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05-18-2013, 04:58 PM #19
A fully automated central will always have several critical issues.
First and foremost issue is power loss. To over come this issue in the correct way is to ensure that power loss is almost not possible. This is done best by using an inverter box such as a sump pro system which costs right around $1800.. Now, that is the best and most desired way to go. With this unit the power can be interupted and every thing goes to battery back up as inverted through a power box. Depending upon the economy of the pumps this system can operate for days to a week.
From this point we get into more complicated and more falliable systems so the sump pro unit is the coupe deville unit if you have nice specimens and don't want to lose your collection.
General design should always be driven by efficiency. Air pumps that are efficient and of low wattage and driver pumps that are low wattage units. Of these I have a liking for the Eheim submersible pump. This unit is tough, can be abused a bit and is really quite efficient, It self primes and pumps a load well and has a minimal flow loss due to elevation.
In as much as sump systems, during the course of a power outage the water in motion will always seek it's resting height in your sump. In many cases it is impossible to have the power lost and not have an over flow situation during a power loss event. We can waste the waters but in this event we have lost the water for restart. We can place in a float valve and connect the inlet to a water source but then we must worry about chlorines in the infill water. We can use a cartridge style cannister with a carbon matrix media to remove the sterilants on this inlet fill valve and float. So long as we maintain this cartridge it should do it's job to remove the chlorines.
We may also plumb in a live secondary sump system using float valves and height floats and switching to pump the over flow to a vat storage unit that is remote. The sump would have a small pump, battery operated such as a sump pump emergency unit that would trigger during over flow stage and pump the excess water to a storage vat. Upon power return a pump within the overflow storage vat would engage via normal power voltage and return the water to the system. The excess vat would have a float switch wired to turn off at a point where the vat is near empty.
We can also wire various devices such as alarm floats and we can have services provided in which these alarm floats can remotely contact us via the telephone. I have several systems installed which inform people that their emergency sump pump system has engaged and there may be an issue at their home to investigate. This technology can be employed in our fish rooms.
We then get into the control of problems that we would like to isolate.
In my opinion a combination of ozone and a well maintained ultra violet sterilization unit are the way to go. Again, these are the coupe deville routes but you may have a collection that warrants this form of quality.