In 2008, I had the opportunity to buy four 64W Uni-Solar solar panels from South-Africa. I had to find some use for it and after some thinking, I thought it could be time to experiment with open air hydroponic culture. I bought some golf cart batteries and proceeded with the installation in a house which I was planning to renovate. For the hydroponic system, I went for the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT). A submersible fish tank pump was used to pump the nutrient in a close loop in a pvc pipe circuit to feed bittergoud plants.

Four 6v 245Ah Chloride golf cart batteries wired in series, with a 12/24v 20A Phocos charge controller and a 24v/240v 600w inverter. Lamp is a 24v 40w, powered from the Phocos DC output.

Phocos charge controller showing solar panels providing power and battery charge >75%

The four 6v 245Ah Chloride golf cart batteries.

View of the inverter and timer set to light two 240v 20w low energy lamps from 18:00 to 22:00

Four 64w Uni-Solar solar panels wired to give 24v.

Let there be light. Solar power available.

28 April 2008, solar panels inclined at 20° and facing north being in the southern hemisphere, latitude S 20°15.48

240v 20w submersible pump feeding hydroponic plants.

Experimental bittergoud growing in open air using Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

Bittergoud (Margoze)