We’ve recently invested in a solar panel to power a new water pump. The stream that runs near the bottom of the garden is our only source of water. We’re lucky to have it, but access to the stream has always been difficult. Hopefully this pump will help us make the most of the stream.
The panel is ground mounted facing South at approximately 50 degrees. A dedicated solar controller is used to store energy from the panel in a battery. The controller protects the battery from overcharging and over-use.
Timing circuitry allows automatic operation of the water pump. The pump can only operate for 14 minutes before requiring a 1 min idle period. The circuitry also provides this control.
The pump is of the sort used as a water lift pump in a caravan. They cost between £15 and £25, and vary by pressure, flow, and by impeller type (metal/plastic). Our 1.1bar, 20l/min pump cost about £20 and has a plastic impeller. It is surrounded by large rocks which prevent it being knocked by debris floating down the stream.
The 150 litre water tank is filled every day ready for use, this takes about 40 minutes to complete. The tank is located approximately 20 metres horizontally from the stream, and 6 metres vertically. A hose is attached and can be used to fill watering cans, or used directly with a nozzle.
Currently we abstract 150 litres per day. Natural Resources Wales rules say that we can abstract up to 20’000 litres per day.