Solar Powered Gas Pump

The Ole Miss Golf Course has tapped into one of the oldest natural sources of energy available today, the sun. Getting fuel pumped from the tanks to the operating equipment was a huge task. The pump originally contained a hand crank, which was both clumsy and labor intensive. David Jumper, Assistant Director of Golf Course, explains how the new pump was created, "Our Senior Mechanic, Ronnie Steele, developed the idea to run the pumps off solar energy. He figured out that by using solar energy we would save a lot of time and money because we would not have to change very much of the existing pump configuration. Plus they could eliminate any digging and running underground wires." The process of converting the pump to run on solar energy cost a little less than $400, a fraction of the cost to run a conventional gas pump with electricity. The solar powered gas pumps use a 12-volt battery as a back up in the event that the weather does not permit the panels to capture enough of the sun's rays. "There is a little maintenance to using a solar powered pump," says Jumper, "we expect to change the back up battery out every 2-5 years. We are very pleased with the solar powered fuel pump."