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Old 14-09-2006, 06:05 PM posted to rec.ponds
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Default Solar Powered Pond Pumps

This group seem to have a wealth of experience so I thought I'd throw
out another question.

I plan to use solar energy to power a pond pump and there seems to be a
somewhat limited selection of pumps designed to be used with solar. I
know the different requirements and operating conditions that make pump
selection for solar somewhat unique.
Does any one here have any experience with the OASE series of pumps
(namely the Nautlus 140 or Atlantis)?
The seem pricey compared to others, but there is a difference between a
well designed and well built pump and a cheap pump. If there is a
better alternative I'd love to know about it!
My pond is about 2000 gallons and the pump head (discharge above water
level) will be about 4-6 feet. I'd like to get at least 6 GPM of flow
but I'll take what I can get. I expect to have about 40-50 watts of
solar power available.

Thanks!
-Bruce


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Old 14-09-2006, 07:30 PM posted to rec.ponds
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Default Solar Powered Pond Pumps

The idea of a solar powered pump comes up in this channel frequently. In
this case, your questions seem to be related more to pump recommendation
then about the solar power. I personally like pumps from the little giant.
http://www.lgpc.com/

As the solar power issue, here are some things to consider. Solar panels
generally produce about 12vdc. 12vdc pumps aren't designed for continuous
duty. So you'll need an inverter to produce 120vac, and possibly a battery
rack to power the system when the sun isn't shining.

The biggest problem with solar powered pump systems is that the biofilter
needs actively flowing water to work, and it quickly dies from lack of
oxygen when the pump is off. Plus the oxygen levels in the pond decline at
night, as plants consume oxygen instead of producing it, quick further
justifies the need for water circulation at night.

But if you can run the numbers and save money by running it off solar in the
day time, I'm all for that.

-S


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Old 14-09-2006, 08:40 PM posted to rec.ponds
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Default Solar Powered Pond Pumps

Thanks for the reply.

Snooze wrote:
The idea of a solar powered pump comes up in this channel frequently. In
this case, your questions seem to be related more to pump recommendation
then about the solar power. I personally like pumps from the little giant.
http://www.lgpc.com/


Yes, I've used LGs and they make good plug in pumps.

As the solar power issue, here are some things to consider. Solar panels
generally produce about 12vdc. 12vdc pumps aren't designed for continuous
duty. So you'll need an inverter to produce 120vac, and possibly a battery
rack to power the system when the sun isn't shining.


Generally the solar panels can be configured to put out most any
voltage, the panels I'm considering put out about 24v open circuit, but
they can be arranged to get most any voltage
(power remains the constant).

The big difference between "solar" pumps and standard pumps is that the
"solar" pumps are designed to run under changing voltage and current
conditions as well as run under lock up where there is insufficient
power to make the rotor spin. I use "solar" in quotes since I believe
these pumps are not designed specifically for solar power, they just
happen to have the qualities to survive operation from solar power.
Extra efficiency is a plus, but I think the biggie is that they tend to
have more electronics (i.e. brushless) and ergo, cost more than the
standard class of submersible pump.

I only intend to let the system run when solar power is available (day
time). A friend had a pond for many years that only had a pump running
for a few hours during the odd day he'd have it plugged in. The pond
was cement lined and had a nice amount of lily pads and tropical fish
that seemed to keep the natural balance in tact (natural ponds usually
don't have pumps either 8^).
The pond waspartially drained and shut down during the winter.

Basically my goal is a "water feature" first with plants and fish later
on when I get bored 8^)


The biggest problem with solar powered pump systems is that the biofilter
needs actively flowing water to work, and it quickly dies from lack of
oxygen when the pump is off.


Agreed.

Plus the oxygen levels in the pond decline at
night, as plants consume oxygen instead of producing it, quick further
justifies the need for water circulation at night.


The pond will be deep (about 4 feet) and shaded so if I can keep any
algae blooms under control, the future plant loading should be self
sustaining.

But if you can run the numbers and save money by running it off solar in the
day time, I'm all for that.


