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anyone with experience using solar powered well pumps?  RSS feed

 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We have a 90 foot drilled well, a 20 foot hand dug cistern and a 20 foot hand dug well on our land that we have been intending to use for watering but so far have only worked with a syphon from the cistern. The most reliable soarce is the drilled well and I was wondering if anyone is using a solar well pump on one this deep and what the drawbacks would be, etc. The ones I have heard of just pump when the sun is out and the water is collected in tanks. This project has risen to the top of the list as it looks like Arkansas will become desert this summer. thanks for any help.
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I am NOT well versed in pumps (I probably have as many questions as you do), BUT, I believe that needing a 90 foot lift, just to get the water to the surface, is going to take a lot of 'sun'. You will either need a large pump, or a secondary pump to push the water from the surface to where you need it.

Here are a few links that will help you figure what you will need, based on your supply (well), and demand (actual usage):

http://www.watersystemscouncil.org/VAiWebDocs/WSCDocs/2567958WSC_INST_20.pdf
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago91.html
http://www.backwoodssolar.com/catalog/pumps.htm

Between those 3 links, you should be able to figure out what you will require for your particular case.

Having your own water system is a huge step in becoming sustainable, and independent.
Good luck.
 
Neal Styka
Posts: 4
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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Several years ago I helped install some solar water pumps in Guatemala. We used both Dankoff and Grundfos pumps. The Grundfos pump was in a hand dug 100'+ well. I think we had 3 or 4 panels powering just that pump. Unless you want to mess with batteries pumping the water from the well for use when there is not sunlight out, the best option would be to pump during sunny hours to some sort of above ground storage tank. Then gravity can do the distribution. You'll need to think about how far above the well you will be pumping the water and how much water you need in order to adequately size the pump.

Neal
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5957
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Thank you, Neal. That s exactly the sort of information we needed. You don't happen to know if the pumps and panels are still doing the job and the people there are satisfied with them?
 
Neal Styka
Posts: 4
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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I haven't personally been down there but I did receive a report from a person who inspected it and made a few minor tweaks to things but overall it was working well.
The pump is designed to not need service since it is so hard to get it in and out of a well. Here is a link to products we used - there are lots of different sizes depending upon flow rates and the head it needs to overcome (distance you need to pump). http://net.grundfos.com/doc/webnet/sq_flex/int/work_smart.html

Good luck!
 
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