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Solar Panel for Water Feature Pump Answered

I'm looking for some suggestions to run a 12v/3A bilge pump in my outdoor water feature using a solar panel.  (This particular bilge pump has a built-in float switch to shut off the pump should the water level drop too low).  Solar is my preference because it'll only run during the day.

1) What size solar panel would I need for this?   Most are described by voltage and watts of power (24V, 10W).  I currently have a 24V/10W panel I'd like to configure for this but it's specs only show it producing less than 1 amp.

2) Should I look for plans to build an DC/DC converter(?) to limit the voltage to 12v?

3) Is there a way for me to boost the amperage?

Thanks for any help, links, or suggestions!

Dave Nagy


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6 years ago

Either get a pump suitable for solar use or a proper panel and battery.
You need 36W for the pump to run, more like 50W during start up, so at least a 40W panel is required for your pump.

You can use a step down converter to get to the 12V but it won't magically turn a 1A supply into a 3A supply.


Reply 6 years ago

Thanks! I do have some research ahead of me.