What is running the water fountain? Solar!
The broken panel was a real bummer. But I wasn't going to let the dream of a solar fountain die there. Running an extension cord across the patio wasn't an option. So I press on.
Bigger, Better and with more power. That's how I chose to rebuild.
- I have a 15 watt solar panel that I purchased from Harbor Freight.
- There is a charge controller.
- From the charge controller there is an output to the deep cycle battery and an output to a 12 volt power socket.
- Connected to the 12 volt power socket is a small 80 watt inverter.
- My pump is an A/C current so I plug the pump's power cord into the 80 watt inverter.
You can see the panel frame has changed from the one that broke. It now has a plastic shroud frame rather than aluminum. I was easier to secure to the fence because there are four pre-fab attachment holes near each corner.
Placement was simple. On top rail of fence out of the shade cast by a nearby tree.
The solar charge controller limits the power being put into the battery. It will throttle back the voltage into the battery when the voltage reaches a number pre determined by the solar charge controller.
It is usually voltage between 13.7 and 14.5 volts when it limits additional charging.
This battery should be able to provide sustainable power to the solar water fountain on the occasional cloudy day. I do not plan to power the fountain at night. I only plan to run it during the days while I am home. I really hope this battery has a long lifespan.
A simple inexpensive 80 watt inverter with a lighter adapter plugs right into the DC cigarette lighter port.
The solar water fountain pump cord plugs into the AC power outlet that is provided on the 80 war inverter. There is also a USB output if I want to charge my phone in the garden.
I added a 300 gallon per hour submersible water pump. I purchased the 300 GPH water pump from my local Home Depot.
The solar powered water fountain runs flawlessly all afternoon with very little voltage drain to the battery as measured by a multi-meter.
Everyone is happy there is no bright orange extension cord running across the back patio.