A fountain can make a nice decorative fixture for your garden. But it isn't always easy to run a power cord out to where you want it. So I decided to run it on solar power. The system is controlled by an Arduino. This allows you to save energy by programming when the fountain will be turned on.
Step 1: Powering the Fountain
A standard solar panel and battery provide the power for the fountain and the control circuit. Since most fountain pumps run on 120VAC, you will also need a small power inverter to run the pump.
The size of the solar panel determines how many hours a day the fountain can be on. If you want the fountain to be on all the time, then you will need a larger panel. If you only want it to run for a few hours each day, then you can get by with a much smaller panel.
The battery needs to be a 12V rechargeable battery (preferably one that is designed for solar power applications). It should have a high enough capacity to be able to run the pump for a few hours on a single charge.
The power inverter just needs to be strong enough to power the pump. A small 80 watt inverter should be more than sufficient to power most fountains.