Monday, November 11, 2013

A solar water pump for the garden

Our garden and hoop house are across the street from our house. So watering always meant either dragging a long length of hose across the road from the house or bringing buckets of water to fill the watering cans with. Neither one was really practical.

When we build the hoop house in the spring Hubby wanted to install some kind of watering system for it. He wanted to draw from a spring fed pond 700 ft away and 50 ft lower in elevation from the gardens.

What he came up with was  a perfect solution, a solar powered water pump that would push the water up the hill to the gardens!
He purchased this on demand water pump from Northern Tool. A 30 watt 12 volt  solar panel charges a 12 v 115 amp hr deep cycle battery through a charge controller. The pump is powered directly from the battery and when not being used the solar panel keeps the battery fully charged.

To keep the electric components protected from the weather he place a plastic tote over top and screwed it to the deck to hold it in place.

The water is pumped through 700' of 3/4" black poly pipe. At the top of the hill the pipe is split, one end running to the hoop house and the other to the garden. Spigots are at each end of the pipes so we can connect either irrigation hoses or garden hoses with sprayers to hand water. 

So far it has worked perfectly! The solar panel is able to keep the battery fully charged and we are able to water a few times a week without any trouble, we've never drained the battery.

If you want some more details on the project, check out a very in depth article that was done over at Build it Solar!!

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