Your Resident Electrician for all your electrical questions!

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by Young Frankenstein, May 12, 2012.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    Messages:
    6,362
    Likes Received:
    9,117
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    I can't hear you because of the mud. :rolleyes:
    Besides, that's all we have in New York and I assumed everyone just lived in New York. :p

    [​IMG]
     
    Ramasule and mcarroll like this.

  2. chet31

    chet31 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    16
    Hey Guys,

    Anyone build a Battery Backup for the aquarium using regular car battery (or similar/smaller - daisy chained SEALED types - as it will be in the house)?

    If you can throw in a Solar charger to enable 'off grid' charging that would be awesome.

    I am hoping to enable this as an emergency backup option for my tank (that includes all accessories - r. pump, skimmer, f. pumps, lights, heater etc. adding upto 300 Watts and/or 4 amp consumption) in case of power outage. The ratings I have indicated are shown as current consumption by my Apex system so excuse any errors as I'm not an electrical engineer.

    I would like the emergency power to last a whole night and be charged back in the morning via solar panels (have 2 GoalZero Boulder 15 Solar panels - http://www.goalzero.com/p/20/boulder-15-solar-panel/) while still powering all the equipment.

    Any design ideas?
     
  3. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    10,179
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    First, is that if you want to use solar, you will need much bigger panels than those. It would take 20 of those panels just to power your aquarium, you would need many more to actually be able to run your aquarium and charge the battery during the day.
    Another issue is that even though 300 Watts doesn't sound like much, it adds up over time. To get 300W from a battery at 12VDC, you would need to pull 25Amps. Some of your best options for this would be Marine trolling motor (deep cycle) batteries. The largest of them tend to be good for 75 amp hours, so it could last for around 3 hours. To get through the night you would need a minimum of 3 batteries in series, which you can expect to cost you over $700. If power wasn't back within 8 hours, you would be done.
    If you really want to provide power to the entire system for more than an hour or 2, your best bet is a generator, not battery system imo.
     
  4. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    10,763
    Likes Received:
    4,542
    Location:
    Virginia
    Classes of battery were a very confusing topic when I tried to research a little solar installation.

    "marine battery" seemed to imply something slightly less-heavy-duty than "deep cycle"....but both of those are heavier duty than a car battery, which you'd really only want to use for an hour or two. (Or something like that.)

    Any thoughts to clear this up when we're out shopping? I hate shopping with nothing more than implications to guide me. ;)
     
  5. Joey waid

    Joey waid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    884
    Likes Received:
    483
    Location:
    Warner Robins Ga..
    Me personally would go with something that's says deep cycle.
     
  6. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    10,179
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    Marine just means it is designed for use on a boat. They tend to be sealed better imo.

    Deep cycle indicates it is designed for supplying power over time.
    The other type would be cranking. These are made for short durations of high current for starting an engine.
     
  7. Joey waid

    Joey waid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    884
    Likes Received:
    483
    Location:
    Warner Robins Ga..
    I think also deep cycle are meant to be charged and discharged many times to where the others are not.
     
    Brew12 likes this.
  8. chet31

    chet31 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    16
    Check this out guys -


    or this -

     
  9. chet31

    chet31 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    16
    The above 2 videos/DiY power packs may not do all the devices for more than 8 hrs but should be more than sufficient for f. pumps and bubble maker (and perhaps a r. pump).

    What do you guys think?
     
  10. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    10,179
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    Interesting videos. To figure out a battery would potentially power you need to look at it's amp hour rating. In the top video the person stated it was 110 amp hours. That is a pretty impressive battery.
    Take this amp hour rating and multiply it by volts (12VDC) and it will give you a Watt Hour rating. In this case it would be 1,320 Watt Hours.

    Add up the total number of Watts you want to power. Take your Watt Hours and divide it by the Watts you want to power and that will tell you the max time it will last. So for your 300 Watts, that is 4.4 hours. It will last much longer if you don't run heaters, lights, your skimmer, or a return pump.

    For charging, you need to look at the Watt rating of the solar device. I believe in the video his was 17 Watts. If you divide the Watt Hours by this rating it will tell you how many full sunlight hours it will take to charge the batteries. In the video example, it would take 77 full daylight equivalent hours.

    For the $1000 this set up cost, I would rather have a $500 generator that would power my system for weeks if needed.

    The concept of the 2nd video is much cheaper but won't last nearly as long. Car batteries tend to have much lower Amp Hour ratings.
     
