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Old 07-23-2019, 02:12 PM
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Default Solar power for dc motor

Wondering... if anyone has any experience with tapping solar power to run a 1/4 or 1/2 hp dc motor. Thanks ahead for any info.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:27 PM
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No experience, but I have seen displays and setups for solar powered water pumps for watering livestock. Thinking that batteries are used for storage, may be something to look at for ideas.


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Old 07-23-2019, 05:53 PM
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I need more information. What does the motor do and how long does it do it? What is the motor voltage or does that matter?
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
Wondering... if anyone has any experience with tapping solar power to run a 1/4 or 1/2 hp dc motor. Thanks ahead for any info.
The first question would be how many Watts does your motor need?
and for how long as tnmike asked.

As I recall the panels are rated in Watts then maybe add 25% for low sun light days.

I picked up a panel a while back IIRC 4'x6' about 230 watts just to give you an idea.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:16 PM
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There are 746 watts per horsepower. We can figure the wattage but the rest we can't guess on.
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by tnmike View Post
There are 746 watts per horsepower. We can figure the wattage but the rest we can't guess on.
That helps.

Gear motor will be slowly rotating a tubular fish screen about 8' X 30". Here is the screen in action, but has been failing to keep its end of the bargain, due to reliance on fluctuating water depth and velocity in the canal. Plan is to discontinue/remove inner impeller with planetary gears, and turn by motor.

We will be placing screen only back into the canal to determine how easily the screen rotates in the water, and guess what hp it will take to power it. I'm guessing that some fractional hp, perhaps as small as 1/10 hp may be adequate... but we'll see what develops.

Last edited by Gadgeteer; 07-24-2019 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:05 AM
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Does it need to run 24/7? If so you will need a battery bank. A 12vdc would be your best choice for that motor size. Even if you need it only during daylight hours cloud cover will be an issue without a battery bank.

Without knowing more a 100 watt panel and a large deep cycle battery along with a pwm charge controller would be a good place to start. Your motor size and run time is a must know. Current draw on the motor under load is also something you will need.
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmike View Post
Does it need to run 24/7? If so you will need a battery bank. A 12vdc would be your best choice for that motor size. Even if you need it only during daylight hours cloud cover will be an issue without a battery bank.

Without knowing more a 100 watt panel and a large deep cycle battery along with a pwm charge controller would be a good place to start. Your motor size and run time is a must know. Current draw on the motor under load is also something you will need.
Yes, screen needs to turn 24/7, during the time that trout fry are in the creek. Screen keeps fry from getting into irrigation ditch, and becoming fertilizer. Thousands of dollars are spent to accommodate fry. I'm starting to feel like a babysitter. I've been donating my time... so far.

Photo shows the multiple vanes found inside the screen, which rotate due to gravity, when water loads a vane. Bottom of screen counter-rotates against the current flow (thanks to planetary gears) to keep it free of debris. Major problem with this design is that it requires almost daily monitoring, due to fluctuations in stream depth. It appears to me that the unit should have been installed over a sloping floor in the containment.
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Last edited by Gadgeteer; 07-24-2019 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:19 PM
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Interesting. So it is basically a self cleaning fish screen, that needs to be babysitted to make sure it stays working.


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Old 07-25-2019, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgeteer View Post
Yes, screen needs to turn 24/7,.
In daylight the solar panel will not only have to run the motor AND also replenish, charge the batteries back up for the next night run.

Guessing the panel will likely need to be sized 3 times the watts of the motor.
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