DC Aquarium Heater

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Grey Guy

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Why aren't there some DC aquarium heaters and or low voltage A.C. Heaters? I found one that is coming out soon for a nano tank. They make all kinds of low voltage and submersible heaters for jacuzzis. They have plenty of wattage for a reef tank of any size. Anyone else have any info on this?
 
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amps

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I'd imagine the amperage requirements for low voltage would make the wiring incredibly unwieldy and probably a fair bit more dangerous.

My 500w AC heater would need heavy 12 guage wire if it were run on 24vdc.
 
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Grey Guy

Grey Guy

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A 3 cunductore 12 gauge wire cable is probably. 1/2 inch in diameter or less. Don't understand how it could be more dangerous, unless you mean if the system shorts out, but that can be protected against, with a breaker.
 
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Grey Guy

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A cable that size would be solid core and inflexible. Frequent moving or bending could cause cracks and subsequent fire damage.

No Need to be solid core. Even 200 AMP stranded welding cables are flexible, and if a crack developers, and shorts, it would just shut it off.
 

Bdog4u2

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Not practical and besides i doubt it would save on electricity since it will need to consume a certain amount of energy to produce enough heat to warm tank and besides best to keep it simple when dealing with heaters their a pia as it is
 

kecked

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it could be done but with a modification. PWM. Yes Ac but now its AC->DC->AC the advantage is the lower voltage AC so less shock hazard. You control temp by the width of the pulse. Since you step the voltage down you step the current up. E=IR P=IE so if keep the resistance constant and I'm going to assume reactance is close to resistance dc here then crrent and voltage are approximately proportional. If I step 120Vac @5amps (about 600W) to [email protected] 50amps its about the same A transformer would be large but a switching or buck supply would be pretty manageable but again larger that what you are use to seeing. Wire size would be large in the 6-8AWG range.

great so that sucks what now. Break the load up. Now you got 5 elements each doing 10A still big but now your in the easy range for wire 12awg. Plus now the elements are 5 time redundant. AND the cost is 50 times higher. So yea it could be done but at a cost.

I'd rather see them seal the element in a tube that is then sealed in a tube with a liquid. This way the element is hermetically sealed from the tank. That then is placed in a ceramic sleeve and sealed. The wires entering and exiting can be coax "like" with an earth ground surrounding the two ac wires. This then is hooked to a gfi in the supply for the heater. If it develops a leakage current it will report a failure and stop working. Yes the tank gets cold but nobody gets killed and the coral doesn't start having problems you cant figure out because the chemistry is perfect. You can design it so if it doesn't se a good dc ac ground it wont work to prevent the cutting the ground tab off fool.

I got zapped and almost lost a bunch of coral so I thought a lot about this. Low voltage DC was my first thought. I think low voltage well designed AC would be just fine. (also less sparking on the contacts so less carbon so less sticking shut. )

Sorry for the bold. Hit some key I don't know how to shut off.
 

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