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Does anybody know if its possible to use a

solar cell panel to run a small electric bilge pump for a small highbanker? Will it have to be in direct sunlight ?

Mine is a Johnson 2200 gph bilge pump that pulls 8 amps at 12 volts

What size panel will I need and what do they cost? Can I run the output straight to the water pump or do I need a controller thing?

Or can I use a panel to recharge my 12 volt ,15 amp gel cell and how long will it take?


-Tom V.

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Guest AussieDigs

You will have to run a battery in the system.

160W up will provide 8 plus amps.

With a little work you can make these a little more efficient. Replace the cable with some larger gauge right at the panel underneath the cable cap. Bunnings have some cable. Buy a kit off the likes of Ebay with the shortest cable to get it cheaper as youll be replacing it anyway. Remove the controller and run it within 300mm of the battery. Use 50A Anderson plugs (cheap copies work fine and a re cheap as lots off Ebay) everywhere. Run 10-15 metres so the panel can be placed up on the bank if needs be. The panel kits are bluddy heavy. Solder everything. Dont use aligator clips.


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Charging deep cycle batteries with the solar panels are key to keep the pump running, do not use car batteries, the are for starting not for long 12 volt supply to you pump. Should work, be a heavy haul to you location though. Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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I run two bilge pumps which draw a combined 15 amps per hour, water is pumped through two separate 1 1/4 inch hoses to each side of the header box of a small God Hog highbanker. I use one 100 amp hour AGM deep cycle marine battery while solar charging a second 100 amp hour AGM battery with one 100 watt portable solar panel equipped with a battery charge controller. You do not want to discharge AGM or Gel batteries more than 50 percent so after three hours exchange batteries. Another technique is to stockpile select material in the morning while charging a single battery then run material in the afternoon. Renogy Solar as a good online selection of batteries, portable folding solar panels and sections on basic solar, battery types and connections. Zamp Solar are also offers portable solar panels. You can also use a 120vac to 12vdc converter to use this 12vdc setup to process sample material off site at a shop with 120vac power. Just keep in mind that marine deep cycle batteries may provide quiet operation but they are also very heavy.

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