My plans for a solar aeration system for a 2.5 acre pond.

Sherwood

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
7
My goal with this is to set up a solar powered aeration system for my front yard pond. I feel I have a good understanding with how to deal with the pond maintenance issues but have zero practical experience with using solar power. In choosing solar power, I am also hoping that my system will be something I can possibly reposition as needed in other locations around my pond if needed. Therefore, when I do get to the part where I need to build a structure to hold the panels, that it will allow for disassembly and reassembly. I won't be planning to mount the panels on a pole or anything of the like that will require me to cement it into the ground.

Here are the specs for what I have drawn up so far. They are in the order I believe I am supposed to have as a series of units and wires. I haven't purchased any of these items yet. These are just what I've went for so far on my plans while taking into account a minimal cost as well as my needs. I was wondering if it may work and if not, where am I stuck at. Also, if it does look like it may work, what are my weak points?

Thank you!

- Two Renogy 12 Volt 100 Watt High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Solar Panels

- Hooking them up in parallel with adapters M/FF and F/MM Rated Current:20A -Rated Voltage: DC1000V, 14-10AWG
- 10ft 12AWG adaptors that connects those to the connector.

- Controller - 30amp Charge Controller, PWM Solar Controller 30A Fit for MAX 1500W Solar Power 12V 24V 36V 48V Lithium/AGM/Gel/Flooded Battery (NOT MPPT)
  • Controller accept 1440W PV power If your battery is 48V system; accept 1080W PV power If your battery is 36V system; 720W/24V; 360W/12V (Does this mean that I can only add one more 100W solar panel or may I add more? I'm confused here.

found at amazon link:

- 8ft. 10 AWG Wire Copper Cables - Connect Charge Controller to Battery.

- Nautilus27 Dual Purpose Marine Battery from Home Depot (from what I've read it has a 100ah equivalent?)

- 8 Gauge 24 in. Battery Connecting Cables to connect the battery to the inverter.

- 1200Watt Power Inverter 12V DC to 110V 120V AC modified sine wave (with built in 20A Solar Charge Controller) but I plan to use a separate controller. Max surge 2400W

Nominal input voltage:9.8-16VDC
Nominal output voltage: 110-125VAC
Internal fuses:4*35A


found at amazon link:

Aerator pump to be plugged into the inverter
- HQUA PAS20 Pond & Lake Aeration System for Up to 3 Acre, 1/2 HP Compressor + Two 100' Weighted Tubing + 2 Diffusers

Power demand: 110V-120V , 50/60Hz. Max Amps: 4.8 A.
Max Pond Size: 3 Acres
Max CFM: 4.6
Max Depth: 50’


My diffusers will not be any deeper than 12ft.
 

sunshine_eggo

Happy Breffast!
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,978
Location
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I'm not going to comment on the equipment as the goal is not yet defined.

120V * 4.8A = 576W

I had a 2000W/4000W surge inverter that would NOT start a 3/4 hp jet pump due to the surge. It is important to know the surge current.

Missing information:
  1. Surge current of pump.
  2. Runtime of time.
 

Sherwood

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
7
I'm not going to comment on the equipment as the goal is not yet defined.

120V * 4.8A = 576W

I had a 2000W/4000W surge inverter that would NOT start a 3/4 hp jet pump due to the surge. It is important to know the surge current.

Missing information:
  1. Surge current of pump.
  2. Runtime of time.
Thank you for your response,

I am not sure what the surge is going to be with the pump. I am guessing that it will be at least twice the running amps but no more than three times? I had read that one can expect start up surge to be approximately twice that of normal use but that wasn't for this particular item, just something I remember while I was trying to understand how things worked.

As for the runtime, I was planning on using a timer on the pump so it doesn't run continuously 24/7. Two ideas I had was to run it 2 hours on and one hour off or run it 16 hours from sunup into early evening and 8 hours off during the night.
 

Rednecktek

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
1,850
Location
On a boat usually.
Well, let's start with the math:

120v * 4.8a = 576w/hr
16hr of run time / day = 9216Wh of battery
WallyWorld 122Ah 12v Deep Cycle for $100 is FLA, so only 50% usable capacity - 12v * 60ah = 720Wh
9216wh / 720wh = 13 batteries per day!!

