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I just realized I am being foolish.  I don't have a backup generator, inverter, auto turn on or batteries.  What do I need to know and what would be the best products for a smaller setup?

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I bet you meant to paste a different link :)


jon and cat billings said:
This is what I’ve been using. They are pretty powerful for their size and price. : ) http://aquaponicscommunity.com/forum/topics/power-backup-basics?xg_...
I'm not sure that what I'm doing for back up is the best option out there, but it's what I got and it does work.
I really should get some pictures and post some diagrams/details of this but I can't at this moment. Some one should remind me in a few days and maybe I'll write a blog post about it.

I have a 105 Amp hour deep cycle AGM 12 volt battery.
I used to have a $$ charger meant for these types of batteries but it died. For the past couple months, it's been hooked to the low (2 A float charge setting) on my regular car battery charger.
I've gone through a couple inverters that I guess tended to over heat and their little fans were too whimpy for a garage in Florida. I since got a different brand of inverter and it is definitely over sized for the load and it seems to be ok so far.
This is all hooked up in such a fashion that my air pumps will run off mains power normally. But if power goes out, there is a relay with a wall wart that when it looses power, the air pumps are then powered by the battery through the inverter.

My air pumps are big enough to provide 1 cubic foot per minute of air for each 400 gallons of fish tank I have. I have one air pump providing 2 cfm to my big system and it uses under 60 watts. The other air pump is smaller at under 35 watts and provides 1 cfm to my 300 gallon system.

This is enough to keep a medium/heavy fish load from running out of dissolved oxygen but if the power stays off for too long, ammonia/nitrite will become a problem. But hopefully the air will give enough time for one to run out and get a generator big enough to run the pumps if it is going to be a long power out (the battery will only last so long too.)

I should really have a generator on hand cause a hurricane taking the power out for 3 days would mean dead fish to me and it is nearly impossible to go buy or rent a generator when a hurricane goes through.

DO NOT FEED THE FISH IF THERE IS NO CIRCULATION/FILTRATION!
Cool


jon and cat billings said:
Sorry about that I was in a hurry. I use the cat 5 it’s very strong for its size and price.

http://www.aquatichouse.com/pumps_files/hurricaneairpumps.asp
How does the power transfer to the battery\inverter? which inverter was best in your experience?


TCLynx said:
I'm not sure that what I'm doing for back up is the best option out there, but it's what I got and it does work.
I really should get some pictures and post some diagrams/details of this but I can't at this moment. Some one should remind me in a few days and maybe I'll write a blog post about it.

I have a 105 Amp hour deep cycle AGM 12 volt battery.
I used to have a $$ charger meant for these types of batteries but it died. For the past couple months, it's been hooked to the low (2 A float charge setting) on my regular car battery charger.
I've gone through a couple inverters that I guess tended to over heat and their little fans were too whimpy for a garage in Florida. I since got a different brand of inverter and it is definitely over sized for the load and it seems to be ok so far.
This is all hooked up in such a fashion that my air pumps will run off mains power normally. But if power goes out, there is a relay with a wall wart that when it looses power, the air pumps are then powered by the battery through the inverter.

My air pumps are big enough to provide 1 cubic foot per minute of air for each 400 gallons of fish tank I have. I have one air pump providing 2 cfm to my big system and it uses under 60 watts. The other air pump is smaller at under 35 watts and provides 1 cfm to my 300 gallon system.

This is enough to keep a medium/heavy fish load from running out of dissolved oxygen but if the power stays off for too long, ammonia/nitrite will become a problem. But hopefully the air will give enough time for one to run out and get a generator big enough to run the pumps if it is going to be a long power out (the battery will only last so long too.)

I should really have a generator on hand cause a hurricane taking the power out for 3 days would mean dead fish to me and it is nearly impossible to go buy or rent a generator when a hurricane goes through.

DO NOT FEED THE FISH IF THERE IS NO CIRCULATION/FILTRATION!
I have a relay hooked up to a wall wart to achieve the power transfer.
Basically as long as the wall wart has mains power, the relay has the feeds to the air pumps switched so that the air pumps are being powered by mains power. As soon as the wall wart looses power the relay switches over so that the air pumps are being powered by the battery/inverter.

The relay was an item I picked up at Skycraft, the local surplus place.

And the brand/model of the good and the bad inverters I'll have to find for you later. The newer inverters I got, is rated to operate at higher temperatures. The old one I don't think gave that info in the marketing specs and I think this might be an important bit of info for my situation.

I run a 120 amp hour deep cycle battery with a charger attatched, but I just have an inverter plugged in, and my pump running from that all the time.

 

During a blackout, the system just keeps running. ie nothing switches over or anything. The only difference is that the charger is off.

 

Does anyone know if I'm wasting a lot of power running it this way? Or if there is any other downside?

