Starting Stored C12 or C-24 controllers – this includes new models that have been purchased recently.

Here are a few simple tips which will help you when you are setting up a SOL-C12 or C-24 controller after it has been in storage. This includes winter storage but also new kits which are likely to have been in storage prior to sale.

  • Charge the batteries externally for 20 – 30 minutes. When you refit them make sure they are held securely by the metal electrodes
  • Ensure that the inlet filter and rain barrel are clean and that the filter is about 10cm off the bottom of the barrel.
  • The water level sensor, if used, should be attached to the inlet tube. Where it has a single wire it should be about 2cm above the filter, where twin wires one electrode should be 2cm above the filter, but the other should be below the filter to ensure good separation.
  • Ensure that the ends of the inlet and outlet tubes fit on the pump connections securely, if necessary cut 1cm from the tube ends.
  • Make sure the solar panel is clean (wipe with a damp cloth if needed) and that, on new units, the protective film has been removed. Make sure that the solar panel is not shaded and facing approximately south (North in the southern hemisphere).
  • First turn on during bright weather with the outlet tube disconnected. Leave the pump running until you see water coming from the pump outlet, then connect the outlet tube. With the pump running check your system for leaks and blocked drippers.
    • Leaky joints should be remade, cutting 1cm from the leaky tube end.
    • Blocked drippers can be cleaned (using a syringe) or replaced. If drippers are affected by hard water clean them with a mild acid such as vinegar. If blocked with organic material dilute hydrogen peroxide is effective. Use a syringe to flush the dripper through.
  • The first time you turn it on - The battery may be fully charged or flat. If fully charged, the pump may run for hours - once it has stopped it will begin to operate normally. If the battery is flat it will not start - turn the knob to 5 and leave in the sun for 3 hours when it will start up automatically. Thereafter it will operate normally.

Control knob and diagnostic light

The pump starts automatically every 3 hours and runs until the battery voltage starts to drop.

  • Knob position 5 is maximum watering, 4,3,2,1 are approximately 80%, 60%, 40%, 20%
    respectively. The knob regulates the proportion of energy that goes from the solar panel to the
    battery.
  • Constant LED indicates pump is running
  • Flashing LED indicates unit is in charging mode

Drippers

If you double the number of drippers on a pump, you will halve the amount of water emitted by each dripper.

Dripper heights

If drippers are at different heights they will apply different amounts of water. 

With the Solar Pump using 12 drippers these differences are small if drippers are within 2m of the same height.
If extra drippers are added, the tolerance of height difference reduces so that at 36 drippers (not recommended) all must be at the same height.