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How do I harvest the sun for my koi pond?

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TwistedGray

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I would like to operate the koi pond from solar power instead of padding PG&E's (elec/gas company) pockets, but I haven't even the slightest clue where to begin. The pump for the pond runs off 120 volts, 450 watts, and requires 4.5 amps (link to pump).

Where do I begin? ...probably first, is this realistic?
 

day_trippr

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Sure it's realistic - your lattitude is ok, so if you have solid solar exposure where you want to site your collector(s) there are lots of solutions available.
Might want to reconsider the AC pump though, as it would require adding an inverter and there are losses associated with inverters.
Most off-the-shelf solutions will use 12-24vdc pumps for simplicity...

Check out this company's site. Solariver - Solar water pump kits for ponds, water features, fountains

Also, don't forget, without a chargeable battery the pump won't run at night :)

Cheers!
 
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TwistedGray

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Sure it's realistic - your lattitude is ok, so if you have solid solar exposure where you want to site your collector(s) there are lots of solutions available.
Might want to reconsider the AC pump though, as it would require adding an inverter and there are losses associated with inverters.
Most off-the-shelf solutions will use 12-24vdc pumps for simplicity...

Check out this company's site. Solariver - Solar water pump kits for ponds, water features, fountains

Also, don't forget, without a chargeable battery the pump won't run at night :)

Cheers!
Nice little solar set-ups (re: link); however, they won't be enough to power the pump we have and not enough UMPH for the pond by themselves.

The pond area has nearly all day sun exposure with little exception (early morning and late afternoon/evening, but it's otherwise a suitable location for panels. All I can think of is that I know I need panel(s), an inverter, and some way of storing the power. Clearly I need to do some research, and hopefully someone more knowledgeable (which is anyone else) can help guide me in the right direction.

ps: We are also shutting the pond off for six hours during the day (peak rates) to conserve what little we can with electricity.
 

Bilsch

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This is not a difficult problem since everything you need is commercially available. Lots of makers of solar panels these days but personally I like Panasonic. As with panels there are many manufacturers of batteries out there but I prefer Battleborn as the LiFePO4 chemistry is more cost effective over time then lead acid. These are very durable batteries and have great capacity and longevity for the price. Next you will need a solar charge controller, Morningstar has a line they call Tristar MPPT which is top shelf. And lastly an inverter to convert the DC from the battery to AC. If however you use DC pumps then the inverter becomes unnecessary and you draw straight from the battery/batteries.

Now you just have to figure out how many kilowatt hours of electricity your pond system uses, then decide how many 330 watt panels you will need based on your what your site can generate then install enough battery capacity so your pumps can run for at least 3-4 days without sun.

This is a fun project to learn solar and I recommend watching this kid on youtube who will teach you everything you wanted to know about the subject. DIY Solar Power with Will Prowse

Or you could just call a company that does solar installs and get a turn key system.
 
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