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12 Volt DC air compressor and solar panel for my pond

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  • 12 Volt DC air compressor and solar panel for my pond

    Hi guys!

    I live in Orford (Quebec, Canada), where it seems there are very few alternatives to AC electric systems for pond aeration.

    I found this one : DC 12 Volt 80 Watt DC Air Compressor Between 5 and 8 Amps.

    But now I need help to figure out which battery and which solar panel will allow me to run this compressor 24/7 (if that is a realistic goal).

    My husband has an unused deep cycle battery that we thought we could use 11304075_10206637242231241_409570249_n.jpg
    But we cant figure out if is suitable to run the 12 Volt DC pump we found... And also, if this battery is gonna cost us a bunch of solar panels instead of just one...

    We still haven't bought the compressor nor the solar panels, in other words, right now we have nothing but this battery that we are ready to forget about!
    Any help on choosing the right system would be greatly appreciated!

    Oh and just in case these infos might help... Our pond is about 100 X 32 feet, 4 1/2 feet deep. It is located in Orford, Quebec, Canada, where we do have plenty of sun, but super cold winters!

    Thanks guys
    Kim

  • #2
    Congratulations for asking before buying anything.

    Assuming a 12V 100 ah battery. It has 50 useable amps - you reserve the other 50 amps to not run it flat, like running a flat tyre will damage it.

    Air pump 8 amps per hour, 12 hours consumes 96 amp hours, 24 hours consumes 192 ah. You would need 400 ah of batteries, which can be done with 4, 6v-200ah golf cart batteries wired series parallel.

    Now to recharge the battery, in 24 hours, you use roughly 200ah @ 12.5V = 2,500 watt hours Because of losses and such, you need to have a "nameplate" system that can harvest 2x that much in a 4 hour solar day. That comes out to 1250watts of PV and about 100 amps of charge current which will boil your batteries faster than a tea kettle !

    So the simple design does not work well.

    Can you run a power cord out to it ? Or compressor at house and air line to pond ?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you saying this 12V DC compressor is too powerful to be used with any battery and solar panel?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kimouette View Post
        Are you saying this 12V DC compressor is too powerful to be used with any battery and solar panel?
        That's what it looks like.
        The original spec
        DC 12 Volt 80 Watt DC Air Compressor Between 5 and 8 Amps.
        8 amps @ 12V is 96w 5A is 60 watts. Any time a spec is given in a range, it is prudent to use the most severe value.

        These tires are good for 40 - 90 miles per hour Sometimes they blow out at 43 mph. How fun would that be ?

        So, to make a quick guess at the feasibility for this pump in your situation, it looks like it will be a tough sell, 4 batteries, 8 panels, PV panel rack mounting gear, charge controller, wires and connectors and fuse box. 900 feet of extension cord looks pretty cheap.

        If you tweak the system for 8 hours running a day, 4 of those, the sun is useable, and that improves things a lot.
        Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
        || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
        || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

        solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
        gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

        Comment


        • #5
          Can you run a power cord out to it ? Or compressor at house and air line to pond ?
          I cant! And honestly, I didnt think a 12V compressor would be such an energy-guzzler!

          Ok let's say I want the compressor to run 12 hours or 8 hours a day instead of 24, is it more doable? What would I be looking for in terms of battery and solar panels then?

          These 2 solutions are made for ponds that are 10 times bigger than my pond, but they run with solar panels
          Without batteries : https://canadianpond.ca/product/sola...-aermaster-dd/
          With batteries : https://canadianpond.ca/product/sola...ation-systems/

          I'm too poor to buy any of these 2 (first one is 4000$ (and the seller told me he wasnt sure it would work during winter), the second one is 18,000$), but since my pond requires 10 times less air, I thought I could find something smaller that would require less energy. That 12V DC compressor is the only thing I found.
          But I am open to any modification that would allow me to run air into my pond!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kimouette View Post
            I cant! And honestly, I didnt think a 12V compressor would be such an energy-guzzler!

            Ok let's say I want the compressor to run 12 hours or 8 hours a day instead of 24, is it more doable? What would I be looking for in terms of battery and solar panels then?

            These 2 solutions are made for ponds that are 10 times bigger than my pond, but they run with solar panels
            Without batteries : https://canadianpond.ca/product/sola...-aermaster-dd/
            With batteries : https://canadianpond.ca/product/sola...ation-systems/

            I'm too poor to buy any of these 2 (first one is 4000$ (and the seller told me he wasnt sure it would work during winter), the second one is 18,000$), but since my pond requires 10 times less air, I thought I could find something smaller that would require less energy. That 12V DC compressor is the only thing I found.
            But I am open to any modification that would allow me to run air into my pond!
            One thing that you need to recognize is that a compressor is generally rated to produce somewhere up to 100psi for tire inflation. More for air tools or other specialty uses.
            But the bubbler for a pond generally will work with only a few pse, but a higher volume of air.

            The compressor designed for high pressure output will waste more energy producing higher pressure air which you do not need. At low psi it will draw less current, but will still not be the most efficient possible.

            A simple centrifugal blower that produces only, say, 10 inches of water column pressure, on the other hand, will not work with bubbler jets located under three feet of water.

            You need to know what the actual requirements in terms of pressure and flow the bubbler needs and then look for a pump which matches that need.

