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solar well system

vibrantenergies Hatfield


Joined: Jan 31, 2011
Posts: 24
I am working on setting up a solar well pump system. Does anyone have any experience/advice on this? My well-drilling guy says the well should be between 250 and 300 feet deep. I want to go as inexpensive as possible (of course) but I want to do it right.

Do I need a 24 volt pump to work for that deep a well?

What kind of storage tank is required for the pumped water?

Any actual pump recommendations?

We recently bought land and are trying to stay off grid, and the well pump is the only thing I'm worried about. I'm fairly knowledgeable with solar stuff, but I don't know anyone who has went this route for their water. Of course the well company thinks I'm nuts.They have NO experience with a DC system.


Any info, advice, stories of experiences, or links are greatly appreciated!


Thanks in advance!
Mike
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Grundfos solar and wind pumps systems
http://www.grundfos.us/web/homeus.nsf/webopslag/5182e7da930bff5986256b7d00567651
Judith Browning
steward

Joined: Jun 21, 2012
Posts: 2068
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 stoney acidic sandy loam
    
  53
I am looking for someone who has been using a solar well pump long enough to have some opinion about its efficiency so wondered if you ever got one. Ours is a drilled well ninety feet deep that we were told was a good well. I can findout all kinds of info about buying one online but I would like user opinions. Thanks for any ideas.


"We're all just walking each other home."
Ram Dass
Judith Browning
steward

Joined: Jun 21, 2012
Posts: 2068
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 stoney acidic sandy loam
    
  53
I am looking for someone who has been using a solar well pump long enough to have some opinion about its efficiency so wondered if you ever got one. Ours is a drilled well ninety feet deep that we were told was a good well. I can findout all kinds of info about buying one online but I would like user opinions. Thanks for any ideas.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    6
We just had a well drilled, are off-grid, and have been looking into pumping as well. So I have no direct experience. I'm not really impressed by the lifespan estimates on some of the pumps, the lifespan on the batteries and the overall complexity of the system. Water is everything, and I really wanted a system that was super durable and that I could fix myself.

I found myself really drawn to mechanical windmills and old fashioned cylinder pumps. There are still a few models in production (google aermotor or fiasa), and some of the originals have been working for a hundred years. Simple mechanics and simple maintenance. At your location it would be simple to pump to an above ground storage tank, maybe on a tower, and have a nice gravity water system.

And they are beautiful and iconic.

It's just a thought.
how a windmill works
Judith Browning
steward

Joined: Jun 21, 2012
Posts: 2068
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 stoney acidic sandy loam
    
  53
Thanks, We havent considered windmills but ten years ago we priced and learned about two gallon stroke hand pumps through Lehmans...even bought the video for set up and you are right they are beautiful. The one we considered also had a faucet with a hose connection. We put the idea aside because of money but I am glad to be reminded of it to explore the possibility again. Our kids think we need something less labor intensive but a good hand pump could be good exersize.
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    6
Yeah, the one with the gate valve on the spout you could use to pump water up to a gravity tank for the house. I think we'll start out with a hand pump, and possibly add a windmill to drive it in a year or two.
Mike Dayton


Joined: Dec 15, 2010
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
You are right, water is number 1, you can not survive with out it. If you are thinking about a hand pump system here is an alternative that I thought was well done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCcehDeqwlw&NR=1&feature=fvwp water is heavy and pumping it takes alot of energy, either from you, or a battery, or the wind or the grid. The deeper the well the more energy it will take to lift the water up out of the well. Deep well pumps can get pretty expensive, but like we all agree, you Have to have water.


Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world,  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Formerly pa_friendly_guy_here
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    6
Judith, I see your well is 90' deep...it's important to know the static water level and the recharge rate as well, as these will guide you in determining the depth of the pump.

Just an update...our pump is installed now. We lived for about three years with a hand pump at another location with a shallower well....our pump now is at 60 feet and it takes significantly more effort to pump, I think mostly due to the weight of the sucker rod. It's a nice workout, and I've been getting a bit soft since moving here so I welcome it...but it is probably going to motivate us to move towards a windmill sooner rather than later.

Fibreglass sucker rod is available and weighs nearly half as much, might be a good option.

Smaller drop pipes mean less strokes to bring water to the surface, especially noticeable if you have a weeping hole or frost protection hole drilled in the down pipe. We have a bigger drop pipe than needed allowing an open top cylinder...it means i can change leathers without pulling the drop pipe, but it also means the pipe is a lot heavier if i ever do have to pull it, and there is more pumping before you can get the water to the surface outlet....I think in retrospect i might go for a regular closed cylinder and a smaller drop pipe.

That is a cool pedal pump....hand pump cylinders are often compatible with 'pump jacks' which were early motor-driven mechanisms to drive a cylinder pump...i bet they could be switched to pedal power and i'm going to look into that...they are very expensive new, but can be found at farm auctions sometimes..

Lehmans is great, i see they have monitor pump bodies but by the price they are the light duty ones, if i was getting one for heavy use i'd find someone that can retail the heavy duty castings.

back to the solar well thread, sorry about the drift...

 
After burning through the drip stuff and the french press stuff, Paul has the last, ever, coffee maker. Better living through buying less crap.
 
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