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Re: Aquarium question
Cecil Baird1 #424665 09/23/15 06:33 PM
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AC solenoids can get confusing at times because not all list the values the same.

VA = VoltAmps = Volts x Amps, which also = watts. Holding VA is the same as continuous watt draw while the solenoid is energized.

Inrush VA is the surge to get the valve to move, pretty much the same thing as when you start an electric motor, but not as drastic.

VA and KVA (Thousand VA) are more or less transformer rating terms, so a transformer will have a VA or KVA rating on what it can actually handle. It's easier to add up the VA of devices (without confusion) to properly size a control transformer.

I've never paid attention to the watt rating of AC solenoids because we always use the VA for sizing the transformer, surge protection, controlling devices, fuses or circuit breakers... With that said, I was a bit curious as to why the watt rating on AC solenoids was lower than the VA. For the most part, it appears to be a measure of output power to do work, kinda like a motor, but some rate it as heat dissipation, kinda like holding a 20 watt light bulb in your hand.

I called up an engineer today that has been selling solenoid valves for over 30 years. Went over the VA stuff, which we all know, then asked him what the watt rating on your AC valves you sell mean? He said no one has ever asked that question and he didn't know, but will make calls and find out.

With DC, it's straight up. Watts are watts! Although, there are some new electronically enhanced DC valves that take on the characteristics of AC valves with really high inrush, but much lower holding.

Yeah, US is adopting more European standards for control. I should probably stop here to avoid scaring myself eek

Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #424670 09/23/15 07:22 PM
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I'm loving this entire discussion.


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Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #424675 09/23/15 07:36 PM
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What about incorporating an AC voltage monitoring device that simply plugs into a wall outlet? I think they have those available that activate an alarm when there's a power failure, so instead of that, wire in a relay to activate a continuous duty 12 volt solenoid valve to allow O2 flow when the lights go out. Use a deep cycle battery or two as a power source?

Charge the batts periodically and they should operate the solenoid for a good while, depending on the current draw?


"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: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #424684 09/23/15 10:16 PM
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Most meds will mess with your biological filtration. Praziquantel is a good idea to prevent some kind of parasites including flukes. It doesn't bother fish too.

Last edited by Fatih; 09/23/15 10:17 PM.
Re: Aquarium question
Fatih #424752 09/24/15 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: Fatih
Most meds will mess with your biological filtration. Praziquantel is a good idea to prevent some kind of parasites including flukes. It doesn't bother fish too.


Remember though, I don't have a biological filtration system! Please feel to elaborate on any other ideas you may have.


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Re: Aquarium question
sprkplug #424760 09/24/15 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
What about incorporating an AC voltage monitoring device that simply plugs into a wall outlet? I think they have those available that activate an alarm when there's a power failure, so instead of that, wire in a relay to activate a continuous duty 12 volt solenoid valve to allow O2 flow when the lights go out. Use a deep cycle battery or two as a power source?

Charge the batts periodically and they should operate the solenoid for a good while, depending on the current draw?


You could just use a small AC powered SPDT relay plugged into an outlet that would use minuscule amounts of energy vs the AC solenoid and run your emergency battery power thru that. Small DC coils can get down pretty low on the amps (1/4 or so on 12VDC), so that wont eat a battery up to quick.

Getting use to my new laptop right now, and this thing is pretty sweet for being a consumer grade machine. I like it!!

Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #424767 09/24/15 07:13 PM
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Not being up to speed on all this stuff, I will ask a nave question. I don't know how much air you need Cecil, but I do know there are a lot of relatively inexpensive 12V aerators available for live wells etc. Does just putting in some kind of smart switch box that knows when the main power dropped out and kicking in a canned 12 V system make any sense from a cost standpoint? My home backup generator has a small trickle charger that keeps its battery always charged.

Last edited by Bill D.; 09/30/15 06:19 PM. Reason: Typo

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Re: Aquarium question
JKB #424768 09/24/15 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
What about incorporating an AC voltage monitoring device that simply plugs into a wall outlet? I think they have those available that activate an alarm when there's a power failure, so instead of that, wire in a relay to activate a continuous duty 12 volt solenoid valve to allow O2 flow when the lights go out. Use a deep cycle battery or two as a power source?