320w of panel * .70% efficiency out of a PWM * 4 hours average sun/day = 896Wh/day of generation
9216Wh / 896W/day = 10.3 days of sun to recharge the bank!

9216Wh / 4hrs of average sun = 2.3Kw of solar array = 6 of the nice 400w Trina size panels and 200a worth of SCC!

So right out the gate the run time on that pump is killing you. You need to decide if you're going to be able to use a much smaller pump OR go with a non-portable size MUCH larger array. For the cost of all the stuff, wiring and power boxes at different places starts to become a viable option.

I'd suggest looking into DC pumps that are smaller capacity (removes the inverter efficiency hit AND reduces load) and combine that with plans for a larger array. :(

That is also a huge pump, but then again it's a large pond too.

360W/12V (Does this mean that I can only add one more 100W solar panel or may I add more? I'm confused here.
Yes, that's correct. The amperage rating * nominal voltage will determine how much panel a controller can handle. In your case, since you're looking at 12v, that would be 12v * 30a = 320w of panel. If you were running a 24v system it would be 24v * 30a = 640w of panel.

Don't worry too much about getting the exact wattage to math out even, throwing 400w of panel on a 320w controller will probably be fine since those wattage numbers are based on lab perfect conditions, not the real world. The only caveat to that is to never, EVER go higher VoC than your controller can take.
 
Last edited:

Sherwood

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
7
Well, let's start with the math:

120v * 4.8a = 576w/hr
16hr of run time / day = 9216Wh of battery
WallyWorld 122Ah 12v Deep Cycle for $100 is FLA, so only 50% usable capacity - 12v * 60ah = 720Wh
9216wh / 720wh = 13 batteries per day!!

320w of panel * .70% efficiency out of a PWM * 4 hours average sun/day = 896Wh/day of generation
9216Wh / 896W/day = 10.3 days of sun to recharge the bank!

9216Wh / 4hrs of average sun = 2.3Kw of solar array = 6 of the nice 400w Trina size panels and 200a worth of SCC!

So right out the gate the run time on that pump is killing you. You need to decide if you're going to be able to use a much smaller pump OR go with a non-portable size MUCH larger array. For the cost of all the stuff, wiring and power boxes at different places starts to become a viable option.

I'd suggest looking into DC pumps that are smaller capacity (removes the inverter efficiency hit AND reduces load) and combine that with plans for a larger array. :(

That is also a huge pump, but then again it's a large pond too.


Yes, that's correct. The amperage rating * nominal voltage will determine how much panel a controller can handle. In your case, since you're looking at 12v, that would be 12v * 30a = 320w of panel. If you were running a 24v system it would be 24v * 30a = 640w of panel.

Don't worry too much about getting the exact wattage to math out even, throwing 400w of panel on a 320w controller will probably be fine since those wattage numbers are based on lab perfect conditions, not the real world. The only caveat to that is to never, EVER go higher VoC than your controller can take.
Thanks,

and Wow! I wasn't even in the ballpark.

The math is something I need to master. 13 batteries seems like an incredible number for this half hp pump.
 

Biasjo

Renewable energy user - North Carolina
Joined
Dec 19, 2021
Messages
477
My goal with this is to set up a solar powered aeration system for my front yard pond. I feel I have a good understanding with how to deal with the pond maintenance issues but have zero practical experience with using solar power. In choosing solar power, I am also hoping that my system will be something I can possibly reposition as needed in other locations around my pond if needed. Therefore, when I do get to the part where I need to build a structure to hold the panels, that it will allow for disassembly and reassembly. I won't be planning to mount the panels on a pole or anything of the like that will require me to cement it into the ground.

Here are the specs for what I have drawn up so far. They are in the order I believe I am supposed to have as a series of units and wires. I haven't purchased any of these items yet. These are just what I've went for so far on my plans while taking into account a minimal cost as well as my needs. I was wondering if it may work and if not, where am I stuck at. Also, if it does look like it may work, what are my weak points?

