Pond Water Fall Pump

3 Posts
Jul 8, 2011 07:04 pm
Pond Water Fall Pump

Hello, we have a couple of ponds that have 2500, and 3500 gph waterfall pumps.  We also have a full solar array on the roof.. but it still doesn't fully cover all our electric.  The fellow that came out to service our solar inverter recently suggested putting dc pumps on the ponds that are directly powered from separate solar panels.  That way we wouldn't need inverters, batteries etc. We'd not be looking to replace the existing AC pumps, but instead to plumb the DC pump in parallel, and it would only run when there was enough sun. At other times, the AC pump would be in service.. There is already a timer on the AC pump, so could just set it to turn off/on during the day when the DC pump is running etc.  I've seen some dc bilge pumps that might work, one draws 15.5 amps at 12v DC.   Is this feasible, and how big a solar panel(s) would we need to run the pump?    Thanks in advance for any assistance.  -cjr-
462 Posts
Jul 10, 2011 10:03 am
Re: Pond Water Fall Pump

Carla, the pump you suggest uses 15.5 amp x 12 volts, so 190 Watts. There are a variety of DC pumps here at AltE you can check out also. Have you considered using a storage pond for your waterfalls? Then you can fill the pond whenever excess power is available or channel rainwater whenever it rains into the pond for free.
3 Posts
Jul 11, 2011 12:32 pm
Re: Pond Water Fall Pump

Never thought about a storage pond....  not sure how that would work... right now we are re-circulating water at about 3500 gph... and I don't think that the flow is really enough.  Seems like you'd need a big pond to feed that volume of water...  and you still need to pump it back into the storage pond.? 
462 Posts
Jul 11, 2011 01:25 pm
Re: Pond Water Fall Pump

Carla, yes you would still have to pump it back into the storage pond but essentially you would/could have some excess water available should there be no power for the pumps. Either way you decide, you are still pumping the same amount of water based upon the power you are producing. Just think of the pond as a storage battery in a PV system. If you charge it while there is plenty of sun, it will give you power for those times when there is no sun.
 Another benefit to the pond is to use your two existing pumps in parallel to fill the pond. This will conserve on  electrical power thus getting more gph from the power source you currently have.
 If you do a storage pond you could think of how you deliver the water to the waterfalls. Using a narrowing channel or piping would reduce the amount of water needed while increasing veloctiy probably/possibly giving you the same waterfall effect you have now with just the pumps.

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