Acceptable registrations in the queue through July 13 at 8:30a ET have now been activated. Enjoy! -M.W.

Terms of Use have been amended effective October 6, 2019. Make sure you are aware of the new rules! Please visit this thread for details: ... 16&t=48619

My solar powered automatic garden watering system

The place to chat about audio/video devices & software, mobile phones & mobile plans, computer hardware & software, and other electronic gadgets.
Posts: 7163
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:02 am

My solar powered automatic garden watering system

Post by bmw » Tue Mar 15, 2022 1:07 pm

Last year some early hot sunny water nearly destroyed my entire vegetable garden. And I got tired of having to water it multiple times a day. So I decided to from scratch build a solar powered watering system.

-25w solar panel ($36)
-Low-voltage cut-off switch ($7)
-Voltage regulator ($20)
-12v water pump ($22)
-100ft irrigation hose ($21)

Total Cost (excluding bucket) - just over $100

Since I didn't want to mess around with having a battery in the system, I opted to go with 2 devices that should manage the electricity output from the panel such that I can power directly off the pane. The low voltage cut-off switch is programmable for both the cutoff voltage and the startup voltage. I'll have to play around with settings to see the optimal setting as far as what the minimum voltage the panel it outputting when it is producing enough amps to power the pump, but I should be able to figure this part out.

The second part is the voltage regulator. It is an upconverter and downconverter, taking anywhere from 10-36v and producing a constant output voltage of 12.

The purpose of both of these devices is so I don't burn up the pump, either with the high 18v that the panel puts out or a low voltage/amperage when there's not enough sun. Then all I have to do is fill the bucket with water. The pump is connected to a 100-foot irrigation hose that has a small hole every 6 inches.

I have no idea how well this will actually work in practice but I will be trying this spring.