DC pump powered by solar panel for solar water heating

It seems like ages ago that we started to put up the new vacuum solar tubes. The rain and the corn planting and hay cutting have stopped us getting on with the installation but today we finished it !

I’ve used a photo of a pump as an introduction to today’s blog post because DC pumps like these are really difficult to find – at least in France.
Someone searching the ‘net for a solar powered pump (As I’ve done so often !) will get the information here that they need to find the right pump. The installation and operation manual of our pump is available on the ‘net in the Laing website

Our old flat plate solar collectors worked by thermosiphon – that is the hot water rose and circulated without the need for a pump. (Note the English and the American spellings differ) I prefer that system as there’s nothing to go wrong but as I wanted to put our new panels on the back roof of the conservatory where they wouldn’t be seen which is higher that our hot water cylinder, we couldn’t use thermosyphon and have to pump the hot water around the circuit.

This little pump is powered by a little 20 watt photovoltaic panel which of course only works when the sun shines and the water is being heated – so it’s perfect for a solar water heating system !

The photo above shows Fabrice fitting the last of the 16 vacuum tubes which each heat a little copper bar at the top of them. They fit into a manifold where they heat the water. That was the last step in the fitting process after we’d tested the pump and bled the hot water system.

I haven’t lagged the pipes or insulated the water cylinder yet just in case there’s a leak, so the system isn’t as efficient as it will be when it’s insulated but so far everything is working as planned and the water is warming up nicely.

16 thoughts on “DC pump powered by solar panel for solar water heating

  1. Impressive!

  2. You can say that again.. 🙂 Impressive, sure it is.. Solar panels are becoming more and more useful these days..


  3. Hi!
    I like your blog. Please take some inspiration here:


    Documentaries, videos, ebooks, and news related to permaculture, indigenous people, animal rights, (alter)globalization, activism, ecology and health.

  4. You really do inspire me to do more. Keep these very informative post coming.

    Mr TK

  5. aahhh – just what I want! Thanks for sharing the details. Did you buy the pump in France and if so, where? Thank you.

  6. I've been enjoying your slideshows and finding inspiration in your positivity and hard work
    You really have created a little piece of paradise from nothing, haven't you?
    I am deeply impressed

  7. I came across your blog through your flickr account, and have to say how thoroughly impressed I am to see what your are doing. I was so sorry to read about Judy…we have a wirehaired dachshund too – Mister Bentley – and they are such characters!

  8. Great work! We're getting solar thermal onto a house we're buying, and I was wondering about using a similar pump. At the moment though, I think it's going to run off the mains, but through a plug socket, so I can run it of my 12V PV and inverter if the power's ever off.


  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. I can't even remember the convoluted route I took to find your blog, but I'm so glad I did. I love your adventures, was saddened to hear of the plight of your dog and heartened daily by your low impact life. I must do more to do less and find this site inspirational.

    jane/frugal queen

  11. Ahh thanks! Your post is wonderfully informative and it is an area I am researching myself at the moment… Hope all is good sweety! SO much to learn! But it is all good.

  12. Anonymous

    Hi, it's been a while since you posted…more than two months now.
    I really hope everything's okay!
    from Tara in London.

  13. Anonymous

    Hi, really like your blog and admire your dedication for a simple lfe.We have bought a ruin in France and would like to do a solar/wind installation. Does anybody know the processes involved getting permission and can you install or do you need inspections. Regards.

  14. Anonymous

    I haven't seen a post in awhile. I hope you are all ok. You are an inspiration. Please post more. =)

  15. I am a student, I joined the blog to make friends with the lava away from the liver around the world. I want to learn many things about the country, people, life, culture … of your country.

  16. hardworkinghippy

    Testing blog comments box to see if it’s working.

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