Charge the batts periodically and they should operate the solenoid for a good while, depending on the current draw?


You could just use a small AC powered SPDT relay plugged into an outlet that would use minuscule amounts of energy vs the AC solenoid and run your emergency battery power thru that. Small DC coils can get down pretty low on the amps (1/4 or so on 12VDC), so that wont eat a battery up to quick.



Exactly. I'm all for keeping things simple, and I like the idea of the NO AC solenoid valve plumbed into the O2 tank, but I'm still struggling with the notion of that solenoid being under power at all times except when the main goes down. Cecil's engineer undoubtedly knows far more about it than I do, and if he says it's good to go then that eases my concern somewhat. But I still wish we could set this up to avoid the always-on AC current scenario.


"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: Aquarium question
sprkplug #425359 09/30/15 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
Exactly. I'm all for keeping things simple, and I like the idea of the NO AC solenoid valve plumbed into the O2 tank, but I'm still struggling with the notion of that solenoid being under power at all times except when the main goes down. Cecil's engineer undoubtedly knows far more about it than I do, and if he says it's good to go then that eases my concern somewhat. But I still wish we could set this up to avoid the always-on AC current scenario.


An A-B 700-HL Interposing relay only draws 0.3 watts at 120 VAC and can be held on (energized) indefinitely. No problem handling a 12V or 24V DC solenoid valve running from a backup battery. The relay itself is about twice the size of my thumb nail and about 3/16" thick. I use quite a few of these that are continuously energized in factories and infrastructure, and never heard of a problem.

Not sure what the electrical inspectors follow in Indiana, but NEC states you need to use a class 2 power supply, and or, a SELV rated power supply for control circuits. I forgot that this may be going into a school. I doubt you can just wire this directly to a plug and stick it into an outlet without following NEC in either scenario.

NEC 2017 is next, and it has some additional YIKES for everyone. 2014 should have closed the DIY electrical hole up quite a bit, but from what I have heard about 2017...

Re: Aquarium question
JKB #425369 09/30/15 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: JKB


An A-B 700-HL Interposing relay only draws 0.3 watts at 120 VAC and can be held on (energized) indefinitely. No problem handling a 12V or 24V DC solenoid valve running from a backup battery. The relay itself is about twice the size of my thumb nail and about 3/16" thick. I use quite a few of these that are continuously energized in factories and infrastructure, and never heard of a problem.



Now that sounds like what I'm envisioning. I like that scenario.


"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: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425371 09/30/15 07:26 PM
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I ask forgiveness for this post but I'm an aerospace engineer and these are questions we would ask...So what happens if something else in the system fails on a Friday night or over a holiday, other than a power outage, with nobody around to notice? Does the backup system being proposed work? Would pressure be a better trigger for the backup to kick in? Second question is how long will the O2 tank supply the system? If you performed a FEMA (Failure Effect Mode Analysis) it is a finite solution which we try not to use when designing redundancy into a system. We consider this type of solution just making the fuse longer, not preventing the catastrophic failure (dead fish). That might be ok if you are flying a JSF 135; you know the duration of the mission to return safely to base, and the backup will support you for twice that time. But if you don't know how long the mission is....

Ok guys, I am ready for you to wack me!

Last edited by Bill D.; 09/30/15 08:19 PM.

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Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425379 09/30/15 09:33 PM
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Bill,

This latest fourth school is quite new and has power back up but it doesn't kick in for about five hours. So power back up is only needed for that time frame. My guess is that's because it won't be an issue for that amount of time as the heating or cooling systems, computers, and cafeteria freezers can be without power that long (the computers have their own short term battery back up ) without it being cathostrophic, and power outages in our area are rarely longer than that. But that's only a WAG from me and I could be completely wrong.