  11. chet31

    chet31 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    16
    Thanks for the input people. Really appreciate the help and the quick response to my questions.
     
  12. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    840
    If you want a rock solid back-up Ill tell you what to do.

    Step 1. Find a used apc ups that was thrown out because it's battery was bad.

    Step 1a. Buy a new one.

    Step 2. Either find the adapter to connect to the back acc battery port or splice into the battery wires in the upc. Make sure battery is disconnected. If youve read this far you probably don't need such reminders.

    The battery voltage in APC UPS is 24vDC

    Step 3. Bring these spliced wires out and terminate them on a little terminal block. I usually drill a 3/8 hole in case, rubber grommet, etc. Automotive stores will have a modular terminal block.

    Use #10 multistrand wire or the like. You can find this at automotive, electronic, rc hobby stores.

    4. On the wire after the terminal block install a 30 amp atc fuse / holder.

    5. Now the expensive part. Batteries. This will determine your outage time.

    2 x non spillable agm batteries. Often called wheelchair batteries. Wallyworld has em.

    Or

    2 x marine deep-cycle. You do not want high starting current batteries. Deep cycles have thick plates designed to be drained and charged fully.

    Or What I use.

    4 x 6volt golf cart batteries. These are spillable acid and need to be topped off with RO/DI water but are bullet proof. They are the solar and prepper battery of choice.

    Connect the batteries together to give you 24 volts.

    6. Connect it all together and enjoy.

    7. Maintenance includes quarterly checks of water level in battery and bank voltage. I reccomend you install a battery isolator switch to make this part easy.

    This solution is fully expandable, you can add another 24 volt bank as you please.

    Ive used this to backup servers, camera systems, and my buddy that needs 120vAC power to live through nights even uses it.

    I would take photos but all I have is batteries onhand right now and just typing on my cell phone.

    Disclaimer: please read my signature.
     
    gtbarsi likes this.
  13. Be102

    Be102 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    235
    Hi, I have a really basic question.. I was wondering why the top of my electrical outlet doesn't work. The bottom does however the top does not. What can I do as someone with no electrical skills in order to fix it? Thanks!
     
  14. Awesome Dennis

    Awesome Dennis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    66
    Do you have any mystery switches in that room?
     
    Be102 likes this.
  15. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    10,179
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    Is it GFCI or non-GFCI?

    Odds are it is a mechanical failure of a connection point and needs to be replaced. It's really easy to do and all you need is a screwdriver or 2.
     
    Be102 likes this.
  16. Be102

    Be102 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    235
    How would one know if it's gfci or non gfci? And for the extra switches. Not really. This has been a mystery for quite sometime and probably is just an outlet problem. Just doesn't seem to be smart to run every thing for my tank off one outlet.
     
    Brew12 likes this.
  17. Awesome Dennis

    Awesome Dennis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    66
    Gfci has buttons on the front marked test and reset.
    I would turn on some switches with a lamp plugged in to the outlet section that has no Power to make sure half of the outlet isn't on an switch.
    Can you get a photo of the outlet with no plate on it?
     
    Be102 and Brew12 like this.
  18. Shaun Sweeney

    Shaun Sweeney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    148
    Location:
    Lantzville, BC, Canada
    Some outlets can be configured for separate feeds for top and bottom outlets. These are sometimes used in kitchens to limit the load on a particular circuit. You might try replacing the outlet.
     
    Be102 likes this.
  19. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    840
    1. Find breaker controlling that receptacle.
    2. Turn off power to receptacle.
    3. Remove cover plate.
    4. If you have no multimeter to confirm receptacle dead. Plug a known working lamp into each outlet.
    *****Disclaimer from here on out******
    5. Remove the two screws holding the receptacle.
    6. Pull receptacle straight out.
    7. If you see 3 wires, black, white, bare wire (Your receptacle is broken replace)
    8. If you see 4 wires, red, black, white, bare wire (You have a mystery switch controlling the top receptacle. This is common in living rooms where it is used as a switch for lamps.)
    9. Put everything back.
    10. Have a beer.
     
    Brew12, Be102 and Awesome Dennis like this.
  20. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    7,414
    Likes Received:
    10,179
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    +1
    This is key!
    A great practice is to plug the light in to make sure it turns on. Open the breaker you think feeds the circuit and verify the light turns off. Close the breaker to verify the light turns back on then open the breaker again.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...