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Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #402485 03/01/15 08:34 PM
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Very exciting project man! Not being an aeration expert, my question is how much air does it take thru one diffuser in 4 feet of water operating 7 hours every 24 to open a decent size hole thru the ice everyday in 0 or below temps? To me, that is the minimum output your system needs to provide, regardless of whether it is 1/8 or 1/4 pond. My guess is no one is going to give a definitive answer to that question cause there are way too many variables. I would be very careful thinking you can reduce speed to save pump life unless you are sure you have plenty of air flow at the reduced speed to get er done! smile

Edit: For the Southern boys that don't get much ice, that might be an easier number to come up with and a different story.

Last edited by Bill D.; 03/01/15 09:24 PM. Reason: Clarification

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Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #402502 03/02/15 07:22 AM
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If you run the pump 1/2 speed for 7 hours versus full speed for 3.5 hours, which way uses more energy?

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
Bill D. #402553 03/02/15 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Very exciting project man! Not being an aeration expert, my question is how much air does it take thru one diffuser in 4 feet of water operating 7 hours every 24 to open a decent size hole thru the ice everyday in 0 or below temps? To me, that is the minimum output your system needs to provide, regardless of whether it is 1/8 or 1/4 pond. My guess is no one is going to give a definitive answer to that question cause there are way too many variables. I would be very careful thinking you can reduce speed to save pump life unless you are sure you have plenty of air flow at the reduced speed to get er done! smile

Edit: For the Southern boys that don't get much ice, that might be an easier number to come up with and a different story.


You know who's an expert at keeping open water thru a long brutal winter? Mr. and Mrs. beaver. ;)I have an idea that I would like to steal from them next winter. An insulated "aerator hut" placed over the diffuser on top of the water. It will freeze in each night when the pump stops running but maintain open or thinly iced over water inside of the hut until the next morning. Check valve in the top of the hut. Crazy? Probably! grin

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
fish n chips #402554 03/02/15 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: fish n chips
If you run the pump 1/2 speed for 7 hours versus full speed for 3.5 hours, which way uses more energy?


I believe in a DC system they would both use the same power (ohm's law P=IV; P:power,I:current, V:voltage). The voltage is fixed at 12. I'm assuming half speed would use 1/2 the current but there may be more losses one way or the other. Anybody confirm this?

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #402596 03/02/15 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: mnfish
Originally Posted By: fish n chips
If you run the pump 1/2 speed for 7 hours versus full speed for 3.5 hours, which way uses more energy?


I believe in a DC system they would both use the same power (ohm's law P=IV; P:power,I:current, V:voltage). The voltage is fixed at 12. I'm assuming half speed would use 1/2 the current but there may be more losses one way or the other. Anybody confirm this?


DC motor speed control has always been about adjusting the voltage.

I googled around and found your motor control.

PWM - A Pulse Width Modulated controller is the animal you have. Good choice.

I googled a bit to find a pictorial example of what's happening here.

Not the best, but it will do. Only one that showed the complete 0% to 100%, and a few things in between.



Consider OFF to be 0VDC and ON to be 12VDC.

To make this real simple, look at the square wave at 50%. You will notice that the ON time and OFF time appear to be equal, which they are. Also remember that the ON time is 12VDC and the OFF time is 0VDC. What your motor is seeing is the average value of the ON time -vs- the OFF time, which at 50% is 6VDC. If the ON time was 75%, then it would be 9VDC. Follow? Pretty neat trick wink

You cant measure this with your meter because it happens at such a high frequency, and the peak voltage is 12VDC, so that's what you get for a reading on your meter. This takes some fancy stuff to actually measure.

Your diaphragm pump is a type of positive displacement pump. DC motors are generally considered constant torque animals, which means they are going to try maintain their design torque thru their speed range. That can be a whole new can of worms based on motor and pump design.

My guess is that if you cut the speed in half, you could possibly see ~45% power consumption over the 50% you reduced it to (~5% less). 7hrs at half speed would most likely use less juice for a while until resistance builds and increases the pressure, which is directly proportional to power.

