Soft start for 110V AC water pump?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Pszemol, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Pszemol

    Pszemol Guest

    Anybody knows some tested solution for a DIY wavemaker device
    which would switch two or more AC-powered water pumps
    (about 40W-90W each) in a 10 seconds cycle with a soft start
    feature? I would be able to variable pump speed using variable
    frequency of supply AC power. I would like the switch to start
    with low frequency, lets say 10Hz and gradualy go up to 50-60Hz
    during 1-2 seconds and then keep the pump running for 10seconds.

    I was thinking about modifying an old UPS I have which is APC 280
    for this purpose. Anybody here has any schematic for such devices?
    Pszemol, Jan 10, 2004
    #1
  2. Pszemol

    mike Guest

    Pszemol wrote:
    > Anybody knows some tested solution for a DIY wavemaker device
    > which would switch two or more AC-powered water pumps
    > (about 40W-90W each) in a 10 seconds cycle with a soft start
    > feature? I would be able to variable pump speed using variable
    > frequency of supply AC power. I would like the switch to start
    > with low frequency, lets say 10Hz and gradualy go up to 50-60Hz
    > during 1-2 seconds and then keep the pump running for 10seconds.
    >
    > I was thinking about modifying an old UPS I have which is APC 280
    > for this purpose. Anybody here has any schematic for such devices?


    What kind of motors are these?
    You have verified that running them from 10 Hz. will give you what
    you want?
    Depending on what you're trying to do, you might find a hydraulic
    solution more feasible.
    mike

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    mike, Jan 10, 2004
    #2
  3. Pszemol

    James Meyer Guest

    On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 14:38:04 -0800, mike <> wroth:

    >Pszemol wrote:
    >> Anybody knows some tested solution for a DIY wavemaker device
    >> which would switch two or more AC-powered water pumps
    >> (about 40W-90W each) in a 10 seconds cycle with a soft start
    >> feature?

    >
    >What kind of motors are these?
    >You have verified that running them from 10 Hz. will give you what
    >you want?
    >Depending on what you're trying to do, you might find a hydraulic
    >solution more feasible.
    >mike


    I agree Mike. Trying to do it Pszemol's way is going to turn into a big
    can of worms really quickly.

    I assume it's some sort of wave synthesis for a saltwater aquarium. If
    so, then running a small pump continuously to fill up an auxiliary tank placed
    above the level of water in the big tank that can be dumped into the big tank at
    10 second intervals would be a lot easier.

    You don't even have to use a valve to do the dumping. There is a type
    of syphon that can be used that allows a tank to fill and then the syphon starts
    and empties the tank. The tank has to fill again before the syphon does its
    thing again.

    Jim
    James Meyer, Jan 11, 2004
    #3
  4. Pszemol

    Pszemol Guest

    I agree that hydraulic solution is more feasible in most cases
    but I have very small fish tank in my livingroom (30 g) and
    there is no much room for a dump bucket nor I do not want
    to have big splash of water on my carpet :)
    The idea behind electric wavemaker is to switch water pumps
    alternately and this works fine with the exception of loud
    pumps turning on/off and shortened life of their impellers.
    The workaround is to have the pumps start slowly, and many
    expensive wavemakers are equiped in "soft start" feature
    which is giving a variable frequency voltage to the pump
    synchro motor causing it to turn more slowly at the beginning
    and reach full flow rate in about a second or two. This way
    you reduce the noice of impeller starting instantly full speed
    and you extend the life of the pumps without sharp starting.

    Since I would like to play with making some DIY wavemaker
    out of what is in my basement (a couple of old computer UPSes)
    I was seeking for some inspiration in this newsgroup...
    If I could reuse boards from my APC 280 UPS to make such
    wavemaker it could be great. Any idea on how can I aproach
    this task?

    Also, I have read somewhere that when I start this kind of
    synchro motor slowly with lowered frequency I need to lower
    voltage also to not burn the motor. Anybody knows what
    would be the formula for the voltage for 20 Hz 40Hz when pump
    is accepting full 110V for 60Hz frequency?
    Pszemol, Jan 11, 2004
    #4
  5. On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 14:27:43 -0600, "Pszemol" <>
    wrote:

    >I agree that hydraulic solution is more feasible in most cases
    >but I have very small fish tank in my livingroom (30 g) and
    >there is no much room for a dump bucket nor I do not want
    >to have big splash of water on my carpet :)
    >The idea behind electric wavemaker is to switch water pumps
    >alternately and this works fine with the exception of loud
    >pumps turning on/off and shortened life of their impellers.


    How about a mechanical solution: place a "false wall" at one end of
    the tank, pivoted at the bottom of the tank (or just held against the
    real end wall by gravel), and arrange a motor, crank, and pushrod
    assembly to move the top of the false wall back and forth.




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    Peter Bennett, Jan 12, 2004
    #5
  6. Pszemol

    Pszemol Guest

    "Peter Bennett" <> wrote in message news:...
    > How about a mechanical solution: place a "false wall" at one end of
    > the tank, pivoted at the bottom of the tank (or just held against the
    > real end wall by gravel), and arrange a motor, crank, and pushrod
    > assembly to move the top of the false wall back and forth.


    Interesting idea... I will think about it.
    The problem is that it takes valuable space inside the tank.
    Pszemol, Jan 12, 2004
    #6
  7. Pszemol

    Rich Grise Guest

    (why is this font so fat?)

    Are you just trying to make water slosh back and forth? What about some kind
    of
    auxiliary tank, behind the main one, with the slosh baffle in it.

    It seems like modifying two motor speed controllers, and coming up with
    some kind of control circuit, would be way more work than you'd need,
    just to make water slosh back and forth.

    What if you mount the tank on a fulcrum, so the whole tank can seesaw
    back and forth? It wouldn't take much movement to make some pretty
    good waves!

    Good Luck!
    Rich

    "Pszemol" <> wrote in message
    news:btpuao$6jl$...
    > Anybody knows some tested solution for a DIY wavemaker device
    > which would switch two or more AC-powered water pumps
    > (about 40W-90W each) in a 10 seconds cycle with a soft start
    > feature? I would be able to variable pump speed using variable
    > frequency of supply AC power. I would like the switch to start
    > with low frequency, lets say 10Hz and gradualy go up to 50-60Hz
    > during 1-2 seconds and then keep the pump running for 10seconds.
    >
    > I was thinking about modifying an old UPS I have which is APC 280
    > for this purpose. Anybody here has any schematic for such devices?
    Rich Grise, Jan 16, 2004
    #7

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