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Solar Irrigation Design  RSS feed

 
Russell Crawford
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We are looking to install a solar powered pump to irrigate a 1/2 acre (full sun) in northern Arizona. There is no power source but the plot is located below an active irrigation ditch; we are planning to use some flood irrigation for fruit trees and established perennials and would like to also install a pump system that can provide enough pressure (30-50 PSI) to power sprinklers (located below the ditch) and raised drip emitters (located above and below the ditch). Does anyone know of a solar panel and pump kit that would be enough to get us going? Or does anyone have a similar system in use that we could recreate?

Any recommendations on pumps that would provide enough water to run sprinklers (say 8 heads)? How many solar panels would be needed? Is it necessary to also have batteries? Any estimate on prices? Any help would be awesome. We hope to have an irrigation system up and running by mid-April.

THANKS!
 
Adam Klaus
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gardener
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Hi Russell-
There are a lot of variables to consider, for sure. One thing that jumped out to me is that you do not need as much PSI as you are figuring. My irrigation runs on about 16-17 PSI, and functions perfectly. The sprinklers that I use are these 'mini-wobblers'. I run 6 per 100' 1/2 inch line. I can run three lines at a time no problem. Here is a link-
http://www.dripworks.com/product/Q_MW

Water filtration will be a major consideration from your irrigation ditch. To minimize pressure drop and frequency of cleaning, I would recommend as coarse of a mesh filter as you can use (lower 'mesh' number is better). I would use a 2" fliter to minimize pressure drop. Here is what I use, and like-
http://www.dripworks.com/product/Q_FAMCP

Dripworks is an excellent company. I would definitely consult with their experts on your system. Setting up a commercial account with them costs nothing and gets you wholesale prices (30-40% discount). I have worked with them for years with nothing be positive experiences. They know their stuff.

If you have more specific questions I would be glad to try and help, but really, I would go straight to the pros and get some good background ideas.

good luck!
 
Matt Hunter
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I can't give any specific recommendations on pumps, but I did a video of a solar pump and irrigation system at the homestead of a fellow in Florida. This system has been in operation for over 22 years. I know he said that the price of a replacement pump ranged between $600 and $1200, depending on quality and water flow.

http://wanderingupward.org/2014/04/22/off-grid-solar-pump/
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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Do you have access to any higher ground than your fields? If so you could put a tank or cistern up there and pump to it whenever, and then let the water gravity feed into your system. Our former homestead in GA had a cistern about 30 feet above the garden and it would run a small sprinkler, and plenty of drip tape. The tank was filled from the well with PV direct...no battery, no pressure tank.....
 
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