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About Me

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  1. Hey all, so last time I posted a solar set up for the usb nano pump, it was for one pump. A sort of plug and play set up you didn't have to think about but is expensive, considering it was only powering one pump. Then I saw this video: And realized you can cut the power consumption of AqCoop usb nano pump to 3/16 of a watt. Knowing that for about $100 you can build a small solar system to power 4 of the AqCoop nano pumps. Provided you take advantage of the hack in the video. I mathed it out and and a 20 watt panel with a 12Ah battery will power 4 usb nano pumps for most people living in the USA. I'm a project manager for a small solar installation company for people who are in need of credentials. In the picture I used parts I happened to have laying around the shop. That being said I made a shopping list should you want to build one for yourself. None of the following links are affiliated Panel and charge controller kit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07RZBVTGR/ref=ox_sc_act_image_2?smid=AETKFZLJFO5AR&psc= Battery: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00K53FG5Q/ref=ox_sc_act_image_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1 Honestly thats all you need to get started running two pumps because the charge controller that comes with the solar panel has 2 usb outputs. If you want to run more than 2 pumps; Extra usb outputs: "updated to a dual usb output" https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07FLZ6Q5L/ref=ox_sc_act_image_2?smid=A2N5NE5XPDEZYK&psc=1 Optional battery leads: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07M5M8ZCG/ref=ox_sc_act_image_2?smid=A35S5P187G2BY3&psc=1 I say optional because you can just use the gator clips as I have, but if you want a more solid cleaner connection and you don't have the tools or parts to make your own leads, then here's an option. I also use this tub to contain the system but you can use any tub really, this is just what I had laying around. https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-7-Gal-Tough-Storage-Bin-in-Black-206152/305185634 Putting the system together is pretty straightforward once you get the parts in your hand but I can make a video for the form should anybody want me to. Key thing to remember connect your battery to the charge controller BEFORE you connect your solar panel. Also if you have any questions on how to size a system, let's say you want it to run 10 pumps or you want to build a system to run a liner piston pump feel free to ask.
  2. Hey all, so i have been experimenting with a bunch of solar options for the USB nano pump and through it all i came up with this set up. Its been running for little over a month now without issue I've had many different failures leading me to this conclusion. The USB nano pump needs a USB nano solar system. Sure I can build or buy a solar generator, but such things get expensive, if not down right complicated. Being that USB is kinda plug and play I wanted a plug and play system that was easy to set up....lets go over the parts shall we.First i went with this King Solar 21watt foldout solar panel because it has two USB ports (this will prove to be important), it has a kickstand for easy "deployment" and 21 watts seems like its big enough for were i live.Next is the battery bank. I landed on this Pursun 10,000mAh (10Ah for the engineers). Now this choice did not come lightly. I experimented with many different batteries. Unfortunately most battery packs do not have pass-through capability, which is to say they can't give a charge while receiving a charge. This pack is no different in this regard, but i did figure out a work around. Also alot of battery packs need to be turned back on after being charged, which means everyday after sunset you have to go out and turn the thing on for it to work through the night. This battery does not have to be turned on every night. It will switch from taking a charge to giving a charge without you having to interact with it....and it has a digital display which is kinda sweet. Let's go over cords and connectors for the system.USB male to USB female extention cord. USB to USB C type cord (commonly used to charge android phones today) USB female to 2 USB male spliter (commonly used to power external hard drives). This part is paramount. It solves the pass-through problem i spoke of earlier. Allowing the solar panel to charge the battery while powering the pump during the day and allowing the battery to takeover at night. Well thats cool, but how's it all go together? Let seeFirst i plug the pump into the spliter, allowing the pump to accept power from 2 different sources. Next I plug one of the spliter ends into the battery. Then I attach the solar panel to the other side of the spliter, using the USB male to female extension cord Finally I attach the battery to the solar panel using the USB to USB C type cord. And that's it you're off to the races. What do I like about this system? Well the battery never over heats because its sitting in the shade while the solar panel is having fun in the sun. Also its modular, if any one part goes bad, I can replace it without scraping the whole system.
  3. Extending the USB Nano Pump: Solar Power As my second test for the Aquarium Co-Op USB Nano Air pump, I have decided to start writing before the test is done, and to kick things off today. I'm hoping a few tests will come of this, but an "instant fail" is just as valuable. I'm hoping what may come of this will be some numbers (mAh in, hours per day, etc.) that can be used in later selections of solar powered batteries for this pump. I hope to answer this question: Is there a low-cost solar-powered battery by which I can run the USB nano pump indefinitely? Failure is defined as the power running out or the battery otherwise failing by other means. SELECTING THE SOLAR-POWERED BACKUP BATTERY In making my choice of backup battery, I listed the following criteria that needed to be satisfied: 1. It has to be water-resistant. 2. It has to be reasonably sized (not too large). 3. It has to be affordable. Not too much. The whole trick was to find something that is a balance between power and price. I settled on this IEsafy Solar Charger 26800mAh, Outdoor Solar Power Bank with 4 Foldable Solar Panels and 2 High-Speed Charging Ports for Smartphones, Tablets, Samsung, iPhone, etc, with Waterproof LED Flashlight from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08611FQKT (non-affiliate link) It cost $27.50 when I bought it last week, but seems to have risen to $40. A quick search of Amazon and the internet suggests that if you're resourceful, you can find one in the $30 range with these specs. But I still don't yet know if these specs are sufficient. A WORD ABOUT LOCATION AND TIME OF YEAR This test is going to be a bit less useful around the world; access to sunlight matters a lot. I live in north San Diego county, California, and it is currently July (middle of summer). It stands to reason that if I pick my spot correctly, I will get direct sunlight for much of the day. If I can figure out how many hours of direct sunlight I'll need each day, in theory I can move the charger around as needed. But in winter months and in locations farther from the equator, this may be more difficult. THE SETUP THE FIRST THING I DID WAS CHARGE THE BACKUP BATTERY BY PLUGGING IT IN. This has to be done first before expecting to make use of solar power at all. It took several hours to charge fully. I am combining this test with another project: A small daphnia culture in a 17-gallon tub. These tubs are $5 at Walmart, so there's no excuse not to have several! I filled the tub with well-used greenish water from my small pond, added extra mulm for good measure, dropped in a medium sponge filter from Aquarium Co-Op, and connected it to the USB nano pump. The pump is hanging from a hole I drilled in the lip of the tub. Then I connected the pump's power cable to the backup battery, which I placed on an empty Amazon box. I placed this entire rig in a spot where I expect it to get much sunlight all day. (I know that the sponge filter is not necessary daphnia, and many folks keep daphnia in still water even. But I HATE mosquitoes and want to stabilize things as much as possible. Also, I won't be ordering daphnia for several weeks, as I want the water to get much greener from the direct sunlight; I'll be feeding it a steady diet of grass clippings as needed.) TEST ONE: IS THIS REMOTELY VIABLE AT ALL? Today is lightly cloudy, but the clouds are seeming to burn off. The sun hit the charger at 9am this morning, so we are off and running! UPDATE 7/20/2020: This test has been canceled, for reasons outlined below. New test coming soon! Bill
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