I doubt i'll save money 8^)

-Bruce


-S


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Old 14-09-2006, 10:22 PM posted to rec.ponds
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Default Solar Powered Pond Pumps

bruce wrote:

Yes, I've used LGs and they make good plug in pumps.


Not in the opinion of most. They make low end, short life-span, pumps.

As the solar power issue, here are some things to consider. Solar panels
generally produce about 12vdc. 12vdc pumps aren't designed for continuous
duty. So you'll need an inverter to produce 120vac, and possibly a
battery rack to power the system when the sun isn't shining.


Generally the solar panels can be configured to put out most any
voltage, the panels I'm considering put out about 24v open circuit, but
they can be arranged to get most any voltage
(power remains the constant).


While you're right that they don't "generally" put out 12V, I'd be surprised
if you have panels that put out "24V open circuit", unless you built them
yourself. "Open circuit" voltage of a commercial nominal 24V panel is
generally 34-40V. Open circuit voltage of a 12V nominal panel is generally
17-20V. I haven't seen anything with an OC voltage of 24. (I have 5
different brands of 24V panels on my home). All of which is pretty
irrelevant anyway, because as soon as you attach a load, that voltage comes
down.

The big difference between "solar" pumps and standard pumps is that the
"solar" pumps are designed to run under changing voltage and current
conditions as well as run under lock up where there is insufficient
power to make the rotor spin. I use "solar" in quotes since I believe
these pumps are not designed specifically for solar power, they just
happen to have the qualities to survive operation from solar power.


It's my understanding that it's just the way DC motors work. Going to
inverted AC has no advantages.

I only intend to let the system run when solar power is available (day
time). A friend had a pond for many years that only had a pump running
for a few hours during the odd day he'd have it plugged in.


As long as you're not loading the pond to the point where the fish rely on
the pump for aeration and filtration, that's fine.

The pond
was cement lined and had a nice amount of lily pads and tropical fish
that seemed to keep the natural balance in tact (natural ponds usually
don't have pumps either 8^).


Natural ponds don't have a dozen koi in 1000 gallons of water, either (not
to suggest you do, but people will do that...).

The biggest problem with solar powered pump systems is that the biofilter
needs actively flowing water to work, and it quickly dies from lack of
oxygen when the pump is off.


I doubt i'll save money 8^)


Not likely :-)
--
derek
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Old 14-09-2006, 11:49 PM posted to rec.ponds
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Default Solar Powered Pond Pumps


Derek Broughton wrote:
bruce wrote:

Yes, I've used LGs and they make good plug in pumps.


Not in the opinion of most. They make low end, short life-span, pumps.


It's been a while since I bought one, have they fallen that much in
quality?

What brand would you reccomend I check out should I decide to go
plug-in?

Generally the solar panels can be configured to put out most any
voltage, the panels I'm considering put out about 24v open circuit, but
they can be arranged to get most any voltage
(power remains the constant).


While you're right that they don't "generally" put out 12V, I'd be surprised
if you have panels that put out "24V open circuit", unless you built them
yourself. "Open circuit" voltage of a commercial nominal 24V panel is
generally 34-40V.


I was specifying in "nominal" terms but you are right, the internal
resistance (and sunlight) makes the panels put out what ever they
please at any given moment 8^)

Open circuit voltage of a 12V nominal panel is generally
17-20V. I haven't seen anything with an OC voltage of 24. (I have 5
different brands of 24V panels on my home). All of which is pretty
irrelevant anyway, because as soon as you attach a load, that voltage comes
down.

The big difference between "solar" pumps and standard pumps is that the
"solar" pumps are designed to run under changing voltage and current
conditions as well as run under lock up where there is insufficient
power to make the rotor spin. I use "solar" in quotes since I believe
these pumps are not designed specifically for solar power, they just
happen to have the qualities to survive operation from solar power.


It's my understanding that it's just the way DC motors work. Going to
inverted AC has no advantages.


Yep, too many losses by converting from DC to 115vAC. Brushless motors
have the ability to better regulate themselves over standard DC motors
which are generally a slave to the available current. Of course
brushless motors are in effect converting to a form of AC anyway. I
think the big deal is really to just avoid brushes and have some form
of feedback to regulate the speed somewhat. AC motors are "ideal" in
the sense that they can be sealed.


