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#14916 - 05/05/15 01:32 AM Solar panel to run pump...
camdigger Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 135
Loc: On Assignment
The story goes that I have a need at work for a pump system to run an irrigation sprinkler or two. What I am trying to do is to find a cheap way to get rid of waste water in a pit. The temps are warm here. It is already 20C through the day May 1 here with a nearly constant breeze. I know from experience that the mid day temps will go up another 15 degrees or over the next 4 months. It is quite normal to get 90 - 120 days of straight sun, so the humidity will drop from 80% it is now to about 25% later in the season. The combination of high temperatures, near constant breeze, moderate humidity, and ample sunshine seem ideal for evaporation.

Theoretically, I should be able to power a 12V 3 or 4 amp pump from a 100W solar panel. Best would be if I could eliminate a battery. This seems ideal, the pump would run when the sun was shining and stop at night when the sun went down. The system would be very portable. hang the panel on the fence, run the wires, and drop the pump/sprinkler in the pit and walk away.... Is this feasible? I have been looking at panels and small 12 or 24 V submersible bilge pumps. I can find sprinklers at the local garden center. Some even give a decent spray pattern with no moving parts, and few restrictions to get clogged with goop.


Edited by camdigger (05/05/15 01:44 AM)
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#14918 - 05/05/15 03:26 AM Re: Solar panel to run pump... [Re: camdigger]
Doc Offline
MBN Old hand
Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 1163
Loc: Beryl Jnct. SW Utah, Mdl Nowhe... ***
Maybe my HF panels have given me a warped perspective. 3 panels net only 45W combined.

Even so I would guess it was a mater of just how much you wanted to pump how far?

Amazon has some very nice and cheap little twelve volt pumps, but low volume.(see my "spring weaning" thread for link.) Bilge pumps are fairly pricey. Even the HF 12vdc pumps are pricey now.

Most impeller style pumps don't like to run dry, so I'd add a float switch that would only energize pump when water was above intake level. You might also think in terms of mist heads rather than rain birds.

Doable, sure.... just a question of scale.
Doc
_________________________
You don't even have to believe in the gods to know when they are pissed off at you.....
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#14922 - 05/05/15 06:32 AM Re: Solar panel to run pump... [Re: Doc]
camdigger Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 135
Loc: On Assignment
Doc. My plan was to hang a submersible off a float. The sprinkler head I have in mind is designed for lawn watering. Mist heads would be better for evaporation ( increased surface area ), but mist heads usually need higher pressure and have smaller nozzles which would have tendency to plug.
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#14923 - 05/05/15 02:07 PM Re: Solar panel to run pump... [Re: camdigger]
bunkclimber Offline
MBN Old hand
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1097
Loc: Maryland *****
The Renogy 100W monocrystalline panels are nice..bought many on Amazon.I used to buy them on eBay from padovaimports but the price was too high at 189/ea shipped,then I spotted them on Amazon for 149 every so often,basically the same panel...rugged construction and good output to charge batts in my camper now,off grid later.In full bright sun they do about 4.5A.

Originally Posted By: camdigger


Theoretically, I should be able to power a 12V 3 or 4 amp pump from a 100W solar panel.
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#14926 - 05/06/15 04:52 PM Re: Solar panel to run pump... [Re: bunkclimber]
kbs Offline
MBN member
Registered: 05/07/10
Posts: 109
I expect it may come down to a volume vs. pressure question.
In my experience, admittedly limited, higher pressure takes more energy than higher volume.
When I was tasked with watering a lake front sod install, I went with a simple sump pump (high volume, low pressure) and had the outlet placed on the high ground.
The water would flow down through the new sod, soaking in as it went.
It worked our fine.

They make "back up, 12 VDC" sump pumps.
If one would make sense for you ???
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#14927 - 05/06/15 06:04 PM Re: Solar panel to run pump... [Re: kbs]
mdlawnguy Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 876
Loc: maryland *****
Use a inline screen/filter on the pump end just watch the water.. scum builds fast on screen.
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