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 Post subject: power loss over distance
PostPosted: Oct 12th, '17, 12:26 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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My solar panels will be on my boat on one side of my yard, and my aquaponics system will be on the other side of the yard.

Will 30 meters or cord mean too much power loss?

2 x 180w panels
120Ah lead acid battery
150w inverter
60w pump

The system only has breeding stock of golden comets (gold fish) so I dont need to run the pump all the time


At the moment I run a BYAP 60watt 240v pump, so I can convert it to AC at either end.

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PostPosted: Oct 12th, '17, 13:16 
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You are better off converting it to higher voltage AC at the PV panel end, since the losses will be lower at a higher voltage, due to decreased current. Losses are proportional to the square of the current. So if you have 10 times higher voltage across the yard, the losses will be 100X less, for a particular wire size.

You should also sort out some sort of RCD/earth leakage/safety switch device protection, which will mean earthing your inverter.

You haven't mentioned what voltage battery you have, but if we assume it is 12V, then the losses at 230V will be about 350X lower.

Except in the sunniest weather with long days and short nights, 2 X 180W panels will struggle to supply enough power to run that pump 24/7, especially if you have a cheap Chinese inverter, as they are often very inefficient. Your battery will have a short life.

By running the pump < half the time, and not too much at night, you'll get by in sunny weather.

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My small AP system: http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=16345
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PostPosted: Oct 12th, '17, 18:50 
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Or.... you could plumb the pump closer to the solar panels.

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PostPosted: Oct 12th, '17, 19:46 
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60m of pipe is going to cause a fair bit of water heating in summer, plus significant frictional losses. It would be better to move the PV panels, battery and inverter closer to the AP system

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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '17, 12:56 
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Petesake wrote:
Or.... you could plumb the pump closer to the solar panels.



There's a point.

I could move the sump

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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '17, 12:57 
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Gunagulla wrote:
60m of pipe is going to cause a fair bit of water heating in summer, plus significant frictional losses. It would be better to move the PV panels, battery and inverter closer to the AP system



hmm there's another point

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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '17, 13:01 
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Gunagulla wrote:
You are better off converting it to higher voltage AC at the PV panel end, since the losses will be lower at a higher voltage, due to decreased current. Losses are proportional to the square of the current. So if you have 10 times higher voltage across the yard, the losses will be 100X less, for a particular wire size.

You should also sort out some sort of RCD/earth leakage/safety switch device protection, which will mean earthing your inverter.

You haven't mentioned what voltage battery you have, but if we assume it is 12V, then the losses at 230V will be about 350X lower.

Except in the sunniest weather with long days and short nights, 2 X 180W panels will struggle to supply enough power to run that pump 24/7, especially if you have a cheap Chinese inverter, as they are often very inefficient. Your battery will have a short life.

By running the pump < half the time, and not too much at night, you'll get by in sunny weather.



Yeah, 12v

But It doesn't need to run all day.

I'm currently running less than a kilogram of goldfish meat in 1500L of water with a 500L growbed, with almost no feeding. I'm trying to make breeding goldfish a viable thing feeding them on my slime and duckweed. The result is I could safely leave the pump off for a day. During the 17 hour or whatever it was blackout in South Oz, the fish were showing zero signs of distress.

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PostPosted: Oct 14th, '17, 06:53 
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If you can get gravity assisting your water across to the sump nearer the battery then pump (on a timer 15/60) up to another higher container with gravity assist back to the GBs you'll minimize the energy required.
Covering the pipes and sump containers would be required to reduce the heat and growths in them.
I'd lay both pipes under ground but then they'd hold water as opposed to above ground where they'd drain out and attract more heat.

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PostPosted: Oct 14th, '17, 19:29 
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Cool.

Thanks people.

And I run an earth leakage safety switch thing whenever I use the inverter. I cant believe they can sell them without it being built in.

The power points in our shed dont seem to be protected, so I use it for all kinds of things. It's just a male plug, a box with a reset switch and a light, and a female plug. Very useful bit of kit.

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PostPosted: Oct 14th, '17, 22:12 
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Great advice in here. The thicker the wire you use, the less electricity you will lose as well.
30m of pipe will reduce flow rate a lot too.
Got to go as thick as you can for both. Size matters!

-K98


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