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Thread: Question on moving water uphill with solar well pump

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by icentropy View Post
    That's a diaphragm solar rig? I looked up solar deep well pumps which seem to be around the same price for a full kit but is there a better way?
    Yea, mine lift about 125' max with 2 panels, and I don't remember the specs but they are not too bad. I also have one solar centrifugal that does about 110' lift at 9 gpm. It is much more durable, but it requires an array that measures about 8' X 12". It cost about 9K.

    Diaphragm solar pumps are OK. Limited to lift limits, but a lot cheaper. If I run mine at about 40% duty I can get a few years out of one. I keep spare pumps for both types and a swap out takes about 30 minutes.
    Last edited by KINGCHIP; 09-09-2015 at 10:53 PM.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  2. #12
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    Like Tdale and Kingchip said, your application can be solved by solar powered pumps as long as your well can provide the GPM's you require. You will potentially need a large water reserve when using solar pumping, cloudy days and winter months will require LARGE storage reserves. I have rain water collection as my SHTF source of water, second to solar, third to generator, fourth to my 2 large stock tanks. More rain falls here than I could ever use, its just never quite when I need it.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak474u View Post
    I was surprised how inexpensive an actual aero motor windmill actually is.
    I wish but that only works straight up right? and probably would go 100' of lift.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolution View Post
    Like Tdale and Kingchip said, your application can be solved by solar powered pumps as long as your well can provide the GPM's you require. You will potentially need a large water reserve when using solar pumping, cloudy days and winter months will require LARGE storage reserves. I have rain water collection as my SHTF source of water, second to solar, third to generator, fourth to my 2 large stock tanks. More rain falls here than I could ever use, its just never quite when I need it.
    Yeah i was thinking that would be the case. I just need to figure out which size, what kind, etc. I know nothing about them. I do like the idea of no batteries though. I plan on having it hooked up to a 3000gal underground cistern then the over flow to go to a stock water tank and the overflow of that to go to drip irrigation field for gardening during the non-freezing months. The roof on the cabin will also go into either the drip irrigation or the cistern but that would mostly be for SHTF backup as we don't get much rain around here 13-15" per year.

    Any suggestions on a particular setup for the solar pump and array would be appreciated. I don't think i'll have an issue with water volume out of the well, the main issue will be with cost. I'm trying to keep it under $3k total for the solar well pump system.
    2nd Law: In a closed system, the entropy of the system will either remain constant or increase

  4. #14
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    Well just a quick search is confusing me more. This kit http://www.ebay.com/itm/141660229893 is a bit over 1K and says it will pump 500 gallons a day at 120ft running off of 200w of panels that are included. That seems like a pretty slick deal but then i see something like this http://www.sunpumps.com/Products/SCS%2010-165-60%20BL/# which requires 1000w to pump water up 120ft and the first kit seems too good to be true.
    2nd Law: In a closed system, the entropy of the system will either remain constant or increase

  5. #15
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    The main difference will come down to quality. The Ebay Auction is likely comprised of the least expensive parts the guy could find on Alibaba. The pump in that auction looks like a clone of the Shurflo 9300 http://www.altestore.com/store/Solar...le-Pump/p1098/ Link to Manual http://www.altestore.com/mmsolar/oth...al_911-415.pdf the clones can be found on ebay for $120 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Farm-Ranch-S...item19eead439f The solar panels are about $100 each, and his mounting frame ........ well you get the idea, I really doubt that the seller on that auction has more that $500 into the parts he's using

    The Ebay Pump (and most Diaphragm pumps in it's class) is pumping roughly 2 gallons per minute at 20' with 200 watts of solar the Sunpump would be pumping roughly 8 gallons per minute at 20' of head with a 200 watt solar panel http://www.sunpumps.com/Photo/214?d=9/10/20158:24:04AM

    Centrifugal Pumps can be more efficient but they do require more power the deeper you go also they will have a longer service life than a diaphragm pump. There's a reason they are much more expensive.

    IMHO diaphragm pumps are probably the better solution if you only have 100' of head to deal with as they are less expensive and very easy to work on. Like Chip said you'll get a few good years out of a quality diaphragm pump like the ShurFlo before you have to re-build the diaphragm part (Don't know about the service life on the clones) You will also have to calculate the drag of water in the pipe you use. The bigger the pipe you can afford the less water drag you have to deal with.

