Monday, April 13, 2015

A new automatic solar drip irrigation system from rainwater

A 100% solar-powered irrigation system that pumps from my rainwater reservoir.  Backup battery power and timed irrigation for hassle-free, automated, no-maintenance watering of plants!

For more on my off-grid solar power system with battery backup click here.

This is the pump. $25 on Amazon.  Look for one that says 1A 15W 12V 500L/H or thereabouts.  It should last a long time and not drain your battery, or only require a 15W solar panel.


I wanted to try using materials found at a home center, but I effectively went the long way to spend the same amount money as a traditional drip line, and I still needed to order specialized drip parts online! Oh well, I'll show it to you and you can just use a basic drip kit!
My hybrid pvc/poly system.

These are some nice connectors for 1/4" tubing.

Pvc tee with connector and tubing installed.

The green hose runs to the pond pump and the white line runs around the perimeter.

Tees and micro valves to help direct the flow
.
Some homemade stakes to keep the hoses in place.



A video of the hoses and valves only.

  Here are the three drippers I will try first:
Here are the three drippers I will try first:
Left- inline pressure compensating 1gph on stake
Center-360 degree sprayer (pressure compensating) on stake
Right- simple pressure compensating dripper 1 gph

Here is a shutoff valve (right) with a tee and an inline dripper in the tomatoes.


An inline dripper feeding a potted plant,

I cut some wooden stakes and drilled a 1/4" hole down at an angle to hold the dripper line. This one is fitted with a 1GPH pressure compensating dripper that you can take apart and clean

Here is one of the 360-degree sprayers.  They require a LOT of water pressure to actually spray the water outward.  On this system the water mostly just gurgles out from all sides.  Good for very thirsty plants, but my little pump won't be trowing the water the way I had wanted to.


And again here is the programmable on/off timer for the pump.  12V DC, this little timer has been great, with eighteen time slots available over a 24-hour period.  It can also be set to turn on certain days, for those who subscribe to infrequent deep soakings.

Update 5/19:  I need more drippers!  Working great so far.

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