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PostPosted: May 9th, '13, 16:30 
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Eventually I want to build a SHTF system but for now I need to cover the basics for local blackouts, thinking of my fish under 'current' circumstances.


Does someone have a suggestion for a cheap and basic 'out of the box' battery-backup-in-case-of-electricity-failure system for aeration? --- one that will suffice for say 150-200 gallons of water?

By OoTB I don't mean an 'appliance' - but a simple fix for today.

I have read that this should be measured by fish lbs and not H20, however My 20lbs of fish could quickly become 40, 80+ (or so I'm hoping ;>)


Is there a rule of thumb for how many liters per minute is needed?

I'm temped to buy those tiny battery powered 'power-fail' aerators.. but they don't have elaborate specs.

This is just fish survival as I have NOTHING in place for it.
[The real power backup comes after much study]


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PostPosted: May 9th, '13, 16:48 
Wordtheif... you might find this helpful.... a shared 12v battery backup solution... with parts list...

http://www.earthangroup.com.au/12-volt- ... quaponics/

And if you look through the comments... you'll also find a link that might answer your other questions... :wink:


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PostPosted: May 9th, '13, 21:09 
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You mentioned back-up aeration but I think another way to look at it would be to provide back-up water pumping and partially re-directing some water to provide aeration. Splashing water returning from the GB could also add aeration. Maybe someone else can chime in on which method is best.

I have a fairly simple 12 volt pump back-up system using a deep cycle battery, a bilge pump, and a control relay. It's covered in my IBC system thread.

Since I did that, I've thought through a simpler/better way that I want to try. This would work on a standard IBC set-up with the GB on top of the FT, running constant flood (important). One could mount an automatic 12 volt bilge pump (from my research, Johnson seems to be the best choice) towards the top of the FT and pipe it up to fill the GB. I'd also do something like I have now and re-direct some of the water over the FT to provide aeration. The idea is that if the power fails, the GB will drain back into the FT, raising the water level and turning on the bilge pump. It would run until it pumped enough water back to the GB to lower the water level in the FT.

I think this would work ok if the pump size was correct and the amount of bypass water was adjusted so the pump ran for a reasonable time before shutting off. The plants would get water and the fish would get oxygen from the splashing. The pump would cycle instead of running continuously thus extending the battery life - I'm thinking you could get 24-36 hrs out of a standard deep cycle battery.

If aeration was the only concern, I'd use a relay based system like I have now and use an inverter to run the air pump off of a deep cycle battery.

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PostPosted: May 12th, '13, 07:34 
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I bought a solar panel and charge unit for my system. The charger was shit so I bought another one. It can manage battery voltage (You can set) and disconnect the load, protecting your battery. Even if you didn't have solar panel it would work... It also has a load timer setting though I haven't used it yet.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/140938384259?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

I am using a computer power supply rigged up to supply 12v. It can be switched from another set of wires. So you could have a relay doing that for you.

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stu


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PostPosted: May 27th, '13, 16:53 
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Thanks so much for the informative answers, gentlemen.

I have a 12v battery and invertor as a manual backup until I get one of Rupert's relay boxes built.

I like your idea too, Terry - but the water levels in my tank are constantly changing, particularly with the rain of recent.

An opposite but similar idea came to mind while I was reading about yours - Imagine a system with a 4 tier design with constant pumping - flood tank on top (1/2 barrel) - which empties continuous excess to a flush tank (1/2 barrel) - which flushes into a grow bed (ibc) - which splashes into a Fish Tank (ibc). A moisture sensor or something that would accomplish the same end - such as a continuous flowing thin tube from the flush tank, that would kick off pumping of a bilge pump when it's dry.... such ideas are always overcomplicating things unless such a moisture indicator, etc exists.

Here's to the future of modular, highly configurable, customized purpose, solid state devices!

