Running pool pump/filter and led lighting on small solar setup.

Wyandotte82Wyandotte82 Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
edited December 2019 in Solar Water Pumping #1
Hello everyone.

My wife has been begging me for years to get a swimming pool and last week I finally broke down and purchased an INTEK 18x52 ultra XTR pool with sand filter pump. I've been slowly starting to use solar for some of my other structures like my chicken breeding pens but nothing that would require an inverter or possibly an mppt controller. Like my pool most of my projects are on a tight budget. I have several of the Harbor Freight 100w panel kits that I got on sale for $130 each and a couple of the 12v 35ah agm batteries I got for $40 each. I know they are not top shelf but I figured the amorphous panels might be better suited for our extremely hot summers and rapid cloud developments in Georgia. I also like the LED lights that come with them for my chicken pens.

Now that you know I'm cheap and have several 100w sets I can use on this, my question is what would be the best setup. The pump coming with the pool says it's 110 - 120v ( 2.1amp). No indication on starting amps. It does require 5 hours to complete 1 full turnover. I have a shed right next to where my pool is going so I plan on putting the pump inside the shed. The shed is wired for 120v but I'd prefer to use solar for obvious cash saving reasons and I figure it's all going to be in full sun for at least 6+ hours a day during spring/fall and 8+ hours a day during the summer. I know the controllers that come with the solar sets likely wouldn't manage the power requirements and if it could it would not be efficient.

I was looking at getting a 4th 100w kit while it's still on sale so that would be (16) 25-w 18-vdc 23.6-OCV panels. I would mount to the shed roof with the ability to maneuver them just a little to track the sun to a certain degree and Harbor Freight sells a nifty little 4 way connector for these sets to equal (1) 400w output. Would the (2) 12v 35ah batterries be enough to offset any cloudy days and or run some led christmas lights around the pool area? Do I need an mppt controller, if so what specs? I was looking at a Jupiter 2000w modified sine inverter on sale now for only $120. That inverter should be fine for just the pump and some lights right? No need for a much more expensive pure sign just to run a pump is there?

Any help is appreciated.


Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,804 ✭✭✭✭✭
    pump motors require pure sine wave power, using mod sine will consume an extra 20% power, which turns into excess heat in the motor causing an early failure.

    If the pump truly draws 2.1A then that is 252 watts.  That seems low for a pool, and insufficient for backwashing  a sand filter.
    252 w x5 hours =1,260watt hours  With charging a battery and running an inverter, a rough guess is you need a daily harvest of twice that amount, 2,520wh


    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | 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 ,

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,424 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2019 #3
    There are some things you are mistaken by, firstly the hours of sunlight are not the hours of useful  production that figure is substantially lower, although dual axis tracking may help but adds to expense. Photovoltaic modules rated at 100W STC will rarely produce that figure due to self heating, as their temperature increases the output decreases, most of the time they would  produce 75-80%, only in extreme cold would they meet or exceed the rated wattage.

    Modified sine wave is not the best choice for motors, they create heat buildup which shorten life expectancy. For around  $130 you should be able to get a 300W panel,  that's what I paid about 6 months ago. Depending on nominal would determine  how the panels are configured, MPPT controllers need to have enough headroom voltage in order to operate, they are an improvement over PWM especially when temperatures are low, during hot summer days less so. The cost of true MPPT controllers are higher, be aware there are many cheap fake MPPT on the market.

    Looking to do this on the cheap ? lets do the math  
    4 kits at $ 130= $520
    2 × 6V golf cart batteries  $200 (better value and higher capacity )
    Sine wave inverter  $300
    Charge controller $100
    Ballance of system wire breakers etcetera  $ 100
    Total $1220

    Pump wattage 250W run for 5 hours = 1.26 Kwh 
    Useage 6 months pre year 459 Kwh times price per Kwh  $ 0.15 = $69 per annum 
    Total equipment cost divided by grid cost pe annum 1220 ÷ 69 = 17.7 years to pay for itself.

    During the 17 years the batteries would likely need replacement 3 times perhaps more, inverter perhaps once, the cheap panels at least once. All hypothetical guestimates to illustrate likely costs, solar is expensive compared to grid power and as far as equipment goes 
    "Good not cheap. Cheap not good "



     
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • Wyandotte82Wyandotte82 Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    edited December 2019 #4
    The pump is INTEK model# SF80110-2. It has a built in GFCI so shouldn't need an in line breaker correct?

    Ok so I found a local supplier of Trojan batteries and the T107 6v 255ah are $140 with tax and core included. So thats $280. If you know of a better deal I'm all ears.

