I'm using three 195 watt panels with two 12-volt AGM batteries, inverter, 50 watt pump, pumping continuously and I've yet to go more than a week or a little more without putting a charger on my batteries. In case of power outage, I'll pump less and I expect it will keep everything alive until the power is on again. I'm getting only 5 hours or so of good direct sunlight on my panels. It's a good backup system but truly off grid and able to pump the way I want to, it's just not there yet - don't want to sink more money into it either. I may try what Halemart is doing - circulate through the beds during the day and aerate only at night. My system is probably up to that on a fully off-grid basis.
If you have reliable grid power you might want to consider simply running from grid, keeping a couple of good batteries on hand for backup - possibly a generator along with high-amp battery charger to recharge batteries during long term outage.
I've just now seen this. Will do but it might be a while before I get to it - going out of town tomorrow. Check out mad german on this site - he is a proponent of 12-volt systems with no inverter.
I currently run with no inverter but am also only aerating at night and pumping during the day. I see the same results as George, with two 175w panels and two 6v T105 trojans, and 50w charge controller. I believe to work correctly I will need another 150w of panels ( maybe two 230w ) to run pump full time. We are off grid here so there is no other option. I can run the pumps from the larger system and put more money into that but like the idea of two seperate systems with somewhat interchangable parts. ( think back up ).
After adding more panels, my next concern is the low cost bilge pump is not reliable enough to run 24x7. I would to know if anybody here has some 12v pumps that they are confident in.
I'm about to begin testing a 12-volt pump but it will likely be months before I will know whether to recommend it. I'm going to run continuously from my solar system with 12-volt for aeration only and pump from tank to beds continuously from grid current. In the event of a power outage I plan to stop feeding, continue continuous aeration and pump minimally from tank to beds from battery/inverter. Eventually I may convert entirely to 12-volt - we'll see how it goes.
Jason Eaton said:
. I would to know if anybody here has some 12v pumps that they are confident in.
I am also interested in any 12VDC pumps that are reasonably priced for running a system that I am planning on adding in the future. The only pumps readily available to me are bilge pumps at the local WalMart. While I can find one with the desired flow rate, I am more concerned with the reliability of these pumps in a 24/7 situation. Ultimately I want to go off grid with my systems but will start with batteries and DC pumps(if possible) and an intelligent battery charger from Bass Pro Shops. If necessary I can use batteries, inverter, and AC pump but would prefer something DC to eliminate the number of components in the system. If someone has information on using bilge pumps, I would like to know about the reliability of them. Thanks.