Trying to Figure this out

Hey all!!

I need help figureing out something.

In a month or so, I am going to be installing a pond in a low light area but in order to make my stream work I need a solar fountain. People dislike most solar fountains because they don't do verry well.

So I came up with a thought. I could build, or buy a solar generator and use that to power a pump. But...I need yalls opinion. Do you think A solar generator with a 12 v battery could keep up with the needs of a small pond pump?


  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to Figure this out

    Hello and welcome!

    It's a semantic thing, but there's no such thing as a "solar generator". That's a term used by people trying to sell you what is usually quite inadequate equipment in a package. :p

    For your purposes, the first goal is to find a pump that will do what you want. You probably already know there are a lot of pumps out there. Some of them are DC, which can be run off an adequate battery. The solar panel would come in for recharging that battery (and keeping the pump going while charging).

    So first you need the pump and know its power requirements, including AC or DC, Voltage, Amperage, and how long it will need to run (continuous?). Then we can work out how to get that power.
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Trying to Figure this out

    Hey again

    Well I know it is not a solar generator but it would charge a battery and the battery would than run the pump. I am trying to figure out if it is better to do this simple battery charge and get a converter or to just do the pond solar pump with battery.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to Figure this out

    another question might be how long you intend to run the pump.
    only during daylight hours?
    1/2 day regardless of daylight?
    3/4 of a day?
    24hrs a day?
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,439 admin
    Re: Trying to Figure this out

    Really need some details... How much electricity do you need (volts, amps, watts). How many hours per day (9am-3pm, 24 hours per day, etc.). Where will it be? Solar panels really need direct sun--they do not work under shade and do not work very well under an overcast.

    If you can have the pump only run during daylight hours--Solar panels + DC Pump will work very well for you and for a reasonable amount of cash.

    If you need to pump when the sun is down/cloudy/stormy weather, then you are looking for batteries... That will easily make the system 4x the cost and 4x the complexity.

    If you have electric power (utility power) anywhere near the project where you could trench a couple hundred feet just to get enough AC power to run the pump--you would probably be much better off doing that than trying to do solar.

    Your needs?

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset