Ok so a little update. I threw together the few solar parts that i had to see what happened. I had a spare battery floating around that i had been keeping charge but the condition was unknown. It was holding voltage though. I also have solar charge controller that will look after the battery. The panel itself is around 110W so i have been told. Everything that i used today except for the charge controller was recycled. 🙂

I had my pump and my air pump running on the solar since late morning. Everything was running sweet, only 1 amp up my sleeve for charging the battery though. Clearly the solar panel is not enough to run the 70W draw and fully charge the battery. I never expected that it would though. I would expect that during winter i would need at the very least 2 of the panels that i have.

The plan is to have an automatic changeover switch that flicks to mains power when the battery runs flat or a cloudy day etc. Then add on more components as they become available. The battery didn’t even last 1 hour though, so that is shot. Still, free power when the sun is shining is nothing to complain about.

Today i managed to get my hands on a 110W solar panel that had been damaged in a bush fire and needed to be replaced. With a bit of TLC and fault finding i was able to find that the reason the voltage was half is due to one half of the panels being disconnected in the terminal box. So with a quick bit of solder work i had myself a fully functioning solar panel to kick start the battery backup system. After these photos were taken i filled the terminal box with silastic and wire brushed and painted the back panel to help protect it from the elements. Now i just need to wait for my controller to arrive and i should be right to start setting it up!