Solar Powered Pump

One of my many projects this summer has been the installation of a rain barrel to collect water via the downspouts.  Though the barrel portion is not entirely complete yet, I have just about wrapped up the solar powered pump that will be used to pump water out of the barrel.

Parts & Components:

The Plano Field Box happens to be the perfect size to house all of the components needed (Pump, Solar Charge Controller, and Batteries).  I can fit the pump vertically, in addition to at least 3 batteries.  Plus, the small compartment on the lid is a perfect place to install the LCD screen and on/off switches so that they are not exposed to the elements.

To install the pump, I cut out two holes (one on each side of the box) and connected PVC piping to the 1/2″ inlet and outlet on the pump.  This will allow for the two hose connections to be made without having to feed them into the box; It also secures the pump in place.



Next, I removed the lid of the box and cut out the holes needed to install the On/Off switches and LCD Voltmeter.


There are two on/off switches.  One is to control the pump, and the other us used to disconnect the batteries from the solar charge controller for storage.  If the batteries are left connected to the charge controller, the LCD on it will slowly discharge the batteries if there is no charge coming from the solar panel.  In the future, I would like to replace the pump on/off switch with a smart controller ( and hopefully link it up to the home-automation system I’m running (Home-Assistant).


Now that the most difficult pieces are installed, I attached the solar charge controller to the box lid with some Velcro tape, placed the battery into the box, then wired everything up.


The wiring is pretty straightforward, you just need to connect the positive and negative leads for each component (Pump, Solar Panel, and battery) to each terminal on the controller.  Adding in the switches may make it a little more confusing, so my recommendation is to hook up one component at a time.  This is the wiring diagram provided with the charge controller (you can tell that english is not the writers’ native language):

SolarChargeController Diagram

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!  Oh – here’s the final product: