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Old 04-09-2013, 04:10 PM   #11
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"In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"

In all seriousness, while some power recovery is possible, it probably isn't worth the effort. The time and cost investment might not be worth the $5 monthly energy savings... but if it is just more for fun and you like tinkering, then have at it!

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Old 04-13-2013, 02:01 AM   #12
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I have thought about this too. Setting it up with an overflow and even using solar panel as a background for when the lights are on. The solar panel may even be all one would need with a car battery...?

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Old 04-13-2013, 11:18 AM   #13
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Solar panels are a great option. Sites such as Harbor Freight have great deals on solar kits. I use solar lights to light my yard and I am working on making a solar charge station for our numerous power outages.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:30 PM   #14
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I think solar is a wonderful idea as well. But in Alaska with little to no sun in the winter, wind is a better option.
Whenever I watch the News, no matter what network it is, i'm like:
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:38 PM   #15
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If you are already running a return pump then yes you could recoup a small fraction but is that really worth the effort? If no return pump currently spending a buck to make a penny just doesn't add up.

Would be a fun build just to see what you could effectively do however.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:34 PM   #16
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A perpetual motion aquarium huh?
Even if you were only interested in getting some of the energy back, it is going to be a very small amount. Perhaps enough for a very small LED. I don't think the energy or cost saved or environment saved is going to worth the monetary cost or effort and time required. Any environmental benefits will be off set by environmental costs of the manufacturing of materials used..

You can't use a photo-voltaic cell to make energy for the light that is the source of the light. You can't make energy from moving water to move water that is the source of the energy. Same for heat from heat. You're just not going to get enough energy from the limited amount of moving water to power any electrical device.

Your best efforts would be directed to making best use of primary energy source; insulating tanks, insulating and temperature controlling entire room; using efficient pumps; larger compressor, storage tank and distribution valves for air; using larger centralized water filtration and distribution where possible; one long light bar for several tanks; etc. One larger heater, pump, compressor, or light uses less energy, produces more effect than several smaller ones.( Two 50w bulbs use more electricity produce less light than one 100w) For maximum environmental effects obtain main energy from "greener " source.

But "just for fun" you could power some very small novelty thing from small a hydro-electric generator.

"In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" Come on over to my house. On weekends sometimes we defy the laws of gravity. No success in actually breaking them yet, but lots of defiance.

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