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JOHNM

reostat on pump

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 i'm finding i'm not getting enough battery life while using my recirc pump for my sluice box.  i am definitely not electrically inclined.  can a reostat be used on a 12V  system to adjust amperage draw  ( pump motor RPM problem? )   looked for specs on pump and no luck.  pump reads 4 amp @13.6V dc  and its a 1200 GPH pump.    Thanks in advance    , john

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Yes, by adjusting the voltage you can control the water flow. I have my clean out sluice hooked directly to an old school 12v battery charger the has a 6v switch. I can operate the sluice on 12v when processing and switch to 6v to wash my material into a bucket without having a hose or extra water running violently. Vfd is usually the term used in my world, it stands for variable-frequency-drive. You must use components for dc voltage. Also you can add a solar charger to the system which will extend runtime by a bit. But i understand that this will add complexity to the setup. I added a photo of my DC drive belt grinder which has nothing to do with this except for the fact that dc voltage can be controlled rather easy.  Also even though rc cars are a far cry.... they also use variable (digital) dc drivers know as speed controls. 

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The linked website fully explains how to vary the speed of  DC motor in 3 diffrent ways, all you need to do is decide which way is best for you and then buy the approiate speed controller you need, the  second link is a search for DC motor speed controllers.

https://www.elprocus.com/what-are-the-best-ways-to-control-the-speed-of-dc-motor/

https://www.google.com/search?ei=b7YfXJX1LPGL_QaHlKLYAw&q=dc+motor+speed+controllers&oq=dc+motor+speed+controllers&gs_l=psy-ab.12..0j0i22i10i30j0i22i30l8.403064.404339..408067...0.0..0.82.279.4......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71j0i10.kGlZ7KdZ0UU

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hey knifemaker,   i am using a bilge pump for my recirc.  i believe it is a brushless motor ?  do i need a special speed controller?

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Yes and no. Some motors and controllers are specially configured for brushless operations. Again rc car stuff that i figured out long ago. Brushless motors operate more efficiently than brushed motors when it comes to rpm, but low end torque will suffer. One way that i made a huge impact on my recirculating cleanup is to make sure that i have as much slope on my hose coming out of the water as possible, vertical head will cause unnecessary voltage pull. Picture the water like a 1000 ball. Rolling it up a 45 degree hill is much easier than a 70-90 degree hill. The steeper the slope the more battery you will burn!

Edited by Knifemaker84

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The best way to reduce the amperage is to get a smaller pump. 

I tried a recirculating sluice off of battery power a while back and gave up.  Just could not get enough flow to power a decent sized sluice, 10" x 36".  Using the battery powered pump of 2000 GPH, I was barely able to get a flow of water over the riffles, and could only run material classified to a 1/4" or less. I hate classifying, so much work--Can take a half hour or hour to classify with a shovel and 5 gallon pail topper.  It did run a much smaller sluice, but that did not move hardly any material at all.  I ended up going with a reverse helix trommel powered by a gas powered generator and a 110 VAC waterfall pump.  That moved enough material.

I am in the same area as you, and I would have went with a gas powered trash pump, but in central AZ its kind of lacking in water for such a system.  The trash pumps or other gas powered pumps are much more powerful measured in Gallons per minute, not Gallons per hour like the smaller battery powered pumps.  I can't remember the waterfall pump specs, but I think its 3500 - 5000 GPH.

If you're battery is not giving you what you need, you're at a point where you need to bring a gas powered system into the equation.

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