Starting With Solar Power

I finally bought a solar panel. In all honesty, I do not know why I waited so long for. It is a Nekteck 20 watt solar panel and I see this as a starting point for bigger and better things.

Before I bought the solar panel I asked myself, what purpose will the panel serve? I decided to go with a foldable solar panel with USB outlets for recharging flashlights, AA batteries and radios.  Something to keep flashlights, lanterns and radios charged in a power outage.  For right now, the focus is being able to have light and staying up to date on news when the power goes out.

The plan is to have two foldable solar panels – one for charging USB battery packs, and the other panel for charging cell phones, radios and flashlights.  Hopefully, the next foldable solar panel will be a 40 watt.

The next project is going to take a little while, and will be about supplying the house with water off 12 volt batteries and solar panels.

Running Water

I have a 500 gallon holding tank and a nearby creek.  I would like to use solar panels, batteries, inventor, and a pump to pump water from the creek to the holding tank.

To supply the house with water, I am thinking about using a 12 volt on demand water pump, like what is used in travel trailers.  When a faucet is turned on, the pump senses a drop in water pressure and turns itself on.

Or, maybe go with a 110/120 volt water pump like I already have, and wire it into a battery bank.

Currently I have a small cover of the water pump.  I am thinking about building a 12 foot wide by 16 foot long shed.  Inside the shed would be the water pump, air tank that is used to provide pressure to the water system, battery bank and various tools.


The overall goal is to have running water to take a shower, wash dishes and flush the toilets.  I have a classic septic system with a septic tank and field line.  The septic system does not require power of any kind.

Once you are able to safely dispose of human waste and wash your hands, half the battle for disease prevention has been won.

Septic system being put in
Septic system being put in

Currently, if the power goes out and I need to flush the toilets, I have to use a bucket to get water from the creek. Putting in a solar system that can provide power running water when the power goes out will fix a lot of the issues.

Now if I can just figure out how to get the hot water heater to work off a battery bank?