All times are UTC + 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 65 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Nov 29th, '12, 17:16 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
A wider perspective of the box and the AP system. The first tank is draining so the pumps seem to work fine.

Attachment:
DCP_1351.JPG
DCP_1351.JPG [ 175.2 KiB | Viewed 2673 times ]


....and the highlight of my day. A willy wagtail taking a bath while I took the photos.

Attachment:
DCP_1353.JPG
DCP_1353.JPG [ 112.3 KiB | Viewed 2673 times ]


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
    Advertisement
 
PostPosted: Nov 29th, '12, 18:10 
Offline
Legend Member
Legend Member
User avatar

Joined: Jun 21st, '12, 06:51
Posts: 545
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Australia, WA, Beldon
Looking fantastic there mate, I'll be interested to hear how it goes over 24 hours :-)

_________________
My system
My solar upgrade
My wicking beds
My chooks


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 29th, '12, 21:40 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
I'll let you know once I have worked out the timers - hate reading manuals when they are written in English as their second language. Shouldn't take long to sort out though.

I have pumped five times since sunset and no sign of low battery level yet. I have the voltmeters on the solar side which is much more interesting to watch than on the battery side. The regulators have a low votage shutoff so good safeguard on the batteries. I am running the pumps for 15 minutes which is only 3 amp/hrs over 12 hrs - night running. The batteries are 24amp/hrs so plenty of reserve. The solar panels were still pumping out 20 volts yesterday even though it was stormy and overcast all day.
I jury rigged a 10watt led floodlight to see what I am doing - love the solar stuff. :thumbright:


Need some help with the aquaponics. I have the clay balls in the grow bed. The plumbing as supplied only allows the water to come about 50mm from the top of the clay. The top 50mm stays dry and I thought this was probably because I might have put too much clay in there but I extended the drain pipe and now it fills level with the top of the clay and I noticed they float a bit so maybe I got it wrong.
In a flood and drain system does the top need to get wet? If not what is the typical water level for a system like this?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 29th, '12, 21:44 
Offline
Legend Member
Legend Member
User avatar

Joined: Jun 21st, '12, 06:51
Posts: 545
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Australia, WA, Beldon
Great to hear that the batteries are holding up :-)

In a flood and drain system the recommendation is to get the water to around 2 cm from the top of your media, or just deep enough that sunlight can't get to it. Sunlight promotes algae growth, which is why they also recommend not to use clear plastic hose...

2cm deep is a good tradeoff on a lot of different factors.

_________________
My system
My solar upgrade
My wicking beds
My chooks


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Nov 29th, '12, 21:50 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
Thanks for that and it makes sense.
I'll cut the pipe tomorrow. I was also worried about evaporation with such a high water level.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 1st, '12, 09:37 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
I have been running the pumps for well over a day and all good so far. The timers were easy to setup. I am confident there is enough capacity in the batteries to handle it. The regulators are signalling the batteries are still in good condition in the morning.

I have run the two water pumps off the one battery so if I do strike a problem I can always separate the pumps to a single battery each or switch them to the other battery. I think I may have overkilled on the solar and batteries. :oops:

I finished off the landscaping around the tanks last night so they now look like they are meant to be where they are.

This has been a great project and looking forward to seeing what we can grow now.

Thanks to all for your comments and help. :thumbleft: :thumbright:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 1st, '12, 18:29 
Offline
Legend Member
Legend Member
User avatar

Joined: Jun 21st, '12, 06:51
Posts: 545
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Australia, WA, Beldon
Wow, that's great news Rod, I'm so glad to hear that there is excess capacity in your system. I've been checking this post regularly over the last few days to see how you're going.

You've got a very nice setup there which should give you joy for years to come :thumbright:

Now for the big question... What seedlings are you going to plant? :D

_________________
My system
My solar upgrade
My wicking beds
My chooks


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 1st, '12, 19:50 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
We went shoppng today and came home with 10 large goldfish (5 each tank) and the better half enjoyed catching them. Like a kid catching tadpoles. :)

We also got a heap of punnets of veggies. Tomotoes gross list and cherry tomatoes, capsicum, basil, chives and a couple I can't remember. More than we need or want to plant with a new system so will share them with family. From what I have read it is premature just yet to go full swing until the system neutralises but a bit excited so have jumped the gun. I did get bacteria and have put that in the system already.