:>)


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PostPosted: May 28th, '13, 08:33 
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Theres some good info here too wordthief viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9805&hilit=12v

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PostPosted: May 31st, '13, 12:58 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I run my system from an inverter connected to a 12v deep cycle battery. The battery is always on a smart car battery charger that keeps it always full. When the power goes off nothing happens and the system doesnt have to do anything special. It just keeps going as normal.

Charger $70
300w Inverter $30
Battery whatever size you think you need starting at around $50.

I had the charger and battery already, so for me it only cost $30 for a reliable backup system.

A really worth while thing to do before you build a backup, is cut down on your energy use. Some people are running big systems on very small wattage.

here is a place to start...

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=11703

and

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12019&hilit=ultra+low+energy

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PostPosted: Aug 13th, '13, 18:02 
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Hey BullwinkleII,

Has your inverter/battery/battery charger system been reliable?

I gradually got the pieces for such a backup system and put on together last week - power to charger, charger to battery, battery to inverter, inverter to water pump and air pump. Or at least, to my water pump at first and then to my air pump instead when I became convinced after a couple of days use that the system was reliable. To me the air pump is the most crucial. Anyway - I kept the water pump on straight power as a backup in case the power backup system had issues. Low and behold it did, within a week I went out there one day and noticed the air pump kick in. That air pump should be continuous. So I looked at the battery, it said 100% as it always does. The next day I went out there and the air pump was off again. I removed the power from the inverter to straight power and the air pump (I have a professional 12 line air pump) kicked in immediately. Today I noticed the battery reads 'bad bat'. This is a serious deep cycle marine battery though, and only a couple of months old. Also the charger comes highly recommended with good power monitoring technologies. (I don't recall the details at the moment)

I realize this 'could' just be a bad battery. Have others tried this though? Any ideas out there as to what the problem could be or how to isolate it?

Thanks!

p.s. in the picture the inverter is no longer hooked to the battery




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PostPosted: Aug 14th, '13, 14:41 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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The fan in my inverter failed so the inverter stopped working at one stage, but I replaced the fan and everything still works.

I had trouble early on with it making some strange chirping noises but that turned out to be because of my poor connection to the battery.

I only have two (large) silver perch in my system now, and I live in suburbia, so I think they my system could cope with a blackout here. When I lived on a farm, we would see blackouts that lasted for half the day or more. The result is I've removed the backup system because I needed the the inverter, and haven't bothered putting it back on.

It might be worth checking to see if the charger behaves itself on a different battery.

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PostPosted: Aug 14th, '13, 15:26 
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This is the one I will be using in a new system. The current one does not need it. :)

I have test run it for 3 months and the batteries are still ok. Its basically like a UPS but with a separate battery bank, (want to get larger batteries though) I traded a couple of speakers for it.

Have you tested the battery voltage with a multimeter?


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PostPosted: Aug 15th, '13, 05:22 
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Thanks BullwinkleII and Sleepe for the contributions. We have bad blackouts in TX sometimes. One occasion for problems is the hot summers and AC. The other is storms.
Sleepe, yes, my charger has a multi-meter built in. It read 11.7 – 11.5 or so voltage for a while before it started blinking ‘bad’ and ‘bat’. It even has a built in battery repair function, which it cycled through before it made that determination.
So my concern is why my battery went bad. I’ll get it replaced but it’s fishy, you know. And it’s several feet from the fish so that shouldn’t be the case :?


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PostPosted: Aug 15th, '13, 05:23 
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oh yeah, and the battery was good, in the high 12.x range when I first started using it


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PostPosted: Aug 15th, '13, 07:15 
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Sounds like its dropped a cell, if its not very old you should be able to get it replaced under warranty. :)


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PostPosted: Aug 15th, '13, 10:46 
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I agree. Just concerned about a repeat.


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PostPosted: Aug 15th, '13, 15:53 
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wordthief wrote:
I agree. Just concerned about a repeat.


Taking this in order of probability (sort of) :)

(a) the battery was defective
(b) the load imposed by the inverter and the operational items were too high
(c)The battery charger was not capable of recognising or able to charge a battery under load
(d) your wiring was *frack* (I don't believe that for a moment) :)


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