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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Jul 10th, '12, 07:39 
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Ive used those timers before and they are good
Just watch out as they actually consume power even when turned off. - No idea why!!!
With your solar setup it wont count much but in other setups without adequate charging they can draw a few amp/hr over say a week and totally flatten batteries so low as to damage them.


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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Jul 11th, '12, 06:19 
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looks awesome, would heat build up be a concern in the box with the battery :dontknow:

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Jul 11th, '12, 15:54 
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So far so good, been running for a week with plants in it, haven't put any fish in as yet because we haven't decided what will go in there.....

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Jul 11th, '12, 19:09 
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I think it's that time of year.. Too late for trout, too early for barra..... ok for perch...

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Jul 12th, '12, 08:17 
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earthbound wrote:
So far so good, been running for a week with plants in it, haven't put any fish in as yet because we haven't decided what will go in there.....


Silvers??

I'll donate some if you want them but they are only pretty small (40mm).

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 Post subject: A new solar system
PostPosted: Jul 12th, '12, 11:05 
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Generous offer there, good on ya.

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Jul 13th, '12, 13:59 
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Had a number of cloudy days how well is the voltage holding on the battery?


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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Sep 12th, '12, 09:52 
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How is it going Joel? Been watching from afar. If you need more panels or batteries give me a call :wave1:

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Sep 12th, '12, 11:03 
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Fairly slow start to the system, it was a little while before we stocked it with goldfish and it's still going through it's cycling process at the moment so we haven't been feeding a lot.

But the system is going, still doing it's pumping cycles and we expect that the plants will soon take off once the water is cleared up and we increase feeding.

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Sep 12th, '12, 11:15 
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What about the battery voltage though? How low does it drop to before the solar kicks in in the morning and what is it like after a week of cloud? When I did the figures to run our 2000L school system off solar I was looking at 200 plus whats and 200ah of batteries to make it work. It is great that you have got it happening with smaller gear. thoses pumps look interesting, I don't think I found them when I was putting the plan together and was looking at using an inverter.

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '12, 14:06 
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BUMP.

How is this system going now Joel?


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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '12, 14:40 
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Hmm, it's going, don't think it's doing much though.... It's all running fine on the solar side of things, hasn't skipped a beat. Plant growth is a bit average though, suffering from a lack of nutrient I think. Took a while to cycle and now there's still only half a dozen goldfish in it so there's not a lot of feed going in. We might look at sticking some silvers in soon so we can start the plants really pumping.

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '12, 15:29 
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Hi

earthbound wrote:
We got a Oase Aquarius Solar 1500 pump


Looking at the product page:

http://www.oase-livingwater.com/en_EN/w ... 40e756c59d

It is classed as a fountain pump. Normally, fountain pumps are not designed to pump water with solids in it. Thus, it may get clogged up easily when the system has (more) fish in it and has more (or bigger) waste/solids.

If you are using this pump in a sump then it might not be an issue, assuming solids have already been filtered out by the growbed or some other form of filtration.

Oase also do 12V solids capable pumps:

http://www.oase-livingwater.com/en_EN/w ... -12-v.html

However, these are quite high end (i.e. high cost) pumps - 6000 and 1200 versions.

I would also recommend a digital voltmeter to check the voltage of the 12v battery:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Waterproof-Di ... dbe&_uhb=1

Just connect it with a push button switch and you can manually check the battery voltage when required.

Below is a good document that explains the state-of-charge (i.e. health) of a 12V battery:

http://www.mmbalmainauto.com.au/PDF/Sta ... teries.pdf

You should not let the battery go below 50%, which is about 12.2V according to the chart.

The Morning Star charge controller should be monitoring the state of charge and cut the load if it detects that the battery voltage has dropped to a certain voltage - check the manual what this threshold is.

Cheers,

Mon

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '12, 16:08 
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I took the easy way out when designing the system and the components. First time around I did it myself and used an inverter. It was a failure, so this time I was going to make sure the solar system worked..

This time I went to the 12V shop and said "Right, this is what I want to do, this is how I need it to run, cost isn't really an issue, I just need it to work, tell me what I need and I'll buy it all now.." As he was working it out I made sure that he allowed lots of "fat" in the system, just to be sure.

I guess it takes out the guess work out of it all. A bit like building your own DIY AP system, cutting up IBC's, buying a pump on ebay, bits from bunnings etc. Yes you can make a great working system but you need to be careful about your choices, research everything well and make sure you design and build it all correctly.

Or you could walk into the shop here and say "Give me a system"... I took the easy way... :)

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 Post subject: Re: A new solar system
PostPosted: Oct 10th, '12, 16:16 
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Hi,

earthbound wrote:
First time around I did it myself and used an inverter. It was a failure, so this time I was going to make sure the solar system worked..


Out of interest, why was it a failure when using the inverter? Just point me to any postings about this failure.

Cheers,

Mon

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