vortech batt backup in advance of getting a generator.

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by houser, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. houser

    houser Past President

    Disclaimer - I have done ZERO research on this one :)

    I like the idea of a battery backup for the pumps to keep them going in the event of a power loss. With nasty weather approaching it's only a matter of time before the power goes out. Sometimes it's quick, sometimes it's for a day or two.

    I am planning at some stage to get a generator, but haven't dealt with it.

    So to power the vortechs off a battery what do you need?
    [list type=decimal]
    [*]Do you have to use their battery backup?
    Can you make your own?
    [/list type=decimal]

    Where's the logic in the system? Low voltage cutoff in the MP40 controllers that switches to the aux power input, or what? 12VDC aux input, or something else? Remember, I haven't done a lick of reading yet ;)

    I want significant flow for a variety of reasons but none perhaps more important than keeping my nem happy on her perch. Walkabout = swath of death (which I accept already btw). An airstone ain't going to cut it.
  2. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    Pretty sure it just needs 12VDC and the switching between 12VCD backup and 24VDC driver is a logic relay. Also pretty sure that the vortech battery is just a big battery with a built in trickle charger. I think the original one was in fact a motorcycle battery.
  3. houser

    houser Past President

    Quick google search and...

    12VDC battery, 1.3?mm connector or so I read. Looks piece of cake.

    But I also read that the 12VDc solution gives you half power. Seems answer would be 2x12V batteries in series.

  4. houser

    houser Past President

    OK read that full speed is only dependent on 24VDC at main input so you'd effectively need a "transfer switch" potentially.
    12VDC version to aux power input is a piece of cake.

    Time to implement and beat this nasty storm to the punch.
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yeah I was going to say, doubling your voltage might allow it run at full speed.. I say might because there could be some cutoff at the battery input part that only allows half speed (and IMO it seems like less than half speed) operation.

    You can absolutely make your own, sometimes there are problems with DIY battery systems, needing to trickle charge, and all sorts of other techy stuff that even I don't understand sometimes :D That buying the default one, could end up being cheaper. Of course the default is quite limited, in that regard. You shouldn't expect the battery backup to last for multiple days. And if you have a substantially sized tank, a single vortech on battery backup running at "half speed" probably is just barely better than no movement.
  6. houser

    houser Past President

    Well I have 2 MP40's on my relatively shallow 80G so I should get enough movement. I actually employ about a 15 second period pulse that really gets it moving. For me, that setup is better (again for me) than any short pulse/NTM/Reef crest, etc... 15 to 20 second period and my ears perk up if you know what I mean :bigsmile:

    Batteries and chargers are a piece of cake if you're into RC toys at all!! My recommendation is everyone becomes a RC pilot.
  7. h20player101

    h20player101 Guest

    I picked up a car battery at Costco and a trickle charger & DC/AC switcher at boating supply store. The thing I really like about the setup is that it is all water proof, the even have a container for the battery. The reason I went so big was to include the return pump and heater(s).
  8. houser

    houser Past President

    Heater would certainly be nice.
    I've got a few stores to hit this afternoon.
  9. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I have a battery backup for my vortech. it just connects to one and runs at the lowest speed. =P I think it'd be ok for one day max.
  10. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    lowest speed toss in a battery powered airstone, and I think your only major enemy will be heat (over the course of a day or more)
  11. houser

    houser Past President

    productive lunch - have battery and charger, just need connector and cable!
  12. r0ck0

    r0ck0 Guest

    Hey Dave, when you get it all setup can you provide a parts list and an estimated run time? Sounds like it would be cheaper than purchasing a UPS, more run time for the $. Are you going to be running any AC pumps that would need a pure sine wave, will this setup provide the right power without damaging the pumps?
  13. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I'd hold off on the heater bit as part of your backup battery.

    1) Heaters are huge hogs of energy, few hundred watts vs the 10s of watts for a vortech pump

    2) our tanks are nice thermal insulators, meaning they can store a lot of energy and hang onto it fairly well

    3) our inhabitants can tolerate fairly cold temps for small time periods, my RBTA tank dropped to 66°F due to a pump failing

    4) Flow is way more important in the long run.

    Heaters should be generator things, not battery backup fed things.
  14. r0ck0

    r0ck0 Guest

    So I can't run my chiller and lights?
  15. houser

    houser Past President

    Agree, heaters are not part of my plan at all. Different animal.
  16. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    I bought the Vortech battery.
    Screwed it to the wall above my tank. It's clean and easy to use.
    I also have a UPS that is run by two 6v golf cart batteries in series.
    It will run my one of my 90w return pumps for about 8 hours.
    The UPS is not ideal to run pumps but better than nothing IMO.
    I also have a generator for the longer outages.
  17. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    NO he just said heaters and since chillers do the opposite of heaters, they should be A OK :lol:

    But as far as the lights... flow is more important then lights (plug for InstaFlow)
  18. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Great thing about running a 90w return pump, is you're also running a 90w heater :)
  19. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    exactly how I and why I designed the system.
    I am running a Velocity Titanium Pump T2
    and a Velocity Titanium Pump T4
    If one fails or needs cleaning there is the other.
    Not to mention they are super quiet.

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