    I just got a Discover deal for 300w Renogy mono kit with 30a / 400w ( non mttp ) controller included for $227 including tax and shipping.

    There is a Renogy 700w pure sine inverter for $122 total. That's all I would need, correct?

    Have not looked at the specs of new panels but I'm assuming there is a way to add one of my 100w kits to the new 300w kit and that should give me 400w total. Update* I looked up the specs on both panels. Thunderbolt (4) 25w / OCV 23.6 / VDC 18 / A video showed it @ 6.1a --- Renogy (3) 100w / OCV 22.5 / OOV 18.9 / OOC 5.29a. So I don't see any reason why I could not use one of the 100w kits and make it 400w with what I already have.

    That comes to:


    Panels 300w: $227
    Batteries 12v 255ah: $280
    Inverter 700w pure: $122
    Cables: $35

    Total: $664 - Pays for itself in 9.6 years.

    It would be nice to have backup power during hurricane season that isn't extremely loud and costs $5 an hr to run. Even if it's just a window fan, led tv, charged phones, tablets and computers.


  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,424 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As long as you realize the limitations of the system, which would be considered small, suitable for emergencies with very limited loads, it could work. Doing a load calculation will provide the information needed to understand what the limitations are, during emergency use the pool pump would not be considered essential therefore power could be utilized elsewhere.

    Basically the maximum available capacity would be 100Ah from a 200Ah bank for better battery health, but so many overestimate this thinking that they can power a refrigerator for example, such a small system could not support such a load and would lead to battery failure in a very short time, many beginners loose the batteries in the first 6 months, so keep that in mind.

    My suggestion is provided a list of the emergency loads their consumption and length of operation, this would allow others to estimate if the proposition is viable and help you better understand how things work, unless you fully understand already. 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • Wyandotte82Wyandotte82 Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    edited December 2019 #6
    After much searching and factoring in the extra benefit of using this as a back up supply during outages I opted to go a little larger than originally planned.

    I ended up getting:
    (3) 300w Renogy mono panels with a 30a charge controller - $227
    (4) Duracell SLIGC110 6v 215ah batteries = 12v 430ah - $371 ( recycled 4 old batteries I had to redeem $84 core charge )
    Killer deal on a new (1) Giandel 2,200w Pure sine inverter with built in 20a solar charge controller and remote - $217 
    (1) HF 100w Amorphous Panels w/ lights and small charge controller - $120
    (1) MNJ Multifunction Battery Monitor - $14

    Total:
    400w - Mixed Type Solar Panels
    12v 430ah - Batteries
    2,200w - Pure Sine Inverter
    Battery Monitor

    That's $950 total.
    Should be plenty to run a 115v 2.1a pump for 5 hours a day during peak sun hours right?

    Next question I have is the inverter. Since this inverter comes with a built in 20a solar charge controller does that mean I can add another 200w - 300w solar through it down the line without needing anything extra?

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,478 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is that 3 x 300w panels, or 3 x 100w for 300w total?  With a 30a controller, probably 300w total?

    The 20a controller in the inverter appears to be a PWM type, which needs lower voltage panels (Voc ~22v) than a 300w panel likely provides.  If the panels are 100w 12v nominal, they would likely work.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Wyandotte82Wyandotte82 Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    edited December 2019 #8
    They're 100w panels :
     Renogy (3) 100w / OCV 22.5 / OOV 18.9 / OOC 5.29a: Mono

    HF are:
    Thunderbolt Magnum (4) 25w  / OCV 23.6 / VDC 18 / A video showed it @ 6.1a: Amorphous

    Do I just need 1 inline 30a fuse going into the charge controller after the panels are combined or does each panel wiring need a separate fuse?

    Do I need a fuse going from charge controller to the battery? If so what size?

    Basically, where do I need fuses at?
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,478 ✭✭✭✭✭
    With >2 in parallel, you should really have a fuse/breaker for each panel (series string size should be in panel spec).  Combiner boxes are typically used for this.

    I'd also put a breaker on the combined wire just before the controller, mainly for a shutoff.  

    You should definitely have fuses or breakers for any battery circuits sized to protect the wire size used.  I like to use the biggest wire that fits on terminals and size breakers per device specs.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Wyandotte82Wyandotte82 Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    edited December 2019 #10
    Obviously I need a 30a fuse between the array and the controller since it's a 30a controller.

    What size and type of fuse/breaker between each battery since I'm running (4) 6v in a series? Should I be using 1/0 awg sections between the batteries or would 2 awg suffice? 

    Everything else will be built in close proximity so I should be able to wire everything up using 4 awg correct? Should be able to carry 70a up to 7 feet with minimal drop correct?