I very happy with the patio system and hopefully we will learn enough to get this productive.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 1st, '12, 20:17 
Offline
Legend Member
Legend Member
User avatar

Joined: Jun 21st, '12, 06:51
Posts: 545
Gender: Male
Are you human?: YES
Location: Australia, WA, Beldon
Good stuff. Did you get a test kit yet? Goldfish are pretty hardy but I'd still be wanting to keep an eye on the nitrites as the system cycles.

I think your plants will be fine.

_________________
My system
My solar upgrade
My wicking beds
My chooks


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 1st, '12, 20:37 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
I will probably go down tomorrow to BYAP and get a water test kit and while I am there I'll have a good look around. I've been looking at vertical gardens as I have capacity to add grow beds and plenty of solar to run an extra pump.

I am talking aloud here as the wisest thing to do would be to bed in what I have. :think:

This stuff is adictive.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 2nd, '12, 19:18 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Jul 15th, '11, 00:06
Posts: 20
Images: 0
Gender: Female
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Jarrahdale WA
I too have been reading your thread with great interest.

I set my solar powered system up just over a year ago.

I used a 120watt panel sourced from a caravan shop (everybody else is way too expensive)

I used a charge controlle/regulator through to a 110Amp deep cycle battery.

This then sends the 12volts to a 300w Inverter.

Then I plugged in a normal 240v power board, connected up a 240v electronic timer from Bunnings, and plugged in a Laguna Max-Flo 3500lt per min water pump.

This is used on a 15 min on 45 off cycle, which the timer handles brilliantly, only it comes up short in how many cycles per day you can program in, so early hours of the morning do not cycle and that seems to be no bother at all.

Then I bought a Unistar 2 outlet air pump. So while the main pump is not working the air pump carries the load.

So the load on the battery was 55watts running for 15mins so many times per day and a continuos runnning air pump which drew 6watts.

The Panel receives sunlight pretty much all day and I have watched the charging go up to 5amps.

So it should have done a good job. But since then I have added two additional smaller pumps. 800lt per hour, these are setup with spraybars and run 24hrs. They also have a sponge filter which may or may not be of any use, and may only provide more work to clean.

The FT is 1000lt and it has two IBC growbeds.

I have always kept the number of fish down so that I do not over stock.

But in the dead of winter and before the sun gets up after a couple of fairly cloudy days early one morning I put my head outside and I could hear this very high pitched noise, at first I wondered what it was then I realised it was coming from the Aquaponics, I raced down and sure enough the regulator was causing it, when I checked it out I realised that it was going off because the voltage in the battery was too low, I checked the warning parameters and found that I could put it up to about 14.4 instead of where it was set at 13.7 so this helped, shortly the sun was fully up and the panel was charging like mad and all was ok.

However it worried me that I could lose the lot if it carked itself during the night, so I gave in and put 240v to my electrical box, and plugged in a ctec battery charger on a mechanical time clock, so it only comes on during the night.

That has been a good system and means that I do not have to worry about night time failures.

Having said that lo and behold the bl**dy battery charger failed and the only time I noticed was of course in the storm we had last week, usual scenario, a couple of dark cloudy days, so not much solar charging happening, then the power fails, then with everything working flat out the battery does not last very long at all.

Fortunately I got to it before everything stopped, we have a small generator so that gets hooked up and grabbed another battery charger from the shed which is a smaller capacity charger but is doing the job while I wait for the other one to be replaced under warranty.

Now as the battery is 18mths old I am going to change the system to running some of it off the mains all the time and the other half off the battery, that way when the power fails there should be enough battery power to run the airpump for a few hours.

Last year we lost power after a storm for 3 days, so without a generator I would have lost everything - solar or not! Three dark very cloudy days meant that the panel had no chance of recharging the battery fully. I realise that another solar panel would help but a generator is cheaper........with the way the weather is and the vulnerability of our energy system I think that a small generator is a must...you can get them very cheap now.

We can run the aquaponics, the TV, a light and a small refrigerator off our 650kva generator. So it iw worth having.