Constant Torque in a Constant Horsepower application, generally you might be able to gain some efficiency with DC by tweaking and tuning it, but not even close to the efficiency you get with AC.

Two thumbs up from me tho! I like it!!!

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
JKB #402605 03/02/15 09:37 PM
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JKB- You are a controls FREAK! And I mean that as the highest form of compliment!! I have read your post at least 5 different times and each time I learn something new. Thank you!

I really wasn't sure if I could use the LCB as the power source with the motor speed controller (remember I'm a mechanical guy). I realize 24V would be a better choice but I had 12V stuff already so I started there. Still not sure how my current electronics will hold up. You got any ideas about longevity? (I know there are a lot of all depends here smile )

For direct pumping, pretty simple...use the power now because once the sun sets its gone until the next sunrise. Anybody can do it with 600W of power and $4,500...I want to do it with 150W and $800 grin

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403034 03/07/15 08:53 AM
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No clue as to how long things will last.

Even with industrial controls, which have a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) rating, you occasionally get a lemon. Installed a new 50HP VFD on a project. Needed to run a pump for 48 hours to break in the process, so let it run over the weekend. One of the guy's stopped in Monday morning and it wasn't running. They tried turning it back on, no-go. Checked the fuses and they were blown. WT?. Checked the motor out and that's OK. Put in new 100 Amp fuses, hit the start button and all 3 of the fuses blew! If you have never been around a 100 Amp time delay fuse when it blows, well, it get's your attention really quick.

The further you get into your solar projects, you might want to consider adding some logic controls for various functions.

Sales guy stopped in last week and showed me this: PLC Logic

I downloaded the software and checked it out. Coolest little gizmo since sliced bread. I ordered the starter kit yesterday, which was $175.00.

I use 100's of these relays every year, and now they have a programmable logic module that plugs in. The logic module is about $40.00.

The relays are rated at 6 amps (if you get the right one) and are rated for 2M cycles.

The logic module has 8 inputs and 2 of them can be configured for 0-10V analog.

One thing that caught my eye was the weekly timer, which would be perfect for controlling outdoor stuff like aeration time and feeders.

When it comes in, I'll set it up and show you how simple it is to program. You can program this in ladder logic or function blocks, which are really easy.

Watch the videos if you get a chance.

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403049 03/07/15 11:40 AM
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Watched the videos, a couple of times. Very cool! Yet another learning curve for me. grin I'm going to finish my now "electrically unrefined Gen 3" and get it installed on site. Creating some bubbles. Looks like the JKB Gen 4 is going to take this to the next level.

PM coming JKB and I sure hope you take on small consulting jobs. I ain't smarts enough for all this electronics stuff. Thanks once again!

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403051 03/07/15 12:27 PM
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No need for consulting fees. God owns it all, and will be happy to help you, and others tossing in this logic control element.

Sunil said I ticked someone off, again, and am slated for extinction on the forum.

I have been trying the natural selection theory out, which is helping a tad wink

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403053 03/07/15 12:44 PM
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I will PM you my email if you want to stay in touch...just in case...

Biggggg fan of Charles Darwin teachings! Unfortunately society seems to short circuit the process with human beings and the "dumber/weaker" individuals live on to reproduce wink

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403130 03/08/15 07:52 PM
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I think I'll be jumping on the solar bandwagon after I move, so I'll need some pointers on panels and such.

Boss has a 6.9Kw rig at his lodge that is grid connected. He said the payback is about 5 years thru a deal with the power company. Said the power company may not be doing this anymore.

My brother bought me a 1000 Watt pure sine wave inverter for Christmas. He got it from the company store where he works. Asked him how much?, and had him pick me up 4 more.

So as a first solar goal, let's fire one of these puppies up!

I'll be voiding the warranty on this one to interface with a PLC and disabling the remote control gizmo.

This is the one I have: Elite 1000W

Good, Bad, Ugly, not the right one?