    A .5" PVC pipe 700 feet long delivering 2 Gallons per minute will see an additional 12.65 PSI of pressure (equivalent to an additional 30 feet of head)
    that same run with a 1" pipe will only see an increase of 1.06 PSI
    and a 2" pipe will only see a 0.04 PSI increase http://www.freecalc.com/fricfram.htm

    With Solar the higher the voltage the more efficient the system is. so 24 volt operation will be better than 12 volt operation, Also 24 Volt Solar Panels are a lot cheaper than 12 volt panels. 250 watt panels can be found for under $200 http://www.solarblvd.com/product_inf...oducts_id=3027 But Check Craigslist also. When I bought my panels I got one hell of a deal on Craigslist.

    I don't know your AO , but it may be cheaper (you're looking at around $0.50 per foot of pipe run for 125psi 1" polypipe) to put in a well where you need the water. I've put in wells that go down to 60' on my BOL with a trash pump and PVC pipe. I'm not going to say it's easy to sink a 4" pvc pipe 60' with a trash pump, but if your ground is like mine it's definitely doable. I followed this guy's directions and it worked perfectly http://www.drillyourownwell.com/ Bentonite is cheap and lets you drill down much deeper with a system like this.



    Of course there are other ways to drill your own well and it sounds like you only have a short distance to drill to hit water

    If you can drill your own well were you need the water, a windmill might work very well. but yes, I've only seen them to lift water vertically, not horizontally

    Windmills can lift well over 500 feet, however the deeper you go the larger windmill you need http://www.williamswindmill.com/About_Windmills.html you can go to roughly 1000 feet with a 16' windmill.
    Last edited by Tdale; 09-10-2015 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Added Links/Info
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by icentropy View Post
    Well just a quick search is confusing me more. This kit http://www.ebay.com/itm/141660229893 is a bit over 1K and says it will pump 500 gallons a day at 120ft running off of 200w of panels that are included. That seems like a pretty slick deal but then i see something like this http://www.sunpumps.com/Products/SCS%2010-165-60%20BL/# which requires 1000w to pump water up 120ft and the first kit seems too good to be true.
    That's the difference between a diaphragm and a centrifugal, that I spoke of. You will get a better quality pump with centrifugal, but at a significant cost primarily due to energy requirements. Mine run about a third of the time and daylight only, and easily keeps a 750 trough full at 100-120' of lift, with some overflow. Overflow is cool but is unnecessarily overworking your pump. Cut it back to what you need, and it will last longer.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


    I typically carry a flask of vodka for snakebites. I also carry a small snake.- W. C. Fields

  7. #17
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    well did some more figuring and i think i've come up with a solution but i was hoping one of you could check my figuring to make sure I didn't screw something up. I decided on the Shurflow 9300. According to their numbers at a max of 230' it sucks 4.1A @30V. I figured if I step that up to 120V then send it down 750' of line to the pump, then step it back down to 30V at the pump I could use 12AWG cable. That's 750' of 12AWG 2 strand at a total cost of around $300 in cable plus the converters (not sure how much those are yet). That would allow me to put the solar array up on a shed roof by the cabin and consolidate the array in one easy to access place. Does that sound right to you guys?
    2nd Law: In a closed system, the entropy of the system will either remain constant or increase

  8. #18
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    Also does anyone know what type of power losses I'll run into stepping 24V at the panels up to 120V then back down to 30V at the pump?
    2nd Law: In a closed system, the entropy of the system will either remain constant or increase

  9. #19
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    The key here is selecting the components you want to use and look at their specifications. Not many inverters accept varying voltage off a bare solar array, so either find one or you will need a battery.. You can then convert the 120VAC via a step up transformer to 480. Use the suitable calculator for wire size (for example):
    http://www.paigewire.com/pumpWireCal...ookieSupport=1
    Then either a step down transformer or a DC power supply that will take what ever your AC voltage is down to your desired DC voltage and amps.

    You need to look at your budget and select the components that are available. All products will specify their efficiency, so you can calculate losses.

  10. #20
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    I 'll run the numbers for you a little later tonight when I get home, but I'm thinking converting to AC for that distance might be more efficient.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

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