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Thread: Sweep / Solar Automation Question

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    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Moraga, CA
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    Sweep / Solar Automation Question

    Hi all,
    First time poster. I recently installed a variable speed pump and am loving the incredible energy savings. I'm almost ready to open my pool for the season and opened the manual valve to get the water running up to the solar panels on my roof. What I noticed is that the pressure drops in the system and the sweep won't run at the (1500) RPM speed where I had it set. In fact the booster seems to shut down after a few minutes of trying to run when my Intelliflo is set to 1500 rpm and my Solar is open. In order for the sweep to run with the solar open I seem to have to put the Intelliflo to max speed (3450ish RPM). My first question: Is this common?

    I'd prefer not to have to run my pump at max speed - it eats up energy like a Monday morning cubicle. Ideally I'd like to close the solar valve during sweep runs and open it again when the sweep completes.

    My second question : What would be the best way to automate the system so that the solar valve closes in preparation for the sweep to run and remains closed until the sweep completes?

    Note: I also have a Pentair CVA-24 and a Compool LX-220 which currently aren't working. (The board on the LX-220 is broken and the CVA-24 is stripped or something). I bought a pair of replacements off eBay, but before I hook those into the system I wanted to see if there's an elegant solution to my problem. The LX-220 does not appear to have the function of closing off when the sweep is running - it does have a sweep delay mechanism to prevent air from getting into the booster, but other than that it appears to activate the actuator based on temperature readings alone.

    We use a lot of energy already at my house and in California the tiered energy rates are killing us. All extra energy I use costs me .36 kWh -- so running the booster and pump at max speed for 2-3 hrs a day could cost me like an additional $50-90 a month. If there's no way around that I might just go for one of those robotic cleaners which draw 250w. Over the long run it would save me money.

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
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    Re: Sweep / Solar Automation Question

    Welcome to TFP

    Please fill out your signature so we can better help you with suggestions Trouble Free Pool
    do you have Hayward, jandy, or Pentair equipment

    1. Running your solar and cleaner will require you to run at crazy rates/watts unfortunately... at least you know now..

    2. automation is the way to go with solar and other things.. all the companies have automation but it can be spendy..

    3. a robot is becoming the go to way of cleaning the pool, it will run at 250 watts for 3 hours, clean your pool spotless with no extra pumps, attachments or anything else..

    if you got a robot, you could just automate the solar..

    I hope this helps
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    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Sweep / Solar Automation Question

    Quote Originally Posted by peanutsofdoom View Post
    What I noticed is that the pressure drops in the system and the sweep won't run at the (1500) RPM speed where I had it set. In fact the booster seems to shut down after a few minutes of trying to run when my Intelliflo is set to 1500 rpm and my Solar is open.
    Is your solar on your roof? If so, I doubt you would be able to run at that speed and even 2500 RPM might be pushing it depending the layout. The issue is probably that your VRV is on the roof too and you need at least 12 PSI on the filter gauge for a two story roof or the panels will not remain primed and head loss will be very high.

    As for automation, a solar controller will not do what you want it to do. You would need a full blown controller that would be able to actuate the sweep valve and the solar valve. If you had this, you could then schedule the sweep at night were solar would not go on.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Moraga, CA
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    23

    Re: Sweep / Solar Automation Question

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboycasey View Post
    Welcome to TFP

    Please fill out your signature so we can better help you with suggestions Trouble Free Pool
    do you have Hayward, jandy, or Pentair equipment

    1. Running your solar and cleaner will require you to run at crazy rates/watts unfortunately... at least you know now..

    2. automation is the way to go with solar and other things.. all the companies have automation but it can be spendy..

    3. a robot is becoming the go to way of cleaning the pool, it will run at 250 watts for 3 hours, clean your pool spotless with no extra pumps, attachments or anything else..

    if you got a robot, you could just automate the solar..

    I hope this helps
    Thanks, this is helpful. My current setup is an Intelliflo (the 3HP one), Pentair booster, Cartridge filter, and a couple of timer boxes (one no longer used since I got the Intelliflo since it has a built in timer). Unfortunately my wife has informed me we can't get the robot because of the power cord having to run across the yard to the pool. Sad days. I'll have to find a cost effective way to run the booster/sweep combo I guess.

    I was thinking maybe I could just write a simple script for a Raspberry PI and hook that up to the actuator. It would essentially close the solar during the time of day I want to run the sweep. Literally all I need to do is have a timer script and some way of sending the correct voltage to the actuator. I think this might be pretty simple.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Is your solar on your roof? If so, I doubt you would be able to run at that speed and even 2500 RPM might be pushing it depending the layout. The issue is probably that your VRV is on the roof too and you need at least 12 PSI on the filter gauge for a two story roof or the panels will not remain primed and head loss will be very high.

    As for automation, a solar controller will not do what you want it to do. You would need a full blown controller that would be able to actuate the sweep valve and the solar valve. If you had this, you could then schedule the sweep at night were solar would not go on.
    Yep, the solar's on the roof. You're probably right about 1500 RPM being too low. I'm going to try 2200ish and keep moving it up to see how low I can go. Then maybe try to minimize the time I run the sweep to 1 hr daily. If I do that maybe I can get it costing only a $1 a day or so to run, which would be acceptable. Still bums me way out, though.

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