I'm pretty sure a good size cylinder could easily supply oxygen to both the tank and biofilter for that period of time. I say that because I had no issues transporting fish from Virginia and Northern Wisconsin with one of those cylinders. One of the trips was 14 hours!

OTOH I'm gravitating to an inverter and large sealed deep cycle battery for this particular school as my calculations show the battery and inverter will provide AC for the five hours needed to run the air pump AND the water pump, of which the NO solenoid and 02 will not.

One of the issues I have with the schools that I set up systems for is most, if not all of it is on my dime. My hope is to recoup that by getting the fish back grown out larger at the end of the school year. Basically they are four tanks/ systems I don't need floor space for.

The politicians in our state talk the talk about supporting public schools but at the same time they're cutting funds. Some of my fish don't get fed on the weekends because there are no custodians on the weekend to do so. They also can't keep them as they pay them so little.

There's also a higher turnover of teachers more than ever before. The state is paying someone to do a study to find out why when the consensus among teachers is it would have made more sense and been cheaper to just ask them.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 09/30/15 10:31 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425380 09/30/15 09:38 PM
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Btw here's a cool website that explains a lot about inverters and even has a plug and chug calculator farther down the page if you know the watts you're using and battery specs. Tells you roughly how long the battery(s) will last.

http://www.donrowe.com/power-inverter-faq-a/258.htm

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 09/30/15 09:39 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425387 10/01/15 05:09 AM
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Cecil, any chance of swapping the air and water pumps for DC units and skipping the inverter altogether? Just trying to simplify things.


"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: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425388 10/01/15 05:15 AM
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How would you do that?

Is this typical of prices for them?

http://pentairaes.com/12v-diaphragm-compressor.html


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425392 10/01/15 05:27 AM
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I haven't checked on prices, so don't know if it's practical. But it would eliminate the need for the inverter, so that would help with the costs.

And, by using 12 volt components you would have the stuff available for mobile use....hauling fish, etc.


"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: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425395 10/01/15 05:47 AM
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Tripplite 750 APS Inverter $285.65. Runs both air and water pump. Also trickle charges battery and recharges battery.
Deep cycle 125 AH battery. $259.97
60 lpm linear air pump AC ~$145.00
Mag Drive 7 water pump ~$75.00. (650 gph 1 foot head)



12 volt compressor. $327.75. Runs only air pump.
Deep cycle 125 AH battery $259.97
12 volt water pump 750 gph 1 foot head) $???


AES/Pentair web link shows two models of 12 volt DC compressors but only the price of one. Catalog shows price of lower CFM unit at $327.75.
The higher CFM unit would be optimum but what is the price?







Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 10/01/15 06:08 AM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425424 10/01/15 08:48 AM
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Then it may be financially unsuitable to go with a DC system. There's nothing wrong with the way you have it set up, there's just a part of my brain that doesn't like inverters. In some cases they are a good solution, but I hate having extra math in the equation.


"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: Aquarium question
sprkplug #425558 10/02/15 04:40 PM
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Spark - Tripp Lite is easily one of the top brands of the type of rig Cecil uses for backup, and don't see any reason to change. It is Plug-n-Play, so there is no engineering or electricians involved to set it up.

I thought about doing something similar a few years ago, but battery backup is only going to keep a DC powered PLC alive to determine what the heck is really going on, then it takes action...

Last edited by JKB; 10/02/15 04:50 PM.
Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #425580 10/02/15 09:26 PM
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Cecil...I used this Air Compressor for hauling smaller loads of Tilapia before getting that old red truck. It's only 90 watts, and an inexpensive 150 watt inverter powered it fine. It ran constantly for 6 days straight without a single thermal shutdown.

I don't know the CFM, but it seemed to be about 1.5-2 when using 10, 12" X 1" aquarium style air stones.

Easily modified also, if need be for plumbing.

Last edited by Rainman; 10/02/15 09:27 PM.
Re: Aquarium question
Rainman #425585 10/03/15 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted By: Rainman
Cecil...I used this Air Compressor for hauling smaller loads of Tilapia before getting that old red truck. It's only 90 watts, and an inexpensive 150 watt inverter powered it fine. It ran constantly for 6 days straight without a single thermal shutdown.

