Powerful pond (lake) pump needed - head 330 feet

DjepDjep Registered Users Posts: 1
Hello everyone.

I have a situation where my water source (lake) is located around 2000 feet from my garden's reservoir and the lift (distance vertically form source) is roughly 330 feet.
What is the best pump I could use, for the price? I am not very concerned with the GPM volume, as much as I am concerned with the functionality and the reliability of the pump ( I want to be sure the pump will get the job done, before I buy it, because I am located in Albania, Europe - and once I order online, I want it to be for good). I also d'like to buy a good brand, but as economical as possible. I also need to mention that the single phase voltage here in Albania is 220 volts.

A last question I have is:
Is out there any 12 volt pump that could get this done? I may be thinking of later hooking it up to a solar system.

Thanks, Orion


  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Powerful pond (lake) pump needed - head 330 feet

    Grundfos Submersible Pump is what I have seen at a farm with those distances .
    AC only was feed with 220 60hz , hardest bit was getting a roll of NMDU-10/2 in the distance so no join's . Amazement it works , but yes it pumps water.
    ( no spec's as it's not my farm)
    Best as I know & can help.

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Powerful pond (lake) pump needed - head 330 feet

    There are other deep well pumps that will meet the demand in addition to Grundfos. They would be 220 VAC 60/50 Hz as well. See what you can source locally, as a pump is usually not something you want to have to send away for if it needs repair or replacement.

    Grundfos also has pumps that can be run from solar directly. Look at the SQFlex series. The 3 SQF-2 will pump from 360 feet as long as 2 GPM flow rate is not a problem. It would require 900 Watts of solar panels plus related controls. It may not be a cheaper option than a standard deep well pump.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,614 admin
    Re: Powerful pond (lake) pump needed - head 330 feet

    If you want to use DC directly--I would suggest the Grundfos SQF series (this is our host NAWS website--but you will be buying in Europe--so you need to see what is available in your region)... Can take solar panels, battery bank, AC or DC generators, etc...

    Not cheap. And will be 48 VDC or higher battery bank (check the manuals, but they say any voltage between 30V and 300V DC or 90-240V AC).

    Regarding water volume... Yes, you will need to care--Besides the amount of water you need (home/irrigation/etc.), you have to size the pipe too... Too small, and there will be too much friction in the pipe and cause reduced water flow/need more energy to pump.

    Too large of pipe, sediment in the water will sink to the bottom of the pipe and eventually cause a blockage (fast moving water keeps sediments floating/moving with water flow).

    If possible, I would suggest some way of "backwashing" the pipe line every your or so (you will need a tank and possibly a temporary pump at the other end to flush back to the lake.

    You could also get a three phase water pump (or single phase pump with external starting capacitor) and use a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) controller...

    There are many types of VFDs, but, basically, the VFD can take your 220 VAC 50 Hz and turn it into 3 phase variable frequency power. (basically like a DC to AC inverter in some respects).

    Several advantages. 3 phase pumps are (usually) cheap, rugged and available locally. You can adjust the VFD for "soft start" and to run at other than 50 Hz to better match your pump to the pumping conditions (a VFD starts at low frequency and brings the pump RPM up to speed--soft start). And with variable frequency, you can run run a higher volume pump at lower speed (RPM, efficiently) so you don't waste energy trying to pump more water than the pump's pressure/pipeline will support.

    "Simple" VFD controllers are not that expensive (sometimes a few hundred USD$). Perhaps somebody here from Europe can recommend some "local to you" sources / products that may work for you.

    Grundfos pumps are expensive, but from what I have read reliable. Plus you have the option of multiple sources of power. Would it be possible/practical to mount 500-1,000 watts of solar panels at the edge of the lake and save the whole issue of running copper/aluminum wire your 2,000 feet?

    Plus, the Grundfos type pumps are very tolerant for voltage drop/poor line conditions (long wire runs). They will adjust the pump speed/power to the amount of energy available--May allow you to use smaller diameter wire (and save some costs there).

    Lastly DC and (most) submersible pumps are much more efficient than standard AC commercial water pumps. And pumps that lift water (say pump is 5' above lake level), tend to be less efficient and can have pumping issues (lifting water can have problems with air leaks, loss of prime, need foot valves, etc.). And pumps in pits (dig a bit at lake shore to have water come in under slight positive pressure)--You can have pit flooding, etc...

    I would look into VFD controllers and talk with your local pump supplier and see what he can offer...

    And look into the Grundfos line (Germany?).

    Then see what the over cost/benefits would be for your installation--And let us know how it works out.

    Good luck!
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,261 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Powerful pond (lake) pump needed - head 330 feet

    When buying a pump, you have to ask to see the "Pump Curve". It's a chart showing, Head vs Rate. If you have high Head, the Rate goes way down. Some pumps will never get as much head as you need. If I recall correctly, my pump has 3 rotors connected to the motor. The sizes varied from 2 - 7 rotors, the more rotors, the more Head you can get, but you also have to increase motor size too.
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  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Powerful pond (lake) pump needed - head 330 feet

    The 2000' of horizontal is going to present a problem as well. At the very least you should consider up sizing the delivery pipe considerably depending on the gpm volume you are GHG to require. Friction loss in a pipe is a significant design element. The large the pipe, the lower the friction loss.

  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Powerful pond (lake) pump needed - head 330 feet

    I would think the best pump for this application would be a positive displacement, surface pump. Assuming you can locate the pump close to the lake within easy suction distance without any flooding problems, these pumps are better for pushing high lifts, better GPM for the buck, more repairable, and are naturally variable speed if using a DC motor.
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