Solar powered garden water pump
On a clear, sunny day in Arizona, Edward Franklin said a reading of 1, 100 watts per meter on a pyranometer, which measures radiation from the sun and its marginal periphery, is what one would want to see.
“The higher the number, the brighter the sun, the more power (one) will get out of a solar module, ” said Franklin, associate professor in the department of agricultural education at the University of Arizona, who has found that many American Indian farmers, gardeners, and ranchers alike are really interested in solar-powered water pumping.
During a demonstration of solar-powered water pumping Saturday at Tuba City Regional Health Care Corp.’s annual garden expo, Franklin enlightened those interested in plugging into the sun.
Franklin said solar modules, which can have any number of solar cells, do not store energy, but move energy. And if one wants to store energy, though, batteries would be needed.
“If we can pull water out of the ground, store it in a big tank, and use that water to provide water for animals and to water our crops–– storing water is cheaper than storing energy, ” Franklin explained.
Because sunshine in Arizona is more often than the wind blows, Franklin said it might make more sense to replace windmills with solar modules, something a number of businesses and schools such as North Leupp Family Farms and STAR School on the Navajo Nation are doing.
Water may be the briny broth of life, the pounding circulatory system of the world, but much water isn’t needed for a raised garden bed said Alicia Tsosie, service member at FoodCorps Arizona and a representative from Grand Canyon Trust.
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