I don't know the CFM, but it seemed to be about 1.5-2 when using 10, 12" X 1" aquarium style air stones.

Easily modified also, if need be for plumbing.


Interesting.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Aquarium question
JKB #425589 10/03/15 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted By: JKB
Spark - Tripp Lite is easily one of the top brands of the type of rig Cecil uses for backup, and don't see any reason to change. It is Plug-n-Play, so there is no engineering or electricians involved to set it up.

I thought about doing something similar a few years ago, but battery backup is only going to keep a DC powered PLC alive to determine what the heck is really going on, then it takes action...


I'm familiar with Tripp Lite and they do build good stuff. I just don't like the idea of energy wasted in the form of heat, during the inversion process. It just strikes me as so inefficient. But, such systems are providing power in a lot of places, so I know the technology is proven. It's just a glitch in my thought process.


"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: Aquarium question
sprkplug #425626 10/03/15 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
Then it may be financially unsuitable to go with a DC system. There's nothing wrong with the way you have it set up, there's just a part of my brain that doesn't like inverters. In some cases they are a good solution, but I hate having extra math in the equation.


Not necessarily financially unsuitable. Depends on how the system is set up.

I just don't know how one would run it DC 24/7 without it being complicated.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 10/03/15 07:51 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Aquarium question
sprkplug #425746 10/05/15 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
I'm familiar with Tripp Lite and they do build good stuff. I just don't like the idea of energy wasted in the form of heat, during the inversion process. It just strikes me as so inefficient. But, such systems are providing power in a lot of places, so I know the technology is proven. It's just a glitch in my thought process.


Understood Spark - Inverter efficiencies are the cost of doing business if that's what is going to work in the situation, so you plan for it.

Pretty much everything I have is 230VAC and 24VDC. When I looked into this route for a backup system, I would need it to at least run for 12 hours. Adding it all up with batteries and such, it put it over the 4K range, and I thought that was just way to silly to do this.

$700.00 for an electric start generator. 24VDC watchdog PLC that runs from small batteries and only eats 7.5 watts (when it's really thinking), a few contactors in the works, then the watchdog fires up the generator, main PLC comes online, VFD's all boot and start spinning motors. Back to normal in about a minute.

I just got a cute little 1/3hp electric motor to replace an energy hog motor on one of my mag drive pumps. I was intrigued with the specs on this. Not only is it Vector Duty, but exceeds the DOE small motor energy rule that took effect March of this year. I won't go into that rule because it could be depressing to the extent that you are still stuck with less efficient motors on all the popular canned motors used in aeration equipment. It was supposed to include all motors, but it got botched.

Someday tho, because they can make motors that are almost 100% efficient, in both single and three phase.

BTW, the official word on watt ratings for AC solenoids is totally thermal, as in heat dissipation. Those others that muck up the works are not playing by the rules.

Re: Aquarium question
Bruce Condello #427072 10/19/15 07:18 PM
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FWIW I got this response recently on the Aquaponics Nation website regarding the NO solenoid and oxygen as backup in case of a power outage.

Hi Cecil,

I use this configuration in my designs all the time; NO selenoid valve for emergency oxygen. Can't advice on US model as I am down under. Hot coils and/or leakage are non issues, and my installations include demanding high line pressure and high volume units. I always advice that a facility has a spare coil in stock, as most good selenoid valves have a replaceble coil without taking the unit offline.
If you intend to have higher stocking densities I would advice to have a backup source AND emergency oxygen.
For small systems an inverter with a battery pack can run a circulation pump and airpump easy for a day. Last one I installed like this could run for 24 hours on 4 X 260 Ah batteries (with UPS/inverter); and then we were running; circulation pump, blower, oxygen generator, switchboard/contol gear.


One think more, motorized ball valves on oxy lines makes no sense. These are good for large bore low pressure applications.

http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/9510-oxygen-solenoid-source/

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 10/20/15 08:58 AM.

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