Attachment:
024-sml.jpg
024-sml.jpg [ 60.89 KiB | Viewed 2616 times ]


Regulator

Attachment:
025-sml2.jpg
025-sml2.jpg [ 87.69 KiB | Viewed 2616 times ]


Battery

Attachment:
001-sml.jpg
001-sml.jpg [ 94.71 KiB | Viewed 2616 times ]


Panel


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '12, 00:06 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
Hi Jackied
Thanks for sharing your solar system and valuable information given you have been running for a year now. I am under no illusion that poor solar conditions might make my system fail so I am all ears on your experience.

I had problems with a low battery level at 10:00 pm tonight and moved to my spare battery so it should be OK tonight as that battery is fully charged. I think why I did so well initially was that the batteries were charging for three days before I connected anything to them. I had also connected a larger pump and was drawing twice the amps of the original pumps. The new pump, a couple of days running and some extra pumping on manual taxed the battery.

I have 3 of the 120 watt caravan solar panels so I must be generating more capacity than your system and I still had a problem so it requires some management to get it right.

The generator is a problem for me in the metropolitan area with neighbours just a few metres away.

My plan is to separate the pumps and run one on each of the 24 amp/hr batteries and run the air pump off the 20amp/hr which is only running a 10watt LED light at the moment.

I have to do this quickly as we are going to have a 37 degree day on Tuesday.

Yeah the timers are a problem for me too. I only have 16 setting per day so I have it cycling every hour for 15 minutes from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and then for 20 minutes at 3 hour intervals overnight.

I like the idea of green energy and it sits well with aquaponics.

Again thanks for making the effort to share your experience as it is valuable information and it highlights the need to have a backup. I will spent a lot of time thinking about that and how it can be integrated in my system.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '12, 06:09 
Offline

Joined: Sep 27th, '12, 10:58
Posts: 7
Gender: Male
Are you human?: yes
Location: usa california
Hi all, I am trying to get my AP off grid as well. My DC pump draws 5 amps and that is more than my 145 watt PV and 70 AH batts can do through the night. Anyone know od a DC pump that draws 1 amp? I don't need more than 200 GPH probably and this one does 1000. Also since I'm here:

Here is a video of my newbie test systems with attached questions. Any input would be helpful. I also would love to start with Tilapia but I hear that blues are the only ones that can survive the cold. They are illegal from what I hear south of the Tehachapis in California. Any advice on where to get some?

I will try to insert the video here but just in case; http://youtu.be/NikYGnkbelA




Last edited by Charlie on Dec 3rd, '12, 09:27, edited 1 time in total.
fixed you tube link


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '12, 08:26 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
Hi Adam,
First there are probably better qualified people here to answer your pump issue but I'll chime in and hopefully get corrected if I give wrong information.

I think you might be struggling to get 200 gallons/hour with a 1 amp pump and I am assuming you are running off 12 volts DC.

Ebay is your friend and I have been searching through listing looking for something within your spec.
This seller has a good range to kick off your search and it looks like it will be a compromise between battery draw and pump capacity.

http://stores.ebay.com.au/XORIES/_i.htm ... =723838613

Usual disclaimer I am not connected with this seller and using them as an example to kick off your search.

Sorry I can't help with your video questions either.

I would be interested to see what you come up with.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Dec 7th, '12, 19:01 
Offline
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Joined: Nov 12th, '12, 08:37
Posts: 59
Gender: Male
Are you human?: Yes
Location: Alexander Heights Western Australia
Some promising results this time. I separated the pumps one to each battery and they have been working well with no sign of the batteries going flat. We had very cloudy weather this week and one day with no direct sun at all. I figure this was a reasonble test for this time of the year.

I have a contingency if the batteries do go flat and will be installing a 12vdc power supply I had left over from a security camera install. See the photos.

Luckily I had installed two way switches so it will be a simple hook in. A little bit backwards but it works for me - Solar with a mains backup. :)

Attachment:
DCP_1362.JPG
DCP_1362.JPG [ 157.89 KiB | Viewed 2556 times ]


Attachment:
DCP_1363.JPG
DCP_1363.JPG [ 69.17 KiB | Viewed 2556 times ]


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 65 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC + 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 20 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Portal by phpBB3 Portal © phpBB Türkiye
[ Time : 0.093s | 20 Queries | GZIP : Off ]