For people interested in having a sustainable lifestyle, aquaponic gardening is a very hot topic of conversation. With aquaponics one can grow a fresh vegetable garden and raise fish at the same time; with this system clippings from the garden can be used to feed the fish, the waste excrement from the fish can provide fertilizer for the plants, and the plant roots can assist in filtering waste products from the water.
The system mirrors the symbiosis between plants and animals in the biosphere. The one thing aquaponics does require as an artificial input is electricity to run the water pump; so the idea to power your aquaponics garden with Solar Energy makes a lot of sense to those who want to be as sustainable as possible.
The first thing you will want to get if you want a solar aquaponics system is a low amperage pump (See Below). The more efficient the pump the easier it will be to power the device with a minimal number of solar panels. The Atwood Bilge Pump which one can purchase at Walmart draws only 24 watts of power and can pump water up an elevation of nine feet.
Next, you are going to want to install a solar panel (See Below) or panels close by the easy diy Aquaponics set up. You will want to mount it as high as possible, probably on a pole or on the roof of a house, and facing to the south if you are in the northern hemisphere and vice versa. Depending on the voltage of the solar panels you buy and the voltage requirements of the pump, you might have to wire two solar panels in series to provide the appropriate potential difference.
Purchase a pump controller which will control the flow of electricity from the solar panel to the pump. It also should contain a battery that can be used to store excess energy from the solar panel which can be used when the solar panels are receiving less light. The solar panel and the pump should then be hooked up with the appropriate wiring in order to form a complete control circuit.
Since the amount of sunlight can vary substantially from day to day and season to season, it makes sense to have a backup power supply for the aquaponics system as well. This could be a long cycle lead-acid battery or a properly regulated line connecting to the house power supply. The backup can be hooked up manually when needed, or ideally, a circuit can be built that automatically detects a drop in voltage from the pump controller and compensates by providing power from the backup.
This solar-powered aquaponics garden should provide you the ultimate source of sustainable food production. Delicious vegetables from the garden and a great source of protein in the fish can provide you meals even if the grocery stores run bare in the midst of an economic crisis.
At the same time, if one lives in an area with a lot of sunlight it makes sense to use solar energy to power your aquaponics garden so it runs largely on a self-contained basis.
Items to consider for your Aquaponics Solar System. Click on the items for more details: