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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Electricity.  It can also be used as a BB for the plumbing sand badge.   TWOFER! (when you have completed this one badge, it counts as a BB for both the electricity badge and the plumbing badge - you don't have to do it twice)

In this Badge Bit, you will install a solar powered water pump.  This is a direct solar-to-pump scenario.  Extremely simple.   No batteries.  No A/C.  

Holding water high in your landscape is a goal many of us strive for.  If it doesn't naturally appear there, you might have to pump it up there.  A solar pump will move the water up only when the sun shines.  Sometimes, that's enough.   This also helps to aerate water for aquatic life.

Some related articles
  - Solar Water Pumping Basics, Part 1 and Part 2
  - Build Your Own Solar Powered Water Pumping Station
  - Practical Introduction to Solar Water Pumping and guide
  - Complete Guide to Installing a Solar Powered Water Pump
  - How Do I Install a Frost Proof Yard Hydrant?

Here are a few videos:
Simpler set-up:

Nicer set-up:

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
  - set up a solar water pump (combo w plumbing badge)
         o no battery
         o direct solar panel to pump
         o minimum of 5 gallons per minute in full sun
         o air lift technique is acceptable/preferred

you must provide pictures or video showing:
   - the area where the pump and panel will be installed
   - the pump and panel before you install/assemble them
   - in-progress installation
   - the completed installation
   - water coming out of the pipe
   - description of the materials and process, including how 5gpm was measured

1 point for a temporary test - something that can be put away after the BB is complete

2.5 points for a permanent installation
   - at least 10 feet of head
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I've been working on a pollinator garden, sitting area and garden pond for critters since the beginning of the year. It was just a weed patch last year! I'm proud  that all the pieces are finally coming together. This is the designated  place for the pond. The 100 gallon stock tank in the back of this photo will be slightly buried. My goal with this project is to attract birds, bats, and frogs to my garden, as well as create ambiance and a cooler temperature for my sitting spot nearby. The pump and little water feature will disturb the water surface and keep mosquitos to a minimum, I hope! I used 2nd hand or found objects for the pond. The stock tank was being thrown away, the rocks and pond liner all were leftover from landscape projects over the years. Having a sprinkler repairman for a husband can come in handy in the world of permaculture!

Once I dug a hole and leveled the tank, I laid down heavy weed cloth (2nd hand!) Then I arranged rocks and pebbles around the tank. The stack for the little fountain were all picked off a hillside of one of my favorite hiking spots nearby. Ordinary pavers are holding them up.  A little pond liner is under the fountain to keep water from drizzling out of the system.

The outdoor solar fountain I ordered cost around $100. My project is quite a ways from power or plumbing, so I thought it a good method of powering this pump. It came with several attachments and spray nozzles for different shapes of spray. But I chose to go with a hose and waterfall effect instead. The setup was easy! All the parts came in the kit, except for the tube I'm using to get water to the top of the rockpile. The sun will hit my solar panel for most of the daylight hours. Testing the kit for 5 gallons a minute output, however, presented several frustrations. I ordered a kit that is rated for 450 gallons per hour. That's 7.5 gallons per minute.  Even with the 18 volt solar panel included in the kit, the range should still hit around 5 gallons per minute under peak conditions. I was disappointed to measure only 1 gallon per minute. Even after following the troubleshoot instructions, and waiting til noon, I could only get it up to about 3 gallons per minute, measured by filling a bucket and timing on my watch. When I took my little arrangement apart, and used the spray nozzles that came with the pump, with no elevation for the water, (my setup pumps it 4 feet up) We reached between 4 and 5 gallons. I don't need it to hit 5 gallons per minute all the time, I was just trying to fulfill all that was required for this badge. The lesson I've learned here is to never plan a system on maximum spects!

Still, I am happy with the pump, and it will reach my original goals.
the area where the pond will go
the area where the pond will go
the pump kit
the pump kit
testing the pump
testing the pump
the waterfall setup, wires exposed
the waterfall setup, wires exposed
finished pond and pump setup, water running
finished pond and pump setup, water running
solar panel attached to fencepost
solar panel attached to fencepost
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

That's a very big dog. I think I want to go home now and hug this tiny ad:
Kickstarter for the Low Tech Laboratory Movie
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