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Old 07-18-11, 04:30 PM   #11
Daox
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Wow, thats a crazy reduction in power usage!

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Old 07-18-11, 06:04 PM   #12
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No doubt and furthermore as the LED technology progresses more and more people are reporting that even coral growth is sustainable under LED lighting. Something I plan to experiment with as time goes on.
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Old 09-09-11, 09:24 PM   #13
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You are absolutely right. My friend has a 200 gallon set up that has three LED arrays each with aluminum heat sinks. His set up allows for changes in ambience from night to day to even simulating thunderstorms.

The heat is considerably less than the Halides and he is definitely seeing the difference in the power bill.

Hopefully I will have my 675 gallon up and running by mid week. I will get pics up as soon as it is set up.

On a side note my Zebra eel which had been with me for 11 years died yesterday. Poor fella didn't get the chance to stretch out from the 180 to the 675.

Thanks for the comments I have learned tons from here so far.

Here is a link to my photobucket account which shows both tanks. Don't mind the pics of me pawning the rest of the tank gear I have.

Fish Tank and Stuff pictures by Garneff_Family - Photobucket

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Old 09-22-11, 07:39 AM   #14
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OK so the tank is up and running, not complete but at least holding and cycling water.

During this time I was able to plug my Kill a Watt in to see what to expect as far as energy bills goes. Here are the numbers ...

Instant reading; 272 watts per hour with everything on. Everything being, pump (4) Led strip lights to light the tank and (2) small LED strips to light the refugium underneath.

My 24 hour reading with the light cycling as normal was 3.3 kwh per day.

My next bit of research will be to find a more efficient water pump which is on continuously. Because of the 272 watts, 200watts represents the pump alone.

One argument I have heard is that I should consider a pump that runs on 240V which would be more efficient. Any thoughts?

Of course I need to consider water volume and whether or not to use a flow pump or a pressure pump.

Enjoy the pic of the tank. More to come .. lol
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Old 09-22-11, 08:40 AM   #15
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At low power levels, going to a 240v pump over a 120v pump isn't going to make much difference.
But, going to a smaller GPH pump that uses less HP (and kWh) would save some power.
Or, maybe you could use an off-on timer to cycle the pump on for 20 seconds and off for 10 or 40 seconds.?.
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Old 09-22-11, 09:14 AM   #16
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Wow, that tank looks huge.

As for the pump, I think most of those small motored pumps are all DC. They have a small bridge rectifier and don't use an AC motor. Going up to a higher voltage likely won't change anything. That is just my guess though, I could be wrong.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:08 AM   #17
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If you are going to get a new pump you could try going into a local supply shop and ask to test the power usage with your Kill-a-watt. If you do this I would note the start up power usage and how long it takes to level out. The reason for doing that is if you try Xringer's suggestion of cycling the power on and off if there is I higher draw at start up you will need to factor that in for the off time.

One option you could try is using a lower flow pump that you will have on at all times with a higher flow pump switching on and off with shorter on times and/or longer off times.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:41 AM   #18
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Start up current on small asynchronous AC motors isn't a big deal,
because they don't develop instant foot pound of torque, like your power drill.
No big jump in current, and what jump there is, doesn't last very long..

Like, if you turned on your fluorescent lights and got a 10 amp surge for 1 hour,
that would be 120v x 10A, or 1.2kwh on your bill.
If the surge was for 1 second, that would be 0.333kwh on your bill..
If it was actually only for 0.1 of a second, that would be... 0.0333 kwh (.007 cents here)

Of course, the actual inrush current pulse might be shorter than 0.1 sec..

This power supply with a large filter cap draws a big inrush, but look how long it is.. 8ms?? That's 0.008 seconds!


Inrush Current
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Old 09-22-11, 10:44 AM   #19
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Great suggestions, I especially like the one about cycling the pump on / off. Along those lines the cycle times would have to be stretched out a bit for the simple fact that once a pump shuts down the water stops flowing, therefore it back flows into the refugium. Do that every 30 sec or so and you will not get enough water flow over the refugium to properly filter the water.

And as far as GPH, once this used pump dies I am going to go with a higher GPH flow pump as the tank requires it.

But taking the Kill a watt with me is a great idea. I am not expecting miracles, tanks this size are not known for their efficiency but I am also not going to ignore the fact that with a little homework I can get as much as I can out of it.

Thanks again.

And BTW it is huge ... didn't sound so big on paper, but for scales sake, each one of those floor tiles are 18" x 18"

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Old 10-13-11, 02:24 PM   #20
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As an update ...

I continue to learn more and more about my hobby everyday and moving into a tank this size poses its own challenges. I was able to find a powerhead that gives me about half the water volume (2400gph) I currently move (5500 gph) at 13.9 watts. My current pump uses 200 watts.

So what I figured is I would use whats called a wave maker and run / alternate this power head and the main pump in intervals.

This would not only change the current inside the tank but also cut back on the power usage of the main pump. I figured since I am not running a reef tank the lack of filtration during the pumps downtime would not be a big deal.

Once I locate the proper wave making timer I can ask for additional opinions on intervals etc based on what I have.

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