2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Solar-Powered Portable Pump Goes To The Water
“We made the trailer using the rear wheels from an old Chrysler K-car,” says Erdman. “We mounted the 250-watt solar panel and an old chest freezer on the deck of the trailer. The freezer lays on its side and holds four deep-charge, 6-volt batteries and an AC inverter.”
When Erdman pulls alongside a water source, he drops a 3-gpm submersible pump into the water hole, plugs it into the inverter, and walks away. A 12-volt float switch shuts off the pump when cattle tanks are full.
“We used the K-car rear wheels for the trailer, but you could use rear wheels from any front-wheel drive car,” says Erdman. “With solid beam rear axles, they are just easier to work with than rear-wheel drive axles. It was easier to narrow the wheelbase to line it up with our quad.”
The angle-iron trailer frame is overlaid with a plywood sheet. Hitch jacks are mounted on each corner to level the trailer and the 60 by 38-in. solar panel.
Erdman primarily uses the solar panel-powered pump to keep three interconnected tanks filled in the summer. In the winter, he only uses the center tank. In his area of southern Alberta, Chinook winds regularly melt off snow, allowing him to graze his herd until January.
“The 3-gal./min. keeps up with 60 head of cows and calves in the summer,” says Erdman. “It has to work to keep up when the days get short. If I used it year-round, I would double the panel and battery system.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Erdman, Box 1620, Claresholm, Alta., Canada T0L 0T0 (ph 403-382-1020; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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