View Full Version : Solar powered fish room?

11-01-2013, 05:00 PM
Just wondering if anyone has tried to supplement their power bill with anything. I saw a solar power kit for $170 at BJs and thought to myself....I wonder if this could run part of my electronics. I'm no engineer and don't know squat about watt usage or anything like that. Maybe just run the lights? Air pump?

Any knowledge or advice would be helpful. Thanks.

11-01-2013, 05:09 PM
What is the output wattage. That should give you an idea. I know it depends on if the sun is shinning. During the night you have to use batteries or your normal house current and you will need to "switch" from solar power to backup power. Does the kit have that?

11-01-2013, 05:45 PM
Can you put a link to this? I need to see it. Thanks

11-01-2013, 07:49 PM
It powers a battery? Could the battery be used to run anything in the room? Thanks

Mog Carns
11-01-2013, 09:21 PM

11-01-2013, 11:52 PM
I'm no engineer, but I can almost guarantee you that this unit won't do much more than it;s intended for, which is to slowly charge 12v batteries (equivalent of a car battery.)

It's not made to *run* 120v AC pieces of equipment, such as pumps, filters, etc.

Plus, the cost of a unit like this would quickly negate any small savings you might possibly even see.

11-02-2013, 02:01 PM
an inverter takes 12v dc to 120 ac amps is what to look for not watts

11-02-2013, 03:54 PM
Ok, but these solar panels wont put out the kind of amperage to actually run this stuff. They are made for charging batteries. Even with an inverter...I cant imagine this would work.

11-02-2013, 07:24 PM
Hi, Check out www.grideraser.com

I'm wanting a system that can run my tanks during a power outage and water my garden from my lake using solar to power the pump.

11-02-2013, 08:47 PM
I run a number of 1500va UPS systems on my tanks (manufacured by APC and Cyberpower respectively.) They have kept my pumps, canisters, lights, heaters, etc. running for hours during an extended power outage. Not quite as "green" as a solar system, but much more cost-effective I believe, and no reliance on their needing to be sunlight to provide energy.


Hi, Check out www.grideraser.com (http://www.grideraser.com)

I'm wanting a system that can run my tanks during a power outage and water my garden from my lake using solar to power the pump.

11-03-2013, 01:38 AM
Gasoline-powered generator are the usual way to go for power that lasts longer that a few hours. Of course, the are expensive, you have to have gas, and you have to test them. UPS will work for hours, but may not get you through that first cold night. Solar only works when the sun shines. But a nice system with a lot of batteries could conceivably keep you going off the grid, but it won't be cheap. My overall feeling on solar, wind, and the rest is that every bit helps cut your bill, but you can't count on it.

On my other fish boards, I know people who lost all their fish because of Sandy. The first 24 hours were usually okay, but by the third day, the homes and tanks were too cold and still. Even people with good plans, UPS, generators, gas stoves to heat water and running water to change water ended up losing all their fish because they were forced to evacuate. Similar things happened in NOLA.

It would be lovely to have a self-sufficient fish-care system. This is hard to pull off even with working water, heat, electricity, no floods, no wind and no snow. It should, however, be technically feasible to make a disaster-resistant fishroom. Go ahead and post your ideas, we are pessimistic, but we are interested.

11-03-2013, 08:20 AM
I did study solar panel efficiency and the cost benefit ratio which included of installation, operation, maintenance, and life cycle to name a few. Solar panels are a great investment if you are willing to drop the money. It has been several years since I studied this but I don't think that to much has changed. Basically there are 3 main types (ways to make) solar panels. Only one if these is designed to function properly for more than 10 years. These are expensive typically they are installed to power the main system (the house) and then place excess power back on the grid. So you are selling power back to your power company, sorta. When these types of systems are coupled with UPS battery systems you would need to have some panel and switch which would direct incoming energy to the proper cell and outgoing to the proper circuit. This is in addition to the purchase that you are talking about. I am not sure if I have made this clear and I am not an electrical engineer so if I got the jargon wrong please excuse me. Oh I forgot to mention that solar panels have a disposal cost (aren't recyclable) at the end of life which further reduces the cost benefit. I'm definitely not saying don't go solar but if you are do it so that you are benefited in the long run and fully understand the expense involved.

11-03-2013, 08:25 AM
A gas generator would be your best bet for emergencies. Could even power up other important things such as the fridge. Another cheap alternative would be to get an inverter you can plug into you can run off your car's battery, a few extension cords and should be able to power up a few air pumps and filters.