    Let's say in an emergency I needed to run 5a at 120v from the inverter. That's around 60a DC accounting for the rated 10% inverter loss, correct? Do I need a 70a fuse between the battery bank and the inverter?

    Any ideas on which products would be cost effective?


  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,804 ✭✭✭✭✭
    While #4 wire will carry 70A, you will get voltage drop.  7' is really the limit, and your inverter is likely to not handle surges of things like fridge motors.  The fridge, when starting may draw 2000w, and inverters are rated for a second of surge.   But the wire resistance happens instantly, causing voltage drop at 120A or so, faster than a fuse can blow.  So you use wire rated for the surge amps, and then you dont have the voltage drop shutting the inverter down

    This is the major downside of 12V systems, the amps in the 12V system are so high, the wires so large and unwieldy, it's only workable for small systems.

    >  115v 2.1a pump for 5 hours a day

    Whoa !   Motors need Pure Sine inverters.  Mod sine inverters cause lots of heating in the motor, and increased power consumption.
    You also need the Power Factor from the motor, usually small motors have poor power factor, which is another factor in inverter sizing
    I'd guess that pump will consume close to 500w when it's actually running.
      My half horsepower, 3 wire, 240V pump, consumes about exactly 1kw as logged by my inverter








    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | 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 ,

  • Wyandotte82Wyandotte82 Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    I would not be running the fridge. We're used to hurricane season now so we prepare in advance by eating most of the fridge perishables before the storms and just restock on necessary perishables after power is restored. We purchase frozen items ( or freeze ) and they keep everything cool enough for a couple days as they thaw in the freezer, then we just cook them on the gas grills and burners as needed. So no need for a stove either. If the outage lasts longer than a couple days I hook the fridge/freezer to a genny for a few hours.

    The emergency is in case we could use a small window ac unit, hurricane season falls during the hottest months so it's usually in the 90's when they hit. I'm fine with a fan but the wife would love me a little more if I could find a way to run a small 5,000 btu unit on low while she sleeps. I've seen some energy efficient units that are rated for 120v 4a. I was just figuring it might be doable if I hooked 2 more panels to 20a charge controller built into the inverter and purchased a couple more batteries for the bank. That would end up being 600w solar array and a 12v 645ah bank. That's 3,870w usable to a 50% discharge.

    Large wires aside for now, in my calculations a 120v 4a window ac runs at 44.6a 12v dc = 535w under normal operation. The inverter is Pure Sine 2,200w continuous and 4,000w surge with 90% efficiency. This should not be too much for inverter correct? In theory I should be able to run the 120v 4a A/C for 6 hours before I reach the 50% discharge.

    Back to wires and fuses. I will just keep it simple and run #2 wire for all battery and inverter connections. Distance would not exceed 4ft anyway. Which fuses do I use between batteries and where in the series?

    The pump according to manufactures spec should draw around 26a taking into account the 90% inverter efficiency and resistance in the system. It's Model # SF80110-2
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,804 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The air conditioning unit also has motors in it and will need a pure sine wave inverter .

    120V x 4A = 480watts  Add in the power factor losses, and you are close to the 600w of your array.   So you could run it all day in good sun, or a couple hours at night and hope the next day is sunny

    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | 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 ,

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 337 ✭✭✭
    You have grid power? Plug the pump in and forget about solar.
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 27th year.
  • Wyandotte82Wyandotte82 Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    I have multiple reasons for needing/wanting an alternate power supply. Outages, I go hunting in remote areas, and it's a project I've been wanting to get into for some time.

     My power bill has been over $400 in summer months, even after servicing the well, air conditioning unit and checking the duct work. I'd like to see if there are ways I can use the same sun that drives my cooling costs up as a way to save on power or in the least not have this new pool raise it even more. If I can put a solar powered window ac in the main living area where the thermostat is I'm sure my 3 ton unit will not cycle near as often. My other rooms are nice and cool while the living area stays 10 degrees warmer cycling the air conditioner. I have fans installed in every room to move the cool air around. 

    The inverter is pure sine Mike. 
    I also went ahead and purchased a Renogy 40a MPPT controller for only $80 because it is positive ground on the load but, I wont be using the load off the controller anyway or if I do it would just be for lighting and I can wire it accordingly. The new contoller is 12v/24v if I ever decide to switch over to a 24v system. Since my set up is small with large demands I figure I need to squeeze as much out of it as I can.
    Picked up 2 more of the new high efficiency 100w Renogy panels for a total of 5 mono high efficiency panels, as well and an assortment of in line breakers.
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