When it comes to gardening-related current affairs, hydroponic systems are becoming the talk of the town! With its convenience that it brings as well as the host of advantages that it has, what is better than a solar-powered hydroponics water system that requires absolutely no electricity at all, while simultaneously reaping the same benefits as the typical hydroponic systems without compromise? And the good news is, you can assemble your very own system without having to spend hefty sums buying them from your local gardening stores or having someone install it for you. If you are thinking of taking your gardening up a notch, then this page is where you need to be!
Before you start building any hydroponic system, it is important to understand the biggest challenge of all — which is how you can get the power to your water pump. Since most will not have a power socket outside their homes and are worried about the potential hazard that a long extension cable extending from your home to your garden would pose for you and your family, a solar-powered water pump is your holy-grail solution.
For most, their solar systems have to be compact since many do not have the luxury of a large garden or patio at their disposal, as well as a reliable one that can be left unattended for days. As such, instead of using a traditional solar power system that requires a lot of space and constant maintenance, a tip is to use a DC pump and a DC converter to replace the traditional solar panel controller, and we will go further into it later on.
Building the System
1. Build the Cart
The cart forms the foundation of the entire system as it holds the plant silo/drain piping, canopy, and reservoir. It should be made of high-quality, durable, and heavy-duty materials in order to keep it sturdy and withstand the system. It will contain about 25 gallons of water in the water reservoir, and attaching wheels to it will make it portable and easy to transport from one place to another.
The first step requires you to make the cart corners of eight in total, and what you will need are PVC pipes, PVC cross slips, elbow slips, and tee slips. Next, you need to combine the corners for the top shelf of your cart and be sure you make two. After this, combine the corners for the bottom shelf, similar to that of the top shelf. Next, add ribs to one side of the bottom shelf and attach it to the other side. After combining the top and bottom shelves, you will have to add a total of four wheels on the bottom and you are done!
2. Build the Main System
The main system includes the plant silo’s, pump, drain piping, and the reservoir. A typical main system will have about 11 plant silo’s, a reservoir, a drain piping, a 120-volt fountain pond pump, and a 120-volt timer.
Firstly, when you construct the plant silo’s, you will need PVC pipes of different sizes, 11 reducer slips, and 11 reducers. The steps involve simple cutting, drilling, and cementing. Next, the drain piping includes PVC pipes cut into different sizes, tee slips, 18 slips, FPTs, CPT caps, cross slips, MPT x MHT and MPT x FHT. The process will be rather tedious so be sure to follow the instructions carefully. After that, it is time to create the pump mounting and distributor for the water flow. Though instructions may seem very lengthy and complicated, it is a lot more manageable than you think! Finally, construct the reservoir and you are done!
3. Build the Canopy
For your canopy, you will need some elbow slips, slips, tee slips, slip bushing, some cap MPT, coupler slips, and PVC pipes. The first step requires you to make four canopy top corners, and then two canopy mounts. After those steps are done, combine the corners and mount them to make the sides. After the sides are done, combine the sides and the canopy center. Next, construct four canopy pillars by sliding the brushing down into the PVC pipes. After that, construct your plant holder extensions, making eight in total. Finally, make your canopy pillar extensions by cementing coupler slips to your PVC pipes, and repeat the process four times to give you four.
4. Construct your solar panels
When making your source of electricity, it is advisable to get a 10-watt solar panel to run a 4.8-watt pump, though a 20-watt one would be the most desirable. To create the mounting, you will need some steel beams that can be moldered into C-shapes and S-shapes to support the solar panel and fix the panel on the roof respectively. Next, you will need your DC convertor or Solar Charge Controller for your system, which you can buy at local stores. It helps to reduce your voltage to 12 volts so it will not blow your pump. Put your system into a plastic container to ensure that it remains waterproof. Finally, attach a pump to your system, and you are done!
5. Put them all together
Install your reservoir in your cart, and then your drainpipe system. After this, proceed with your plant silo’s, pump distributor, canopy pillars, canopy top, and solar panel system. Be sure to adjust the solar panel and tilt it according to where the sun shines the brightest at your area of residence. After a hard day’s (or week’s) work, you can now enjoy the reaps of your own DIY solar panel hydroponics system!
The task of doing it yourself may seem daunting, but the end result is definitely rewarding and worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. It also prevents you from burning a large hole in your wallet! Before you start embarking on your project, it is advisable to do your own research to understand the different ways you can build your hydroponics system and the different materials that you can use. Choose one that you think is suitable for your own plants, and be sure to read the instructions carefully. Once you are done, you will be glad that you stumbled upon this article in the first place!