            The first pump that you list states that it is an aeration pump/compressor, with near full output at 8psi, which sounds good. You need to look for similar specs (although maybe smaller?) for comparison.
            Last edited by inetdog; 06-12-2015, 06:24 PM.
            SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
              Air pump 8 amps
              The one she linked to shows a nice graph for amps vs. PSI.

              So assuming pumping the air down ~4' (somewhat shallow, but I don't know the size of this pond)
              4' should be ~2PSI.
              ~2PSI is 6 Amps on the graph.


              If limiting it to run just when the sun is shining, then probably can get away with a much smaller amount of battery (maybe none)

              Searching for "DC pond aeration compressor" brought up a number of links that are probably useful.

              FWIW, I think in this case, wind is probably better option, assuming there is some wind.
              It'll run when it's nighttime, and it's transfering the energy from the spinning blades to moving a bellows (or whatever) to pump air - not changing light to electricity to mechanical power.
              (And running a long extension cord or air tube is probably even better if it were possible)

              Comment


              • #8
                We were in the same situation as you, and got a 20' windmill from
                http://www.outdoorwatersolutions.com...-pond-aeration

                It doesn't run without wind, but lots less fuss than other options we looked at.
                Our pics:
                https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...4718849&type=3

                They also carry solar air pumps too.
                Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kimouette View Post
                  I cant! And honestly, I didnt think a 12V compressor would be such an energy-guzzler!

                  Ok let's say I want the compressor to run 12 hours or 8 hours a day instead of 24, is it more doable? What would I be looking for in terms of battery and solar panels then?

                  These 2 solutions are made for ponds that are 10 times bigger than my pond, but they run with solar panels
                  Without batteries : https://canadianpond.ca/product/sola...-aermaster-dd/
                  With batteries : https://canadianpond.ca/product/sola...ation-systems/

                  I'm too poor to buy any of these 2 (first one is 4000$ (and the seller told me he wasnt sure it would work during winter), the second one is 18,000$), but since my pond requires 10 times less air, I thought I could find something smaller that would require less energy. That 12V DC compressor is the only thing I found.
                  But I am open to any modification that would allow me to run air into my pond!
                  A matched component system with no batteries will be far less maintenance and obviously less
                  cost, if you can live with air only with the sun. The one shown looks OK, except perhaps a bit
                  over priced. Remember, it will only run a few hours of the day, and not every day, maybe its
                  not so oversized on average. Perhaps there is a smaller version out there; wind would depend
                  on a stiff breeze at least some of the time. Bruce Roe

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You need to know what the actual requirements in terms of pressure and flow the bubbler needs and then look for a pump which matches that need.
                    Most diffusers I'm looking at have a pretty decent working range, so even though it is important to make sure it will work with the chosen compressor, it's not necessarily the most important criteria.
                    These 3 for instance...
                    http://atlanticpondsupply.ca/diffuse...rane-diffusers
                    http://atlanticpondsupply.ca/diffuse...fuser-assembly
                    http://atlanticpondsupply.ca/diffusers/diffuser-disc
                    So assuming pumping the air down ~4' (somewhat shallow, but I don't know the size of this pond)
                    4' should be ~2PSI.
                    ~2PSI is 6 Amps on the graph.
                    The size of the pond was in my first post : "Our pond is about 100 X 32 feet, 4 1/2 feet deep. It is located in Orford, Quebec, Canada, where we do have plenty of sun, but super cold winters!"
                    Searching for "DC pond aeration compressor" brought up a number of links that are probably useful.
                    All the results I get with this research are pointing at small compressors made for small aquariums, or the one i found!
                    FWIW, I think in this case, wind is probably better option, assuming there is some wind.
                    It'll run when it's nighttime, and it's transfering the energy from the spinning blades to moving a bellows (or whatever) to pump air - not changing light to electricity to mechanical power.
                    (And running a long extension cord or air tube is probably even better if it were possible)
                    Wind was my first idea! But unfortunately it is prohibited in the town we live in. Solar is the only solution since our house (which is not built yet) is gonna be far from this pond.

                    [B]Guys all I'm trying to do here, is buy/build the necessary components to get a replica of one of the links I shared :
                    Without batteries : https://canadianpond.ca/product/sola...-aermaster-dd/
                    With batteries : https://canadianpond.ca/product/sola...ation-systems/
                    [COLOR="#FF0000"]or even better... this one that works with a 80Watt solar panel and a simple battery[/COLOR] :
                    http://shop.solardirect.com/product_...roducts_id=734[/B]

                    [B]If these companies managed to build an efficient system working with only solar panels, then why cant I do it myself?[/B]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kimouette View Post
                      [B]If these companies managed to build an efficient system
                      working with only solar panels, then why cant I do it myself?[/B]
                      Their systems most likely use a carefully matched compressor and solar panel set, with a linear current
                      booster to get things started. There are a lot of lessor nut & bolt items to build a system that survives
                      outdoors. Getting everything engineered to work properly together over a wide range of conditions isn't
                      trivial, do it wrong and you are out a lot of $.

                      The panels they use appear to me, NOT TO BE the common, most economical ($.75/watt USD) types
                      often used in grid tie systems. In getting the proper voltage & current combination for the motor, they
                      may have selected panels with several times the cost per watt. If you can engineer a system for the
                      cheapest panels, you stand some chance of beating their prices.

                      I have been known to obtain the service manual for equipment I'm interested in, and think about
                      what key components I could use for DIY.

                      Are you planning to remove snow from the panels in the winter? good luck, Bruce Roe

                      Comment

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