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Does anyone know of a solar water pump that will work with Aquaponics with a 500-7-- gph flow? How about a system that will kick in AC when the sun goes down?

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Not any worth your while, unless you really really want solar. You would most likely have to build a custom setup, which would cost a bundle unless you are or have a friend who is an electrician. IMO solar power as we know it has along way to go before it is useful. I have this funny feeling that until much more efficient solar panels are invented or we create another way of capturing solar energy for practical use plant based fuels will prevail. If you think about building the most efficient solar panel, the same traits already exist in many plants already, and are combined with other benefits solar panels cannot offer.  Hemp plants for instance capture and chemically store 99.9% of light entering their leaves, they automatically track and readjust leaves to attain maximum light capture, they construct themselves automatically given the right materials, and they store their energy in stable and easily used state. Plus most plants do a bunch of other stuff a solar panel as we know it will not.

No I know of no solar pump packages that will do what you are asking.  I've gotten some little solar fountain pumps but they would be lucky to operate a 1 gallon aquarium with one beta fish.

 

To operate something like you want you are likely to need one of the larger solar panel systems like you might find at Northern tool or something plus the charge controller and a good big deep cycle battery.  Probably only worth it if the system location is prohibitively far from grid power.  And I don't know of much in the away of really energy efficient and reliable 12 volt pumps so you will probably also want an inverter so you can get the more energy efficient durable pumps.  I'm kinda partial to the Quiet One 4000 pumps for up to a 300 gallon fish tank system if the pumping height isn't very high.  Even so, I had to add supplemental air to my 300 gallon system running such a pump when the water temperature started staying up above 80 F 24/7 so keep in mind the need to power any additional aeration as well.

What about hydro? At least big enough to run a pump in a small backyard system with a couple of airstones and a timer?
Hydro?  What do you have a fast flowing stream or waterfall in your backyard?
I wish.  I have no idea how hydro works or how much electricity is created by it.  Just seemed like the next step.  After all, there is always water draining somewhere in system.  Could it utilized somehow? Rhetorically, how big of a wheel would be needed and how fast a flow of water?? Are we taking Niagara Falls here?? Sounds like we might be...

TCLynx said:
Hydro?  What do you have a fast flowing stream or waterfall in your backyard?

You won't be able to power your pump and air stones using only energy from that pumped water falling since there are always inefficiencies.  Now if you had a handy source of constantly moving water (that you are not needing to pump to make it move) you might get some extra power from it, but I think the cost and issues with trying to fit all your drains with little micro hydro generators that would probably constantly clog up would be far more trouble than the energy they might produce.  I've seen a little set up where they are able to generate enough electricity by micro hydro to charge their cell phones in the jungle where they have a steady flow from a steam with a 10 foot drop or so.  It's a far cry from Niagara but a stream is huge compared to the trickle we get out of the bottoms of grow beds.

 

There are apparently little micro hydro generators that I guess can fit into plumbing fittings but they are not going to generate much electricity.  Perhaps enough to light up some leds in the shower head or something like that.

 

If you have ever taken the impeller out of a mag drive pump to clean it you might remember putting it back in and making sure it still spins right?  Well you may have felt some resistance due to the magnet?  In a micro hydro you are basically doing something sort of like trying to push water through a pump to cause electricity to come out the other side.  You need enough flow of water to cause the impeller to spin the magnet so that it will cause current in the coils of wire.  You can't get more work out than you put in.  Conservation of energy/matter and all.

Hi thanks everyone. I spoke to an electrician friend and he said he thought a system could be put together from parts from Home Depot, radio shack, and the internet around $3-500 bucks. Solar panel, inverter, battery, rack,etx. Would anyone be interested in buying it if he can put it together??? Lloyd

 

 

 

 

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TCLynx said:

You won't be able to power your pump and air stones using only energy from that pumped water falling since there are always inefficiencies.  Now if you had a handy source of constantly moving water (that you are not needing to pump to make it move) you might get some extra power from it, but I think the cost and issues with trying to fit all your drains with little micro hydro generators that would probably constantly clog up would be far more trouble than the energy they might produce.  I've seen a little set up where they are able to generate enough electricity by micro hydro to charge their cell phones in the jungle where they have a steady flow from a steam with a 10 foot drop or so.  It's a far cry from Niagara but a stream is huge compared to the trickle we get out of the bottoms of grow beds.

 

There are apparently little micro hydro generators that I guess can fit into plumbing fittings but they are not going to generate much electricity.  Perhaps enough to light up some leds in the shower head or something like that.