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403132 03/08/15 08:26 PM
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Last edited by Bill D.; 03/09/15 07:33 AM.

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Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403230 03/09/15 04:19 PM
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This is pretty much how easy it is to program, just drag and drop.



This took all of about a minute to configure and drop in the function blocks.

This is a weekly timer that will run a pump in either manual mode or automatic timed mode. With a 3 position selector switch, one input is for manual, which will just turn the pump on, the other input goes thru the timer, and the other position is to turn it off. The timer has 14 time zones per week you can configure just by clicking and dragging your mouse.

Another nice thing is you can combine ladder logic with function blocks, which gives you more complex options.

Got a quote today for a stand alone rig (not the starter kit) and it was $133.00. The only reason I got the starter kit was to make sure they didn't do something "special" to the USB port or cable. Companies do that and you have to buy their cable. I have more than a few cables that won't work with anything else.

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403250 03/09/15 08:10 PM
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WOW, wow that's got some real cool factor!!!

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403747 03/14/15 10:52 AM
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Almost 2 months since I have been to check on my place. Going up this afternoon with my better half. The anticipation of walking back into the ponds is killing me. Can't wait to see how they have been holding up. I betting still too much ice to determine much but some pic's will be posted.

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #403905 03/15/15 03:42 PM
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Update 3/15/15 - Beautiful day for a walk here in central MN.

The solar aerators on test pond 1 and 2 have survived the MN winter. I can't wait for complete ice off to see how the fish are doing. This year, once I get my O2 meter I will be documenting some experiments and doing "case studies" on three separate ponds. Assuming I have adequate time to do it right (darn daytime job getting in the way grin ). Test pond one shown here on top, test pond two (first pic of this thread) and test pond 3 shown here as the second picture (new gen 3 will be set up this spring).



The shading board on the panel has been replaced. Electronically controlling motor speed. Reducing pump speed from 3600rpms (full sun) to approximately 1,800 rpm's (full sun)



Will be clearing some trees and brush this spring for access to pond three.

Last edited by mnfish; 03/15/15 03:45 PM.
Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #413559 05/31/15 07:47 PM
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It's time for a little update. Nothing really to report except all systems are chugging along. With the right pond conditions, here in the north, I am getting very confident with the design. If the pump had to be rebuilt or even replaced every other year. The cost to me would still be well worth it. I am in the processes of installing 2 more systems. One more on my place and one for a hunting buddy down the road from me.

I am getting PM's about this system. Currently, just so everybody here knows I am not selling these units. And quite frankly the pond stuff is my passion/all encompassing hobby and selling the aerator would turn it into a job smile

This time of year is crazy busy but I promise, for all interested, to post every last detail of the design on this thread (BOM, vendors, assembly, associated costs and such) later this summer. I hope it pays back a fraction of info I have gained here over the years!

Last edited by mnfish; 05/31/15 07:48 PM.
Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #413565 05/31/15 08:38 PM
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Nice job, MN.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #413574 05/31/15 09:32 PM
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Awesome effort man! Keep us posted Jeff. A cost effective solar aerator for small ponds would be a great gift to the pond community!


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Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #414078 06/04/15 03:00 PM
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anxiously waiting parts list laugh unless I missed it in another post about how much money do you have it? I have electric I can run a pump off of but this would be nicer, just wondering if I could use my electric for 12v pump and get the solar stuff as I go, so I wouldnt need a 12v pump later and a 120v pump now, of course I could always build a solar system for the 120v pump. blush

Last edited by chrissnow; 06/04/15 03:01 PM.
Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #414131 06/05/15 07:29 AM
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Mnfish

You know my situation. I think about what I am going to do up there almost every day. Not sure if I asked you this yet and if I did I forgot what you told me.

What is your annual snowfall up there and what are the lowest temps you see? Does the snow/ice ever cause you problems on the panels? Is it something you have to constantly check on to keep them clean?

I know you're busy so thanks for your time!

