Forum home Wildlife gardening

Solar panels pumps...any ideas?

Hi, I am in the middle of 'reclaiming' a piece of my garden from the brambles.  I intend to make it a woodland style garden with a rivulet running through.  I know about ponds, leaves, etc..but wonder if anyone has done similar using a solar powered pump? The pump simply (?) needs to transfer water from one end, back to the other, no fountain etc.  I don't really want an electrical pump due to the running costs. Length of stream is IRO 20 metres possible height overall of 2-3 metres... solar panel placement isn't a problem.  Is there a strong pump that anyone can recommend?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,320
    I have no specialist knowledge in these matter , but my gut says moving water 20m in distance and raising it 2-3 m is going to require a pretty meaty pump.
  • Hostafan1 I agree... or presumably you could have 2 systems of 10 metres run each ability to raise 1-1.5 per pump, therefore 2 lesser strength pumps?  If anyone could recommend a solar powered pump that could function well enough, it would be appreciated :-)
  • ColinAColinA Posts: 353
    I would contact relevant manufacturers for advice
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 376
    Anything solar I've seen would create just miliwatts, totally inadequate for moving water up even a tiny incline.  Why make life so challenging, I'd just rethink your plan try and find some other design you'd also rather like to have.
  • @ColinA Yes indeed I have spoken to a few, but was rather hoping someone might currently utilise a solar pump , One that they were pleased with... Do you have one that you are pleased with? 
    @UpNorth ... Thanks for the advice.  I like a challenge, I don't really want to re-think my plan, thank you anyway.  
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,620
    UpNorth has clearly never seen an actual solar panel, a few milliwatts, really?? Even small hobby panels from the likes of Maplin can produce a thousand times that output. A shed roof could accomodate a 2kW panel.

    The solution is to talk to an actual expert in such things. Most garden pond specialists will be able to put you on the right track. Head and flowrate are a bit of a trade-off but there are calculators out there which will tell you what you will need in terms of pump power. Once you know that you can size your solar panel system to suit.
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 376
    @secret garden
    to be clear i was assuming you wanted to do this economically, with say this kind of thing or potentially more hobbyist stuff from maplins etc, but either way....

    my research into house solar a few years ago led me to some interesting stats, whereby a 15 or 20kw installation would only provide about 100w of power during most of the year.  which is great for a home running a fridge and not much else and really great in summer, but made me think if you're installing under trees, in the UK, you aren't going to achieve the often over-sold metrics we can all read.

    I wondered if you can be inventive, could some sort of gravity/storage/rainfall contraption to slowly feed a pond+bog garden...permitting a nice Gunnera no doubt!
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    You will certainly need a beefy pump to move the water that distance and height. I think Upnorth was saying that any easily available solar pump is not up to the job. The biggest solar pump I have seen only does around 1500lph whereas you would need something much bigger. Although you won't have a huge mass of water, you do have considerable length and height. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Thanks @steephill ...Yes indeed, solar pumps are out of the Stone age now!  We gardeners like what we know :-)  I have sourced out a company Solaray, they do huge pumps (solar! would you believe it!?) that irrigate barren land via huge spray irrigators, albeit for use in Africa and the such...Anyway, they have an outlet in UK, Primrose ( a good company for all sorts) and yes they have a pump/panels that will most probably work.  (Just going back to manufacturers with design plans)  And best of all, it stores power too! and I can link more batteries if need be...I am quite excited, so much so I might even put pictures on here with complete details :-)  
    Just on a footnote here, I asked quite specifically for anyone that actually HAD a solar pump that they were pleased with!  If I took some of the opinions 'to heart', I may have given up on my idea and that would have been a shame. Especially, if I was new to gardening or life :-) 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,320
    I'd love to know how much the system will cost to do the job. Would you be kind enough to let us know?
Sign In or Register to comment.