Converting garden water feature from electric to solar

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
I have a garden water feature which is powered by electric power. I would like to convert it to solar powered and avoid the use of an electric extension cord. I am totally new at this and have no knowledge of technical terms. Any help or web sites with help would be greatly appreciated.

WL

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,497 admin
    Re: Converting garden water feature from electric to solar

    I just typed into Goolge "Solar Powered Water Features" and found a bunch of links...

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=solar+powered+water+features&btnG=Google+Search

    If you wish to do more yourself... Think along the lines:

    Solar Panels: are the DC Battery (only works in sun). They have Voltage and Current ratings that need to match the thing you are trying to run.

    Batteries: If the feature needs to operate when the sun is not up, then you will need the Solar Panel to charge the rechargeable batteries. Depending on the type of batteries, how big the panels are, how big the load is, you will probably need some electronics to correctly charge the batteries and shut down the load to prevent the batteries have having an early death.

    The Feature: typically will be low voltage DC (6-12 volts, can be down to 2-3 volts for some items). You need to match the voltage/current requirements of the feature load with the power source.

    In any solar design, you will want to think about conservation. Low power loads need smaller panels and smaller batteries and cheaper electronics and wiring. Small LED lights and small volume low pressure/lift water/air pumps are all doable for solar. Big water falls and 24 pumps through sand filters will require much more money and effort to design/install.

    If you need circulating pumps/air pumps that need to run every day and/or 24 hours per day, then you are, usually, talking serious design and money to accomplish. The batteries will need to supply the load for, typically 1-3 days (cloudy weather), and the solar panels will have to generate enough power to both power the 24 hours with 4-6 hours of sun and charge the batteries at the same time.

    Do you have any ideas about what you want to run?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Converting garden water feature from electric to solar

    Ran across a program put on by DYINET.com - it was a show about a solar pond but it had some good info and links. Go to show list - look under "Solar Solutions" - double click --"view all episodes" - this might help.

    http://www.DIYNET.COM
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