 

You might just need to check on things to make sure that your battery is in good condition every so often and make sure the charger is able to keep things topped up even with the load drawing on it all the time.  And if there is a power out that drains the battery down for very long, you might want to turn off the inverter and plug the air into regular power once it's back on to allow the battery to re-charge easier then plug back in normal once all is good if your charge controller isn't really fancy.

BullwinkleII said:

I run a 120 amp hour deep cycle battery with a charger attatched, but I just have an inverter plugged in, and my pump running from that all the time.

 

During a blackout, the system just keeps running. ie nothing switches over or anything. The only difference is that the charger is off.

 

Does anyone know if I'm wasting a lot of power running it this way? Or if there is any other downside?

 

Cool, thanks. Like you I did have an excellent charger but It's brokeness forced me back to my old hi/lo kmart special. Unfortunately, the load is around 3 amps, and the charger delivers 2 or 4 so I have to switch it very 2 or 3 days.

 

TCLynx said:

You might just need to check on things to make sure that your battery is in good condition every so often and make sure the charger is able to keep things topped up even with the load drawing on it all the time.  And if there is a power out that drains the battery down for very long, you might want to turn off the inverter and plug the air into regular power once it's back on to allow the battery to re-charge easier then plug back in normal once all is good if your charge controller isn't really fancy.

BullwinkleII said:

I run a 120 amp hour deep cycle battery with a charger attatched, but I just have an inverter plugged in, and my pump running from that all the time.

 

During a blackout, the system just keeps running. ie nothing switches over or anything. The only difference is that the charger is off.

 

Does anyone know if I'm wasting a lot of power running it this way? Or if there is any other downside?

 

How much would you all say you spend per year, roughly, on backup system parts and maintenance?  It sounds like a lot of component replacing is going on.

 

I'm trying to decide if it's worth it for me to get a serious (automatic) backup system in place.  The fish are a small part of my operation (30 catfish to essentially 10 large GBs).  Avoiding buying and maintaining an expensive backup system might be worth the risk of losing a batch every now and then.  I'm trying to figure this out.

 

I may just go with a backup generator stored in the shed, to be filled and run when needed, when I can get to it in time (and every couple of months for a minute or two, to keep it breathing).  I was thinking I could get some simple wall alarms in the house to alert me of an outage if I happen to be home (or sleeping at night), and I thought I could also maybe come up with something to text or email me when the power goes out.  Any ideas?  The hope is that I could get back to start the generator (or call someone to do it) before the fish run out of air.  Risky, I know, but maybe this level of risk is worth it.  We don't have power outages too often here.

 

Roughly how long would it take for 30x 3lb catfish in a 300 gallon tank to run out of air on a hot summer day, with water ~90 degrees?  Not long I bet (minutes?), but I don't have a good idea.

 

If I did lose a batch to a power failure/loss of O2, would the fish still be okay to eat, assuming I iced or processed them that day, and I was sure it was the lack of O2 that killed them?  Would they taste bad after having gone through such a stressful death?

 

My system should last for up to 10 years as I understand it. The only reason my charger broke was because I always leave everything of value in the rain. And anything of value that's water proof, I have trees fall on.

 

My battery cost 200$AU

a charger costs from 20$ (kmart) 

the inverter cost 35$ (150 watt)

 

And in the event of a long blackout, I could still plug recharge the phone and laptop and get help with my system on here :)

 

Because the battery is on the charger all the time the battery is always full. As I understand it, that means my battery lasts as long as a battery can. The only time there is ever a drain on the battery is when the power goes out. 

 

MY battery is 120 amp hours deep cycle lead acid, but most people could get away with less. I think I could run my pump for 2 days or something on my battery. 

 

It feels great when you have a blackout and you have a backup :) I go outside and watch my pump continue to work every time :) And with my system, there is nothing to switch over or anything, as the pump is always running from the battery as its being topped up by the charger, so its secure regardless of my being at home.

 

[my failed charger was already a few years old and ran all the time topping up my battery (for an electric boat) so was always on for those years. So even though that charger was a better one than I use now, it still only cost 20$ a year over its life - and I did leave it in the rain :) ]

 

Now that I'm using the inexpensive charger it seems to be working fine.  Only means I need to flip a switch if the battery ever gets drained down a ways so I can top it back up.

Since I got the higher quality true sine wave inverter, it's been working fine.  Spend a little extra on a good overrated inverter and you will be better off, any of the small ones I've ever tried didn't last even if they were ten times stronger than necessary according to the listed ratings.

The battery cost me about $105 and I think is about 100 Amp Hours.  That single battery backup is running air pumps for both my systems and the first summer it was running, it kept my fish alive for over 24 hours when a float switch pump tripped the CGFI on the circuit that was powering everything else.  Float switches and some timers can really mess with some CGFI circuits so I like to plug those into a separate circiut than the other things.

 

Has anyone thought of just getting an old UPS, cracking it open, and adding some jumper leads to a decent sized battery? I presume UPS's have a charge controller built in, and must have an inverter that outputs power clean enough for computers. I also presume they have a 12 volt battery in there somewhere.

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