Thank you!

- Two Renogy 12 Volt 100 Watt High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Solar Panels

- Hooking them up in parallel with adapters M/FF and F/MM Rated Current:20A -Rated Voltage: DC1000V, 14-10AWG
- 10ft 12AWG adaptors that connects those to the connector.

- Controller - 30amp Charge Controller, PWM Solar Controller 30A Fit for MAX 1500W Solar Power 12V 24V 36V 48V Lithium/AGM/Gel/Flooded Battery (NOT MPPT)
  • Controller accept 1440W PV power If your battery is 48V system; accept 1080W PV power If your battery is 36V system; 720W/24V; 360W/12V (Does this mean that I can only add one more 100W solar panel or may I add more? I'm confused here.

found at amazon link:

- 8ft. 10 AWG Wire Copper Cables - Connect Charge Controller to Battery.

- Nautilus27 Dual Purpose Marine Battery from Home Depot (from what I've read it has a 100ah equivalent?)

- 8 Gauge 24 in. Battery Connecting Cables to connect the battery to the inverter.

- 1200Watt Power Inverter 12V DC to 110V 120V AC modified sine wave (with built in 20A Solar Charge Controller) but I plan to use a separate controller. Max surge 2400W

Nominal input voltage:9.8-16VDC
Nominal output voltage: 110-125VAC
Internal fuses:4*35A


found at amazon link:

Aerator pump to be plugged into the inverter
- HQUA PAS20 Pond & Lake Aeration System for Up to 3 Acre, 1/2 HP Compressor + Two 100' Weighted Tubing + 2 Diffusers

Power demand: 110V-120V , 50/60Hz. Max Amps: 4.8 A.
Max Pond Size: 3 Acres
Max CFM: 4.6
Max Depth: 50’


My diffusers will not be any deeper than 12ft.
Take a look at grundfos pumps.
Not cheap but they run off DC.
If you just want to run during day then you just need panels, pump and controller.

You can always add batteries later.

At least that would give you circulation during the day.
 
Last edited:

Sherwood

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
7
Take a look at grundfos pumps. Not cheap but they run off DC.
If you just want to run during day then you just need panels, pump and controller.

You can always add batteries later.

At least that would give you circulation during the day.
Thank you, I will look into that.

I've been grinding my head for days trying to figure out a system that can work and that I can afford in the next month or so. We had a warm sunny spell recently and the filamentous algae bloom was incredible. We treated it chemically and then some cold and wind came in and it cleared the pond up. I imagine the algae will come roaring back here as the weather warms again so I feel a bit of pressure to get an aeration system set up the sooner the better. I don't want to rely on chemical treatments. My pond was drained and renovated over the past two years and has almost filled back up. I plan on stocking it in April.

A couple of other thoughts I have on potential options I can look into...

- weaker pump, not ideal for 2.5 acre pond but for an acre or less. I can possibly also expand to 4 or even 6 100W panels and upgrade the controller if needed.

- better battery, I can go to a Renogy 100ah AGM battery. I believe it would be better than the one I was planning on using and the Wal Mart 29DC FLA that Rednecktek used in his example. This is something I read when looking at battery differences...

The dod (Depth Of Discharge) offered by AGM batteries is 80% whereas the flooded batteries offer 50% DoD. Moreover, the charge of AGM batteries is considered to be 5 times faster when compared to flooded batteries. Another feature of AGM batteries is that it is not prone to sulfation whereas normal batteries need a topping to prevent sulfation in 6 months. AGM batteries tend to stand up even in low temperatures.


So basically if I am using a set up like I originally listed I can tweak the solar input upwards, tweak the battery upwards and possibly double up on the Renogy 100ah AGM, use a lower energy dependent pump, and I can lessen the time the pump/system is running.

If I can plan out a system that works yet is still not ideal for my pond size on paper, I figure it will still help even if it's not totally ideal. What's more is that once it's up and running for awhile and if it appears I do need more aeration, I can possibly duplicate the same exact system and install it on another end of my pond at a later date.

