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Pool pump and solar panels!!

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  • Pool pump and solar panels!!

    Hi, Im new to this so bear with me on this one. I have a 1.5 HP electric motor for my pool and want to set it up with a solar panel system. Im a DYI'er new to this so my familiarity is low but I know how to do electrical. Could someone point me in a good direction for this type of project? and what would be the best way to set this kind of system up??? Thanks hope to hear back soon!

  • #2
    My friend has set up a solar DC motor for his pool, it is not cheap.... Now, you might even paying more if you want to run off your AC motor.

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    • #3
      SunRayUS makes a nice looking unit, but initial cost is high, It could be very logical for remote or island locations. would be weather dependant. I think could be great for salt water pool when long slow daytime run is ideal. is not clear if the pump is constantly variable, but i suspect it is, so would start early slow and peak between noon and 1pm. I have a salt pool and it likes a long low speed run for maximum oxy saturation.
      4X Suniva 250 watt, 8X t-105, OB Fx80, dc4812vrf

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      • #4
        Why do you want to pay 5 to 10 times more than you do the electric company?
        MSEE, PE

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        • #5
          Originally posted by epz123 View Post
          Hi, Im new to this so bear with me on this one. I have a 1.5 HP electric motor for my pool and want to set it up with a solar panel system. Im a DYI'er new to this so my familiarity is low but I know how to do electrical. Could someone point me in a good direction for this type of project? and what would be the best way to set this kind of system up??? Thanks hope to hear back soon!

          you are far better off installing grid tie solar and offsetting the pump usage plus some. In fact for the same money you could offset a lot more than just the pump usage.
          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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          • #6
            2 steps to this,
            First, install a variable speed AC pump, or even on with just 2 or 3 settings. Seldom is the high speed needed for daily circulation. Set a timer on it to use at least half the pump time at night when rates are lower. This will save you money
            Second, your choice would be for Grid Tie solar panel array & Inverter. No batteries to mess with, and most areas, you can offset much of your usage pretty easily. This will have a 7-15 year payback depending on the billing plans the Power Company has. You will need electrical inspection, roof engineering for weight load, and then parts & labor. Solar PV is generally not a DIY project unless you are a roofer, carpenter, electrical installer and savvy about PV panels and racking. But DIY can be done.
            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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
              2 steps to this . . .First, install a variable speed AC pump . . .Second, your choice would be for Grid Tie solar panel array & Inverter.
              Seconded. Yes, by far the easiest method is to use two tried-and-true methods - variable speed motor drive for pool pump to reduce/tailor power usage and grid tied inverter to generate the power, Both are available almost off-the-shelf and are reliable and proven solutions. (And they are relatively cheap.)

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              • #8
                Before going solar my variable speed pump running for 8 hours a day added $20 to my monthly electric bill. Variable speed pump is the way to go payback is 1-2 years.

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                • #9
                  Just a note about DC systems - from my meager investigations into the same a year or so ago, most were designed to run the pump only during solar production hours and did not store the energy. The thinking being the the filter was most necessary during the day. Most have no storage but more or less a direct PV to pump connection (though there might be other components to even out the voltage, etc). As a pool owner myself - I would not want to swim in a pool that was only filtered during good solar hours. It would likely be quite dirty.

                  Unless you have some sorts of survivalist instinct to power a pool during the apocalypse, as Mike90250 noted - you'd get much more ROI on a small grid-tied system that offset your pool costs with PV production to the loads and grid - and that is assuming that for some reason, you wanted solar vs cheap grid power.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gmanInPA View Post
                    As a pool owner myself - I would not want to swim in a pool that was only filtered during good solar hours. It would likely be quite dirty.
                    That's what we do. No problems so far.



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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jflorey2 View Post
                      That's what we do. No problems so far.
                      jflorey2 Are you somewhere with quite a bit of sun? Do you supplement with any sort of robotic cleaner or such? Just curious. We have salt pool (not sure how that impact things to be honest), and if we don't run for >10h/day, it gets nasty
                      Last edited by gmanInPA; 03-09-2016, 05:29 PM. Reason: spelling

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gmanInPA View Post
                        jflorey2 Are you somewhere with quite a bit of sun? Do you supplement with any sort of robotic cleaner or such? Just curious. We have salt pool (not sure how that impact things to be honest), and if we don't run for >10h/day, it gets nasty
                        We have a salt water chlorine generator as well, and it requires the pump to be running when generating chlorine, which is a slow process, so the long run-time makes sense. Before we installed a variable speed pump and SWCG, I would run our single speed pump for about 4 hours a day in the summer - about 10+ kWh/day of usage, now I run the pump at the minimum required flow for the SWCG for about 12 hours a day - which uses less than 3 kWh/day. So huge energy reduction with the lower flow rates.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by philips View Post

                          We have a salt water chlorine generator as well, and it requires the pump to be running when generating chlorine, which is a slow process, so the long run-time makes sense. Before we installed a variable speed pump and SWCG, I would run our single speed pump for about 4 hours a day in the summer - about 10+ kWh/day of usage, now I run the pump at the minimum required flow for the SWCG for about 12 hours a day - which uses less than 3 kWh/day. So huge energy reduction with the lower flow rates.
                          I really need to look into these variable speed pumps. Anyone care to recommend one?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gmanInPA View Post
                            Are you somewhere with quite a bit of sun?
                            Near San Diego, so yes. We generally run high speed for 1-2 hours a day and low speed for 4-5 hours a day.
                            Do you supplement with any sort of robotic cleaner or such?
                            We have a suction-powered robot cleaner that breaks all the time. (Too many dates falling into the pool..)

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                            • #15
                              Our on grid salt pool only runs daytimes 4 to 6 hrs summers on low RPM and we never have any problems. I only run on high for skim and med for pool vac. since this system has no battery it would be perfect for us, but we already installed Hayward VSP, and we like it very much with the salt cells. now come replacement time. I would consider one of these, since our pool/Spa is integral to our house and living.
                              4X Suniva 250 watt, 8X t-105, OB Fx80, dc4812vrf

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