I only intend to let the system run when solar power is available (day
time). A friend had a pond for many years that only had a pump running
for a few hours during the odd day he'd have it plugged in.


As long as you're not loading the pond to the point where the fish rely on
the pump for aeration and filtration, that's fine.


Hopefully. Just some simple water plants and room for Guppies in the
summer to feed the wifes angel fish in the winter 8^(

The pond
was cement lined and had a nice amount of lily pads and tropical fish
that seemed to keep the natural balance in tact (natural ponds usually
don't have pumps either 8^).


Natural ponds don't have a dozen koi in 1000 gallons of water, either (not
to suggest you do, but people will do that...).


Yes! The ones I have seem usually turn sour real quick. It is my
opinion that if a pond requires a filter (and hence, maintenance), only
someone who is really into the pond and/or aquatic life in general will
take the time and effort to maintain the systems over the years.
Usually it's kept up for a season or two then things break or get
neglected. A "simple" pond will tend to live longer but it is still
subject to the effort spent by the owner.

Thanks for the thoughts Derek.

-Bruce



The biggest problem with solar powered pump systems is that the biofilter
needs actively flowing water to work, and it quickly dies from lack of
oxygen when the pump is off.


I doubt i'll save money 8^)


Not likely :-)
--
derek




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Old 15-09-2006, 12:40 AM posted to rec.ponds
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Default Solar Powered Pond Pumps

"bruce" wrote in message
oups.com...
Derek Broughton wrote:
bruce wrote:

Yes, I've used LGs and they make good plug in pumps.

Not in the opinion of most. They make low end, short life-span, pumps.


It's been a while since I bought one, have they fallen that much in
quality?


Pick any brand in any industry, and ask for opinions on them, and you'll get
the entire spectrum of opinions. For fun, ask people in IT what their
favorite hard drive brand is. Although the harddrive market has been
consolidated, so all you're comparing is brand names, not manufacturing
methods.

-S


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Old 15-09-2006, 03:00 PM posted to rec.ponds
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Default Solar Powered Pond Pumps

bruce wrote:


Derek Broughton wrote:
bruce wrote:

Yes, I've used LGs and they make good plug in pumps.


Not in the opinion of most. They make low end, short life-span, pumps.


It's been a while since I bought one, have they fallen that much in
quality?

What brand would you reccomend I check out should I decide to go
plug-in?


AC, you mean? OASE or Danner (Supreme) for submersibles. My personal
favourite was a Tsurumi - very efficient. Probably Sequence for an
external (I've always preferred submersibles).

As long as you're not loading the pond to the point where the fish rely
on the pump for aeration and filtration, that's fine.


Hopefully. Just some simple water plants and room for Guppies in the
summer to feed the wifes angel fish in the winter 8^(


LOL. That's the way to do it! Those will be some happy Angels.

Natural ponds don't have a dozen koi in 1000 gallons of water, either
(not to suggest you do, but people will do that...).


Yes! The ones I have seem usually turn sour real quick. It is my
opinion that if a pond requires a filter (and hence, maintenance), only
someone who is really into the pond and/or aquatic life in general will
take the time and effort to maintain the systems over the years.


Right. I've always tried to keep the fish load down. In the first place, I
don't want to need to feed them - if they have to be fed daily, it means I
can't go away for a weekend without making plans (with someone reliable
enough to not _overfeed_). Then, I don't mind running a veggie filter
where maintenance is essentially a matter of ripping out excess plants and
putting them in the composter, but I don't want to be spending hours every
week cleaning some synthetic filter material.
--
derek
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Old 19-09-2006, 01:53 AM posted to rec.ponds
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Default Solar Powered Pond Pumps

I don't want to be spending hours every
week cleaning some synthetic filter material.


Anyone who spends hours every week cleaning their filter has too many fish
or too small a filter. I spend about 4 total hours over a year's time on my
filter. ~ jan www.jjspond.us
-----------------

Also ponding troll free at:
http://groups.google.com/group/The-Freshwater-Aquarium


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