It bums me out as I really want the pump/aeration system I first listed with the 4.8 amps. I feel secure in the belief that the system would take care of my aeration desires. If I could figure out a suitable combination of operating time, solar input and energy storage that would work and be practicable, I would be in heaven.

I will look at the DC pumps too.
 

sunshine_eggo

Happy Breffast!
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,978
Location
USA
Thank you, I will look into that.

I've been grinding my head for days trying to figure out a system that can work and that I can afford in the next month or so. We had a warm sunny spell recently and the filamentous algae bloom was incredible. We treated it chemically and then some cold and wind came in and it cleared the pond up. I imagine the algae will come roaring back here as the weather warms again so I feel a bit of pressure to get an aeration system set up the sooner the better. I don't want to rely on chemical treatments. My pond was drained and renovated over the past two years and has almost filled back up. I plan on stocking it in April.

As @Rednecktek demonstrated, you have a very high demand item.

For comparison, your application uses 1/3 as much power as the average U.S. household.

A couple of other thoughts I have on potential options I can look into...

- weaker pump, not ideal for 2.5 acre pond but for an acre or less. I can possibly also expand to 4 or even 6 100W panels and upgrade the controller if needed.

Will likely just require you to run longer for the same benefit thereby nullifying.

- better battery, I can go to a Renogy 100ah AGM battery. I believe it would be better than the one I was planning on using and the Wal Mart 29DC FLA that Rednecktek used in his example. This is something I read when looking at battery differences...

Things with the Renogy name do not always warrant "better."

The dod (Depth Of Discharge) offered by AGM batteries is 80% whereas the flooded batteries offer 50% DoD. Moreover, the charge of AGM batteries is considered to be 5 times faster when compared to flooded batteries. Another feature of AGM batteries is that it is not prone to sulfation whereas normal batteries need a topping to prevent sulfation in 6 months. AGM batteries tend to stand up even in low temperatures.

Mostly complete fabrications without qualification.

AGM batteries only have about 1/2 the life of well maintained flooded (FLA) even at only 50% DoD.
Discharging AGM batteries to 80% DoD will wear them out in 1-2 years.
AGM batteries are notably more expensive than FLA.
$ per kWh delivered over the life cycle of a AGM is notably more than FLA.
AGM are more resistant to sulfation, mostly due to reduced self-discharge.
AGM have lower self-discharge (3%/month vs. up to 30%/month for FLA)
AGM are better in freezing primarily due to their reduced self-discharge as higher states of charge freeze at lower temps. A fully charged FLA won't freeze until something absurdly low like -50°F.
If you do something stupid, you have a chance of recovering FLA with an equalization charge.
If you do something stupid with AGM, good chance you'll have permanent loss.
Downside to FLA is they're a bit of a pain to maintain.

You might be better served with a BIGGER system that could run for about 1/2 the time and only during daylight hours. Your batteries would just be there to support the solar.

The above could also be DC-only and only solar-powered as @Biasjo indicated.

RPS makes a line of pure solar powered pump systems. An analogy of their system could be used for your application.

There are no cheap options.

P.S. pump surges are typically 5X the run current.
 

Biasjo

Renewable energy user - North Carolina
Joined
Dec 19, 2021
Messages
477
As @Rednecktek demonstrated, you have a very high demand item.

For comparison, your application uses 1/3 as much power as the average U.S. household.



Will likely just require you to run longer for the same benefit thereby nullifying.



Things with the Renogy name do not always warrant "better."



Mostly complete fabrications without qualification.

AGM batteries only have about 1/2 the life of well maintained flooded (FLA) even at only 50% DoD.
Discharging AGM batteries to 80% DoD will wear them out in 1-2 years.
AGM batteries are notably more expensive than FLA.
$ per kWh delivered over the life cycle of a AGM is notably more than FLA.
AGM are more resistant to sulfation, mostly due to reduced self-discharge.
AGM have lower self-discharge (3%/month vs. up to 30%/month for FLA)
AGM are better in freezing primarily due to their reduced self-discharge as higher states of charge freeze at lower temps. A fully charged FLA won't freeze until something absurdly low like -50°F.
If you do something stupid, you have a chance of recovering FLA with an equalization charge.
If you do something stupid with AGM, good chance you'll have permanent loss.
Downside to FLA is they're a bit of a pain to maintain.

