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I have a 60 watt pump running on our main grid and am worried about the inevitable power loss.  Has anyone worked out a system that uses solar / battery backup as a fail safe for power loss? I was thinking about something in the 200watt range for a solar panel.  I don't know what the device i'm looking for is called, but it would take 120v, <solar panel input> and output 120 v to pump(s).  

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Hi Justin,

The solution you need is called a power inverter.  Your solar panel(s) connects to a charge controller, the controller connects to the batteries, the power inverter connects to the charge controller load side and your pump hooks to the inverter to provide AC power.

I've designed a grid tie fail safe circuit for use when power goes out.  It can be used with a battery bank or with the solar power option for backup purposes to keep pumps running or provide DC aeration for the system to keep the fish alive.   I may offer these for sell in the near future depending on if other people would want them.

Hope this helps,

David :0)

Hi David,

How much would you charge for one? I'd like to have this in place so I can at least provide aeration to my fish during a power outage.

I'm using three 195 watt panels with two AGM deep cells and an inverter.  I run full time from the back up but generally hook a charger up a couple of times per week, especially if we have cloudy days.  My pump draw is also 60w.  I may switch to a lower wattage pump just to aerate from the solar system and then run the pump to the beds from house current.  We'll see. 

Take a look at the off grid group and there is also a discussion in the forum Other - Non Member.

david, very helpful info. Im hung up on where the arbitration between 120 and solar is made. Will the system always run off the inverter on the battery? Im thinking that I need a charge controller with the smarts to handle 12v and the 120. This model from harbor freight looks like its in the ballpark for my power needs http://www.harborfreight.com/7-amp-solar-charge-regulator-96728.html ). I'm not sure how I would tire in the 120
600watts solar input to sustain 60 watt pump. Are solar watt ratings based on 100% efficiency? I understand it charges in the day and had to make it through the night, but I was guessing I could get by with less


George said:

I'm using three 195 watt panels with two AGM deep cells and an inverter.  I run full time from the back up but generally hook a charger up a couple of times per week, especially if we have cloudy days.  My pump draw is also 60w.  I may switch to a lower wattage pump just to aerate from the solar system and then run the pump to the beds from house current.  We'll see. 

Take a look at the off grid group and there is also a discussion in the forum Other - Non Member.

Hey Justin,

The panels connect directly to the charge controller. Its purpose is to handle the charging and discharging process.  They are designed to stop charging during the day once the batteries are fully charged. It also prevents the batteries from discharging during the night.  A solar panel acts like a battery charger when light is hitting it but at night it acts like a load and discharges the battery bank.  to prevent this a blocking diode is needed.  There is a blocking diode in most solar chargers already. I use that solar charger listed on Harbor Freight but Id recommend a better one especially if you want to run full time solar.  Ok, now to get 120 volts you hook up the inverter to the charge controller.  This inverts 12VDC to 120VAC. The reason we hook it to the charge controller is because we don't want to over use the batteries and damage the by taking them down too far.  If the charge controller detects that the voltage is getting too low then it will interrupt the inverter to protect the batteries.  Without getting into too much detail on it the circuit I have works with battery or grid but not both.  I will work up a part list and prices on it to see what it will cost and let you know.  For now Id stick with thegrid tie as a main power source and use a solar panel and battery as a backup.  Designing a full solar solution is easy but can be pricey.  If you do want to go full solar I can get you a company that has great deals on scratched and dent new panels.

I am also thinking of building a solar backup if you could give me the company for pannels would br great.

Anton
 
Community AP said:

Hey Justin,

The panels connect directly to the charge controller. Its purpose is to handle the charging and discharging process.  They are designed to stop charging during the day once the batteries are fully charged. It also prevents the batteries from discharging during the night.  A solar panel acts like a battery charger when light is hitting it but at night it acts like a load and discharges the battery bank.  to prevent this a blocking diode is needed.  There is a blocking diode in most solar chargers already. I use that solar charger listed on Harbor Freight but Id recommend a better one especially if you want to run full time solar.  Ok, now to get 120 volts you hook up the inverter to the charge controller.  This inverts 12VDC to 120VAC. The reason we hook it to the charge controller is because we don't want to over use the batteries and damage the by taking them down too far.  If the charge controller detects that the voltage is getting too low then it will interrupt the inverter to protect the batteries.  Without getting into too much detail on it the circuit I have works with battery or grid but not both.  I will work up a part list and prices on it to see what it will cost and let you know.  For now Id stick with thegrid tie as a main power source and use a solar panel and battery as a backup.  Designing a full solar solution is easy but can be pricey.  If you do want to go full solar I can get you a company that has great deals on scratched and dent new panels.

You got me buddy.  I should have learned more about it before now.  Due to trees, we're getting only about 5 hours of good charging.  No doubt I'm losing power through the inverter but I don't know how much.  If I could find a good 12 volt pump and a timer that will work with 12 volt I'd skip the inverter.

Justin Stahler said:

600watts solar input to sustain 60 watt pump. Are solar watt ratings based on 100% efficiency?

I have this solar kit http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt-solar-panel-kit-90599.html and this has been my experience so far. When I first got it I tried running my system 24/7 and that did not work. First of all I did not let my batteries fully charge up due to my impatience. It ran my system all day and about 2 hours after dark. Since then I have not tried it again but my battery is definitely charged up full. I am ready to try it again but I think I need an additional battery to make it work 24/7.

Here is also a link to my solar stuff...

http://aquaponicscommunity.com/profiles/blogs/our-system-is-now-run...

The pictures of my solar setup are towards the end of the pictures... I have been adding pix since the beginning.

Regards,

Bob

Justin Stahler said:

david, very helpful info. Im hung up on where the arbitration between 120 and solar is made. Will the system always run off the inverter on the battery? Im thinking that I need a charge controller with the smarts to handle 12v and the 120. This model from harbor freight looks like its in the ballpark for my power needs http://www.harborfreight.com/7-amp-solar-charge-regulator-96728.html ). I'm not sure how I would tire in the 120

I definitely would be interested in such a product. I currently generate about .4KW and store into 2 AMG cell batterries with 320amp hr. capacity at 20hr. rate and manually change to batteries during power failures. 
 Thx.
Community AP said:

Hi Justin,

The solution you need is called a power inverter.  Your solar panel(s) connects to a charge controller, the controller connects to the batteries, the power inverter connects to the charge controller load side and your pump hooks to the inverter to provide AC power.

I've designed a grid tie fail safe circuit for use when power goes out.  It can be used with a battery bank or with the solar power option for backup purposes to keep pumps running or provide DC aeration for the system to keep the fish alive.   I may offer these for sell in the near future depending on if other people would want them.

Hope this helps,

David :0)

Your Decision of choosing  Solar panel for power backup is very good because this is a good and natural resource of getting electricity when power goes out. These backup systems can keep your lights and other appliances operating in extended blackout situations.

 

http://www.backup-power.ca/portablesolarstore.html

I like the way you think John but the proof is in the pudding, as they say.  LED or Florescent lights, no problem.  Appliances - holy cow, that takes a lot of power. 

john smith said:

Your Decision of choosing  Solar panel for power backup is very good because this is a good and natural resource of getting electricity when power goes out. These backup systems can keep your lights and other appliances operating in extended blackout situations.

 

http://www.backup-power.ca/portablesolarstore.html

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