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Solar for drip system control

 
Vincent Spinale
Posts: 12
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I am looking to install a 6 zone dripper system for the garden are. This runs on well water and will also uses a 2500 gallon rainwater catchment system as supplies. I would really like to run the irrigation zones using solar if possible anyone have any ideas?

Thanks
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 370
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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duck food preservation solar trees
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If you're able to put a storage tank 20-30' above where you water, you can simply put in a filter near the tank and add 24V sprinkler valve anywhere you want water control (and somewhere you need a sprinkler controller too..). Some types of these valves use motors and will have a short actuation time and won't suck current the whole time they are on like the solenoid types do. Many sprinkler controllers can also send a pump signal which can control a fill solenoid to well water through a float switch -- logically this has the effect "only fill from the well as I water when water in the tank is low"

 
Druce Batstone
Posts: 38
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I endorse Eric's comments from experience. My tank is supplied by a small, 24 V submersible (see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Surgeflo-Solar-Deep-well-bore/dp/B00GZ08R1I). A six zone controller operates solenoid valves from the same line that supplies the tank. The discharge from the pump into the tank is only about 2 m above the irrigation lines. The pump delivers about 250 l/h. If a solenoid valve is open, the irrigation line takes most of the flow if the tank level is down. If the tank level is high, the irrigation lines take the total flow. I also have irrigated areas lower down the hill. These are supplied from the tank.

The pump will operate directly from solar panels. Controllers are available that extend the operating hours without a battery. I choose to use a low cost 24V supply from mains power because I wanted night time watering. At this stage, I start and stop the pump. My next step is to start and stop the pump using the pump function on either of the two 6 zone controllers or a float switch in the tank. The power draw during watering periods is less than 100 W. I paid less than A$250 for the pump and power supply.
 
Vincent Spinale
Posts: 12
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My plan right now would be to have a small solar operated pump for the rainwater catchment to provide additional pressure when I am using that source. I would like to use an irrigation controller and 6 valves to operate the 6 drip zones. All of this running of of solar, anyone have any product information I could research?

Thanks
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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