You might be better served with a BIGGER system that could run for about 1/2 the time and only during daylight hours. Your batteries would just be there to support the solar.

The above could also be DC-only and only solar-powered as @Biasjo indicated.

RPS makes a line of pure solar powered pump systems. An analogy of their system could be used for your application.

There are no cheap options.

P.S. pump surges are typically 5X the run current.
That's true. I totally forgot about RPS but a good candidate.

I'm just biased towards Grundfos. :)
 

Biasjo

Renewable energy user - North Carolina
Joined
Dec 19, 2021
Messages
477

Sherwood

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
7
As @Rednecktek demonstrated, you have a very high demand item.

For comparison, your application uses 1/3 as much power as the average U.S. household.



Will likely just require you to run longer for the same benefit thereby nullifying.



Things with the Renogy name do not always warrant "better."



Mostly complete fabrications without qualification.

AGM batteries only have about 1/2 the life of well maintained flooded (FLA) even at only 50% DoD.
Discharging AGM batteries to 80% DoD will wear them out in 1-2 years.
AGM batteries are notably more expensive than FLA.
$ per kWh delivered over the life cycle of a AGM is notably more than FLA.
AGM are more resistant to sulfation, mostly due to reduced self-discharge.
AGM have lower self-discharge (3%/month vs. up to 30%/month for FLA)
AGM are better in freezing primarily due to their reduced self-discharge as higher states of charge freeze at lower temps. A fully charged FLA won't freeze until something absurdly low like -50°F.
If you do something stupid, you have a chance of recovering FLA with an equalization charge.
If you do something stupid with AGM, good chance you'll have permanent loss.
Downside to FLA is they're a bit of a pain to maintain.

You might be better served with a BIGGER system that could run for about 1/2 the time and only during daylight hours. Your batteries would just be there to support the solar.

The above could also be DC-only and only solar-powered as @Biasjo indicated.

RPS makes a line of pure solar powered pump systems. An analogy of their system could be used for your application.

There are no cheap options.

P.S. pump surges are typically 5X the run current.
Thank you for that very valuable information. I am so glad that I was able to find the forum here while doing searches to educate myself on the topic.

I may choose to go with a lithium battery. I now realize the rocking piston pump was just a pipe dream. It would be nice if I had the money to bring in a professional who could supply and install a kit for me. I've seen prices in the $5k to $10k range and higher. I am hoping that once the dust settles, I can save some money while also learn a little more about doing new things for myself.

I have already found it would be a bad idea to rush into this. I do feel an urgency to get some aeration as I'd rather prevent the algae mats instead of having to fight them back. Right now things are looking beautiful. The first wave that blew up on us we knocked back with a copper based chemical, pond dye and a couple hard rains.

My plans now are to get a system set up in the meanwhile that I can run off my house power. If I need to, I can double this system up but I'll start smaller for now. My intention will be to buy myself time to put more thought and research into a solar powered system that can run the aeration system I will have already purchased.

I am leaning towards a Hiblow 120L. It's recommended for a pond half my size but I've seen plenty of comments and some videos that show that Hiblow pumps can overperform expectations. Worse comes to worse, I will get a second system. It's listed as a 100W pump at 115V which gives it a little less than 1amp. I believe that will make it much more reasonable to switch over to solar power than the rocking piston.

I truly appreciate all the feedback that has been given by this community and plan to share more of my ideas and concerns as I plan this project out further.
 

Sherwood

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
7
Might want to check the reviews on this place before buying anything.
Most of my window shopping has been through Amazon, Lowes and Home Depot. I try to read through the questions and comments and I find them extremely valuable. It's one of the reasons I believe I will settle on a Hiblow pump even though their initial cost twice as much as some other brands. I think I will save on the long run with them.
 

A.Justice

Swears he didn't start that fire.
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
1,177
Location
TN
You can add a "soft start" or variable frequency drive to reduce the surge from the motor. It may solve the inrush issues.
 
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