Power requirements

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
Since I am new to this and most of what I have been researching has gone over my head I would like to find out how to deterimine what my power requirments would be.

A bit of a background as to what I am trying to do.

I am attempting to prevent a stock tank from icing over during the winter. I understant now that a heater might be a bit difficult. Thanks you this site I was given some great advice and other sites to look at reguarding stock tank insulating and solar heat.

What I am trying to do now is equip a solar power setup to operate a water pump when we need to fill up the tank... maybe even some sort of float so it fills automatically. Right now we go out and start up the generator and fill it that way.

The other thing I would like to power is a water circulating pump to help keep the water in the tank moving to help prevent freezing.

How do I deterimine what I would need.....what type of panels...how many...what type of battery set up and how many....how about an inverter......

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Eric Knight

www.jamesknightwesternartist.com

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Power requirements

    Eric;

    This is a case of finding the equipment that will do the job and seeing what its power requirements are. Of course you look for the lowest power pump you can find that will still meet the needs. Sometimes that's not so easy to do.

    Pumping water isn't easy because the stuff is heavy. The freeze potential is a real problem. For circulating pumps, you might try a 12 Volt bilge pump; submersible (water around it acts as insulator), and relatively low power. This is one you'd want to run off battery so it would stay pumping day and night. Not sure how well the pump will stand up to that constant running. The battery would then be recharged during the day via solar.

    As for pumping to the tank from a well, that's another tangle. You need to know how much lift is required, the rate of flow necessary, and the end pressure (little, since you're filling a tank). A standard float shut-off valve can be used to create a pressure increase and trigger a pressure switch to shut off the pump motor. You may need a small pressure tank to even out fluctuations so the pump doesn't cycle rapidly. It will be a problem keeping all this from freezing unless it can be well insulated and provided with some heat (solar gain perhaps?). How sever is the freezing in your area? Around here I wouldn't even consider it: -40 Winter temps.

    There are some pumps which can run directly from PV. They are expensive. SunPumps and Grundfos: http://www.solar-electric.com/sodcwapu.html

    You may find that the gasoline solution is still the most economical.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Power requirements

    Thanks for the infomation. There definately is alot to this....

    Around here it is not uncommon to get to -30 F a couple of times a year at least.

    Another thought...is it possible to have both solar and wind generation on the same system?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Power requirements
    aroc wrote: »
    Thanks for the infomation. There definately is alot to this....

    Around here it is not uncommon to get to -30 F a couple of times a year at least.

    Another thought...is it possible to have both solar and wind generation on the same system?

    Yes: batteries don't care how many charge sources they're connected to so long as each one is regulated. Wind turbines need a special controller with a "dump load" so that there is always a load on the turbine even when the batteries are full.
  • bsolarbsolar Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭✭
    Re: Power requirements

    im in north Florida so it doesnt get that cold but it does get to freezing down to zero sometimes .. my main strategy for dealing with freezing temps is putting everything inside the garage and the outside well head and pump will be getting a small building over it also ..

    .. my system is pretty extravagant probably for your needs, but maybe you can get some ideas from it. It could actually be run off of straight 12V and be real efficient needing probably only a couple of batts and a couple of 200w panels and not even need an inverter to function quite well .. i used a 'simple pump' brand well pump which is actually dual operation hand crank and solar electric, and a 12V rv pump .. anyway check it out if you'd like ..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n4y3ED8adk
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