 

If you have ever taken the impeller out of a mag drive pump to clean it you might remember putting it back in and making sure it still spins right?  Well you may have felt some resistance due to the magnet?  In a micro hydro you are basically doing something sort of like trying to push water through a pump to cause electricity to come out the other side.  You need enough flow of water to cause the impeller to spin the magnet so that it will cause current in the coils of wire.  You can't get more work out than you put in.  Conservation of energy/matter and all.

If you could indeed manage a system for under $500 that would be able to provide at least 100 watts 24/7 even with a few cloudy days, I'm sure you will get a huge number of buyers.  However, I fear you are not likely to manage that much power and storage for anywhere near that price while also using reliable equipment that won't need replacing every year and a half.

 

For a good battery you will be spending over $100 and I expect close to that for an inverter as well.  Then the charge controller is likely to be a bigger cost than one might expect and you have already spent over $300 and haven't even looked at solar panels yet.

 

I can't really see going for any system that wouldn't manage to power almost 100 watts worth since I figure it takes almost 75 watts to run my 300 gallon system and I wouldn't do much smaller than that as temperatures would become less stable and it doesn't seem worth the cost to spend $300-$500 to power a tiny system anyway.

 

There are small solar systems designed for charging a battery like for an RV or something like that and I could see doing something like that to keep a battery backup charged but I so far haven't found any of the small (sub several thousand dollars) solar setups that would be really up to stand alone (no grid) long term operation.  Trick is you need enough solar power to not only charge a battery or run a pump, you need enough juice to do both at once and to store up enough extra to keep the system running over night as well as if you get a few cloudy days.

 

I lately did get a couple tiny solar powered pumps and was testing them out in a pond with water plants and a few fish to take care of mosquitoes.  Unfortunately the first evening as soon as the sun wasn't full on the pond, the poor fish were already gasping at the surface, the plants having already taken up too much dissolved oxygen and with the pumps having quit as soon as they were no longer in direct sun, there was no supplemental aeration.  I had to rush around in the dusk finding a cord and setting up a powered pump to keep the poor fish from perishing in their first evening in the new pond.  Even if the plants don't need pumping overnight, the fish still need aeration.

Thanks for sharing. I was going to try the same thing but can learn from your experience :-)

TCLynx said:

If you could indeed manage a system for under $500 that would be able to provide at least 100 watts 24/7 even with a few cloudy days, I'm sure you will get a huge number of buyers.  However, I fear you are not likely to manage that much power and storage for anywhere near that price while also using reliable equipment that won't need replacing every year and a half.

 

For a good battery you will be spending over $100 and I expect close to that for an inverter as well.  Then the charge controller is likely to be a bigger cost than one might expect and you have already spent over $300 and haven't even looked at solar panels yet.

 

I can't really see going for any system that wouldn't manage to power almost 100 watts worth since I figure it takes almost 75 watts to run my 300 gallon system and I wouldn't do much smaller than that as temperatures would become less stable and it doesn't seem worth the cost to spend $300-$500 to power a tiny system anyway.

 

There are small solar systems designed for charging a battery like for an RV or something like that and I could see doing something like that to keep a battery backup charged but I so far haven't found any of the small (sub several thousand dollars) solar setups that would be really up to stand alone (no grid) long term operation.  Trick is you need enough solar power to not only charge a battery or run a pump, you need enough juice to do both at once and to store up enough extra to keep the system running over night as well as if you get a few cloudy days.

 

I lately did get a couple tiny solar powered pumps and was testing them out in a pond with water plants and a few fish to take care of mosquitoes.  Unfortunately the first evening as soon as the sun wasn't full on the pond, the poor fish were already gasping at the surface, the plants having already taken up too much dissolved oxygen and with the pumps having quit as soon as they were no longer in direct sun, there was no supplemental aeration.  I had to rush around in the dusk finding a cord and setting up a powered pump to keep the poor fish from perishing in their first evening in the new pond.  Even if the plants don't need pumping overnight, the fish still need aeration.

Now if one really needed to try to minimize energy usage, perhaps you could get away with using the solar pump during the day and have an air pump or water pump on grid power with a solar sensor that would turn it on as it gets dark but that might still be risking the fish on really cloudy days if the plants don't manage to give off enough dissolved oxygen into the water when it's too cloudy for the solar pumps to work but still to bright for the light sensor to let the mains power pump run.

Hi everyone, looking to build a small system in my basement, hoping to run solar (to many power outages) and came across this place  http://www.solar-electric.com seem to have decent prices although I don't know much about solar prices

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