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Author Topic: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system  (Read 3821 times)

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Offline dhutch

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Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« on: February 03, 2011, 12:27:16 PM »
I have a piece of farmland that I'm raising chickens & garden crops on.  Currently hauling water tanks over and pumping them out using a 12v Shurflo pump and deep cycle battery.  Thinking about installing a well this year, after last year's drought wore me out hauling water.  Anyone here been down the solar-powered well-pump route?   My main concerns are:

1) 12-24V well pumps generally pump less than 2gpm at ~150ft. head pressure.  Looks like they are intended to pump into a storage tank, not a pressure tank.

2) Assuming I need a storage tank, a booster pump, and a pressure tank, keeping the system frost-proof seems like a big challenge.  Our frost line here in central VA is 2'.  Burying the system would be a pain.  I can't run a light bulb or heat tape in the well house for very long off of battery power.  Is the only solution draining the system and not using it in winter?

David
David

Offline pa_of_6

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 11:05:19 AM »
I installed a system that is 100% solar powered, but only use it in the summer.

Google Arizona wind and sun.

That is where I got my components...and I am 110%  satisfied with it.
I should have done it 20 years ago!

Offline dhutch

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 12:45:02 PM »
ftp://Finally decided to go with a conventional 240V pump & pressure tank.  I built a small insulated shed to house the tank, installed 8 B-grade 200W panels on the roof, and used a 48VDC/240VAC Magnum inverter.  Pump is a Grundfos 15SQ10-220 (with soft-start), hung at 210' in the well.  Based on my charge controller statistics, I average about 6kWh of generation, running farm irrigation about 4 hrs per day.
David

Offline maple flats

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 07:01:38 AM »
Good job. I like seeing any solar. If you ever re-do this, a DC pump will be far more efficient. Everytime you convert DC to AC you lose some. Did you choose a good inverter, is it pure sine wave or modified sine wave? The problem is the inverter, all heat generated is inefficiency.
I run my sugarhouse (maple syrup) on solar and have a battery bank and pure sinewave inverter (XW6048) but everything I needed to run is either 120 or 240V AC. Anytime you can use the solar energy with no storage system and no inverter you get all energy produced by the panels. A DC submersable pump and a storage tank would be most efficient. Just insulate the infeed pipe super well, and make an overflow on the tank. Everytime you have sun the pump will run and the warmer incoming water will keep the tank from freezing. An insulated tank might also help. They also make DC heat tapes. Run one on the infeed pipe and at the overflow. All pipes should be a flex. plastic such as Pex.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed, woodland Mills HM130Max (on order), maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 07:20:34 AM »
For more info Google heat-line, then click on rural living/Kompensator. This is only one company, there are others too.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed, woodland Mills HM130Max (on order), maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline dhutch

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 12:28:04 PM »
Thanks for the info on heat-line, maple flats.  I'll be needing something like that this winter.

The inverter I'm using is the Magnum MS4448PAE pure sine wave inverter.  Its efficiency is 94%. 
Runs the Grundfos 240V 1HP pump just fine.
David

Offline shelbycharger400

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 10:16:39 PM »
how much did this cost?   

Offline Greg Cook

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2011, 10:27:46 PM »
Sounds like an excellent set-up! We use a Magnum 4024 to run the house, 16 64-watts panels (wired 48VDC) with an Outback contoller. My water system isn't connected, so here's what we did. It may help somebody else....

We started with an 1100 gallon tank set downhill just a little from our spring. Gravity keeps it full. We have a solar Slowpump (Dankoff) hooked to a 120-watt panel. This pumps water to another 1100 gal. tank on our highest hill. We just let it run, as the hollow where the spring is only gets about 3 or 4 hours of sunlight a day.  With 3/4" lines to the house, we keep about 60 to 65 PSI static pressure, depending on water level in the tank. A wide open faucet drops pressure back to 42PSI.  Close that faucet quickly, and the water hammer effect will throw you up over 100 PSI! Had to teach my girls not to do that.

Earth mounded around the tanks helps insulate them. I have the pump mounted over the tank at the spring and keep it covered. So far, heat from the spring water has been enough to keep it from freezing. Our lowest temp over the last few winters has been -22, but those only occur over night and just for 1 or 2 days.  Yankees may need more protection ::)

Good luck on future projects!
"Ain't it GOOD to be alive and be in TENNESSEE!" Charlie Daniels

Offline maple flats

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2011, 07:06:01 AM »
News flash, I am in central NY and the lowest temp we have had the last few years is only -15. However I would protect for much colder, because in the past 30 years we had -40 once and -30 something several times.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed, woodland Mills HM130Max (on order), maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Recommendations for solar powered well pump system
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 08:46:31 AM »
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