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Photocell For Bird Bath Pump From Newbie On Photovoltaics

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Posted by Bob on December 30, 2010, 6:06 pm

Would be most grateful for some advice with this.

Have the typical round, pedestal base, type of bird bath on my Deck.
Didn't attract too many birds, and have been told that the reason is
that birds love bird baths that have some kind of running water, perhaps
a spray, and avoid bird baths that just have a "stagnant" pool of water,
no matter how clean.

Live in Mass., and thought a good winter project might be if I could rig
up the bird bath with a solar cell and small pump.
But inexpensively.

Haven't researched small pumps for this yet, but I imagine they are
either 6 or 12 volts dc, and probably draw no more than a
few hundred ma.
Aquarium size pump should probably do it. Maybe a bit bigger.

So, am thinking that I probably only need a cell of a few watts
capability. Is this your opinion also ?

Not interested in what happens if cloudy, or re-charging a battery, or
anything like that.
When it is sunny out, and it works, then fine.  When not, then not.

I am concerned about the weatherproofing of the cell.

Are there particular types that come in "weatherproof" housings ?
Or sealed "adequately" for weather ?

Would hate to go to the bother of constructing it all, and then finding
out later that the rain and/or snow, has killed the cell.

What do I need, and where should I look to purchase the cell and other
components, please ?

Any thoughts, hints, and opinions would be most appreciated.


Posted by Morris Dovey on December 30, 2010, 6:45 pm
On 12/30/2010 12:06 PM, Bob wrote:

<snip electronics>

Bird bath on deck - may be too close to human activity for bird comfort,
and an "iffy" proposition if you have a wooden deck. Advice is to move
it out to a sunny spot in your yard...

If you really enjoy seeing the birds enjoy the bird bath, make a daily
ritual of cleaning it out and refilling it using a garden hose or a pail
of water. It'll only take two or three minutes and it won't take long
for the birds to associate you with the fresh bath - I've had 'em wait
hovering within arm's reach while I sloshed out the bath.

A slow pump won't do much for actually cleaning out the bird's
"contributions" - and they really do seem to like "clean".

Morris Dovey

Posted by Randy on January 1, 2011, 3:34 pm

For cheap, buy a small 120v fountain pump and plug it in to a cord.
Otherwise go for a:
and a:
Panels are already extensivly water proofed.
Expesive to buy, cheap to run.
Such is the story of solar PV
Take care

Posted by Jean-Marc on January 3, 2011, 4:08 pm

Maybe a water pump from a windscreen washer (junk yard?) + a 12 v panel from
ebay. Not shure what is the amp rating for the pump...

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