Chad


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Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
wbuffetjr #414153 06/05/15 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Mnfish

You know my situation. I think about what I am going to do up there almost every day. Not sure if I asked you this yet and if I did I forgot what you told me.

What is your annual snowfall up there and what are the lowest temps you see? Does the snow/ice ever cause you problems on the panels? Is it something you have to constantly check on to keep them clean?

I know you're busy so thanks for your time!

Chad


Chad, I can totally appreciate that!!! I can get my pond/fish fix just about any time and it's still not enough! I can't imagine how being so far away must feel.

My stats:
Annual snowfall is around 50"
Average Jan temps around 12F
A SWAG here; -20F actual can and does happen
Another SWAG 10-15 days of -10F or colder

I built a roof over the panels to keep them free of the snow and ice.... laugh. Sorry, I use that joke way too much and it's really not that funny.

In all seriousness..The angle of the panel is key. I sacrifice panel efficiency for ensuring ice and snow don't build up. If the panels on my cabin needed to be cleaned off, it would be a real bugger. At the angle I have the panels set I have not had any problems with build up. In your area look around, or search the internet, I bet you will see a good strategy to keep panels free of ice and snow.

This is probably more info than you wanted and you're probably doing it already but just in case... With the remote location and very cold temps, I would take a long look at airline redundancies (no matter what aeration system you put in). To state the obvious, line freeze will stop ALL aeration and when it happens it SUCKS to fix.

Hope this helped

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
chrissnow #414156 06/05/15 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted By: chrissnow
anxiously waiting parts list laugh unless I missed it in another post about how much money do you have it? I have electric I can run a pump off of but this would be nicer, just wondering if I could use my electric for 12v pump and get the solar stuff as I go, so I wouldnt need a 12v pump later and a 120v pump now, of course I could always build a solar system for the 120v pump. blush


Your on the right thread for the parts list.

Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #414201 06/05/15 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted By: mnfish

Chad, I can totally appreciate that!!! I can get my pond/fish fix just about any time and it's still not enough! I can't imagine how being so far away must feel.

My stats:
Annual snowfall is around 50"
Average Jan temps around 12F
A SWAG here; -20F actual can and does happen
Another SWAG 10-15 days of -10F or colder

I built a roof over the panels to keep them free of the snow and ice.... laugh. Sorry, I use that joke way too much and it's really not that funny.

In all seriousness..The angle of the panel is key. I sacrifice panel efficiency for ensuring ice and snow don't build up. If the panels on my cabin needed to be cleaned off, it would be a real bugger. At the angle I have the panels set I have not had any problems with build up. In your area look around, or search the internet, I bet you will see a good strategy to keep panels free of ice and snow.

This is probably more info than you wanted and you're probably doing it already but just in case... With the remote location and very cold temps, I would take a long look at airline redundancies (no matter what aeration system you put in). To state the obvious, line freeze will stop ALL aeration and when it happens it SUCKS to fix.

Hope this helped


The roof does sound like the way to go!! hahaha

In my Googling, I did find some heated panels but could not ever get the company to respond. Other than that, all I have heard is the angle and then if snow/ice does accumulate just clean them off. lol

10-4 on the airline stuff!

Thanks man!


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Re: Another Solar Aeration Project
mnfish #433771 01/06/16 12:26 PM
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It's been awhile but here is a short update on my project. Pictured is test pond two. 1 full season and going into its second winter. No design tweaks and no maintenance done (except cleaning the diffuser). The designing and learning has been a most enjoyable journey and now nearing it's end.

I have relatively high design confidence... For remote locations, (no power available) small (less than 1/2 acre),shallow (6' max depth) ponds here in central MN, a solar aeration system like this can make raising fish viable and cost effective. With an initial start up budget of around $800-$900. Running expenses still are being learned but assuming a pump is replaced every two years and speed control every two years, around $125-$150 year.

Ironically enough, these systems have created some pretty cool fisheries(to me anyways). I have so much to loose now that I will be spending the money to run power and install a 220V aeration system as backup.....That and momma wants air conditioning at the cabin grin


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