaker at the stall current of the pump would ensure that the pump's power would be cut so the relay would then engage the secondary pump. You would also want some type of indicator to alert you that you are on backup. Then you would just need a reliable battery, AGM is best, but the spiral wound ones are not all they are cracked up to be, a solar panel array, and a charge controller.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '12, 10:39 
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Thanks for your input, as you said the Shurflows seem to be great pumps. I'm also surprised on how affordable they are compared to a typical Danner MagDrive. I'm shooting for a completely off grid system, being out in Hawaii makes the potential of prolonged electrical outages a rather stark predicament. I'm not sure what to find for air pumps(I have a nice airpump sold by BG hydro, but it's 110 VAC, and a MagDrive that was buried at a friends house for several that still works), do you have an suggestions on what I should shoot for?

Also for solar, I need a panel that's several folds my wattage(day, night, and cloudy days),
a good brand lead acid battery, and finally a charge controller?

Thanks for your time, I asked this question on my reefing forum and nobody has a clue :D


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '12, 10:52 
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Might want to check this out jm:

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=13060

It's been running well for us so far and we are in winter at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 31st, '12, 02:09 
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For the back up I have two heavy duty deep cycle 6 volt tractor batteries, and a converter.
Have lost power only one time, so I tried then and worked good.
I also have a 25KW Diesel generator for long term outages.

I have two charge controllers. One is good for 60 Amps with MPPT capability.

If you use more than one panel, for sure get a charge controller with MPPT built in.
If you get only one panel, this one will do you fine. It possibly can handle more than one. The Amps capability in charge controllers matters!!

http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/elect ... 7Aod1HUAzg

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 31st, '12, 02:57 
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When it comes to batteries, I would skip lead acid and go for AGM. I try not to name drop here, but the company that I work for sells all of the things you need, as they are used on boats, and we have a rather large shop in Honolulu.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 31st, '12, 03:28 
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If the price was not the issue, I would have done the same.

I assume you pay the cost?

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 31st, '12, 04:04 
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When you amortize the cost over time the AGM batteries make sense. Especially when you factor upkeep, or lack of upkeep nessasary on AGMs.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 31st, '12, 08:39 
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Go on Ron, you can drop the name... :)

I decided that for ours we didn't want to be using a battery that required maintenance, we buggered two lead acid batteries with our last system..

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 31st, '12, 12:26 
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Hmm. I'm trying to add up costs but I'm not sure where it will go to. I'd interested to know of where I could locally source what I need, although I know I can for some of the equipment go online and save money. Right now I'm thinking $300 might -- just might work for my 150 gallon talapia tank, with a single 10' raft. But I could be totally off/too tight. I spent that much on an LED reef light, for what I know it could be several folds more.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 31st, '12, 15:03 
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earthbound wrote:
Go on Ron, you can drop the name... :)

I decided that for ours we didn't want to be using a battery that required maintenance, we buggered two lead acid batteries with our last system..

I work for West Marine, and East Penn makes our SeaVolt batteries. The non-private label version of the AGMs is Decca. We also have gel cell batteries, but their capacity is lower, and their price is higher. The AGMs are not cheap, but they are built like tanks, and when the appropriate regulator is used, will far outlast their warranty of 5 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Jul 31st, '12, 19:02 
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i've used an exide agm in my car for 6 years so far, test it every 6 months and is as good as the day i found it on the scrap pile.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Solar Setup?
PostPosted: Apr 1st, '14, 03:55 
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Had same concerns regarding collecting amd storing solar energy for my pumps. Thanks

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