These solar pump projects are pretty simple and can get real creative for not a whole lot of money. I have 2 solar pumping projects that I am currently doing that are not from battery power, but directly from the solar panel. Maybe the term is “direct solar”, not sure. So I am connecting the leads from the solar panel directly to leads on a water pump. In the video I made, I show 2 different pumps. Both are 12 volts, but both are not the same size. The
Seaflo 21 series 12V DC 35 PSI Diaphragm Water Pressure Pump is 3/8″ barbed fittings, 1.2gpm, 4 amps, about $30. The
SEAFLO 33 series 12 volt Water Diaphragm Self Priming Pump 3gpm 45 PSI is 1/2″ male pipe thread and it comes with a screen filter and barb fittings to connect to hose. The
SEAFLO 33 series 12 volt Water Diaphragm Self Priming Pump 3gpm 45 PSI is 3gpm, 8 amps, and costs about $50. These pumps come in 12v, 24 volt, and 110 volt, so make sure you are looking at the right solar pump for your solar pumping project.
solar panels I am using are 100 watts at 12 volts and seem to run these pumps very well.
The first project is a direct solar pumping water from a basin to the top of a working water wheel. This is a nice addition to any yard and is not too difficult to build. The water wheel project was inspired by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR8lTdmEVtk – It is a 3 video series, you could probably click next and video 2 should be the one it goes to. The solar water wheel project I have is really bare bones. Plants, rocks, a flue, maybe some more wood to mimic gate or water stop. Not sure if a koi pond could be the reservoir.
The second project is another direct solar pump project where I am pumping water from a well to a 250 gallon water tote. It doesn’t take long for the pump to fill the tank. I then use this water for irrigation mostly, but also keep the reservoir of project 1 full. That 250 gallons of water doesn’t go very far when the lines are open, but there is water pumped in the tank every day.
One of the things I didn’t mention in the video is lift. The Seaflo 21 series vertical lift is stated at 4 feet. I was able to double or maybe even triple this by priming the pump (filling the line with water, then turning on the pump). The
33 series stated vertical lift is 9 feet. The
33 series I was able to get the lift I needed by priming the pump.
Some other ideas that I had for direct
solar and battery powered projects are:
Direct Solar Pumping Ideas (No Battery)
- Water wheel – This project is already going, but can be expanded.
- Pump water from well or low tank and pump up to a higher tank to use for gravity feed system.
- Direct pumping from well or low tank directly to sprinkler line or water feature.
- Bird bath fountain – many diy possibilities for bird bath projects.
- Pond fountain – keeping the water stirred up in a pond or lake is good for the body of water.
- Water feature – Water fall, small garden stream (plastic with rocks over)
- Livestock / Pet watering station
Solar Pumping with Charge Controller and Battery.
Now let’s look at some solar pumping projects that include a
Solar Charge Controller and
12 volt battery. Once a
Solar Charge Controller and
12 volt battery are added to the project, it really opens up the time factor. I like to call this “on demand” as a
12 volt battery allows you to run your project whenever you want. The solar panel is now just to recharge the battery, and then pump is running off the battery. Size the battery or batteries accordingly. I would get at least a 20 amp hour 12 volt battery This is a good way to learn about solar electric systems and a basic understanding of the components, because just think what a 24 volt system and pump would do. 2 12 volt solar panels and 2 12 volt batteries can make a 24 volt system. 2 solar panels and 2 12 volt batteries can also expand the 12 volt system to run longer or start with less light.
I believe all of the projects listed above can be expanded/modified to be on demand.
- Outdoor shower – I almost put this one in the direct solar list, but you can imagine being in the middle of an already cold shower and waiting for the sun to pass back over. Battery allows you to turn on the water and turn it off when finished.
- Indoor / Outdoor plumbing – I believe both of these pumps have built in pressure switches, so you can charge a line and use the water similar to being on a regular well system or city water system. I’m thinking that this has to be a water supply system on the smaller side, but even thinking a sink, shower, toilet, even hot water heater inline. Very possible.
- Pond / pool filtration – a regular pool pump really moves a lot of water. So this would be an idea for a hard to reach with power location, such as a pond or small pool.
- Fountains, small decorative ponds, Yard Art type stuff.
- Can make night projects – with a battery you could pump water and light it all up at night.
- Bait tanks – These items are portable enough that you could bring with and keep your bait alive
- Timer for watering livestock or pets – with a battery adding a timer is not a problem. You could add a timer on the water side or the electrical side.
This website has lots of information and links about solar systems. There are some good graphics that will show you, at a glance, an entire solar electric system. Several different applications. You can get your feet wet or go all the way. Check it out. https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/
Now that you have a handle on this solar pump project, you can start looking towards other projects that are powered from a solar panel or battery system.
This video starts with talking about the solar panels, water pumps, charge controller, and battery. Then walk through the 2 existing projects. Then well connection and some in between.