Small Solar Water Pump – DIY

I collect water off my two sheds into a 10200L tank. To avoid running a pump every time I turn on a tap I use gravity. A larger header tank is positioned at the highest point on my property which gives me 6m of head. To pump my water up to this tank I built a simple Solar Powered Pump set up.

Heres what I did.

Parts purchased (2011):

12V Mini DC Diaphragm Water Pump 40PSI 17L/min $60

30A 12/24V Solar Regulator CM3024Z 30 amp $89

80 Watt 12v Monocrystalline Solar Panel $125

Garden Hose $10

+/- Alligator Clips Large $20

Electrical Wire 5 strand 2mm

On/Off switch taken from a broken water pump (the one I converted to pedal power)

Trolley I built years ago from recycled steel for  gas bottles

Old steel tool box and scrap aluminium tubing, hinges and L section aluminium, tec screws

Used 12V Car Battery from my truck – I purchased a new one for the truck for about $120

est total expense = $450.00 – if new battery is purchased


The Solar panel is collecting energy from the sun, the flow of energy to and out of the 12V battery is monitored by the Solar regulator. The pump is powered by the battery. There is a hose with a particle filter running from the collection tank into the pump and another hose from the pump into the feed line to the header tank. The small diameter garden hose is connected to 32mm polypipe that runs 110m up hill. The flow rate is not restricted too much.

The diaphragm pump is only small and draws little energy and on my calculations pumps approximately 550L per hour. As I am only moving the water from my collection tank I am in no great hurry to get large volumes of water up to the header tank. The job is best done on a cloudless day as the regulator shuts the battery off if energy hitting the solar panel is insufficient to top up the battery.

I spoke to a battery seller and he said the car battery is best for the job as it is being trickle charged by the solar panel whereas a deep cycle battery works best if it is used to exhaustion and then charged while not in use. Make sure you sit the set up in the sun for a day or so to charge/top up the battery with the pump switched off.

The solar panel is attached to the trolley with hinges so the panel folds down and the support legs swing up when you want to pack it up and wheel it inside.

I’ve been running this set up since late 2011  with no problems.

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