Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

24

Comments

  • tmarchtmarch Solar Expert Posts: 143 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Crystal wrote: »
    Here's the specs for the AC submersible pump that we have installed right now:
    Franklin AC pump
    1/2 hp
    10 gal/minute
    5A running, 6A startup
    230v
    max load startup 960w, running 670w
    Single phase
    Red, Yellow, and Black wire running through it...Red wire carries 0A, Yellow 6A, and Black 6A (don't know exactly what this means, but thought it might be helpful)

    Our well guy said that it would run a VFD and suggested a Franklin mono-drive (don't know if this will work or not).

    Generator Specs:
    Honda em5000sx
    5000w
    120/240AC

    At this point we're are leaning towards making the AC pump work and beefing up the house solar system.
    1500 more watts in panels, 1500w inverter, and more batteries should do it?

    What will the well guy give you for your current pump? It may be cheaper to trade it for a Grundfos SQF pump and add less components and cost. The soft start with the Grundfos will save some, and possibly make a simpler system whether you go with a separate array or upgrade your house system.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    So, if I understand this correctly--You do have a three wire motor and the Franklin Mono-Drive is a variable frequency drive with pressure feedback for ~$900-$1,000 or so.

    http://www.franklin-electric.com/residential-light-commercial/drives/drives/monodrivesubdrive.aspx

    From Franklin's catalog (PDF download):
    OUTPUT fILTER 2 EQUIREMENT TEST

    An incoming power supply or line-side filter for
    the drive does not replace the need for additional output
    filters.

    OUTPUT FlLTER IS REQUIRED IF THE ANSWER IS YES
    TO ONE OR BOTH OF THE ITEMS BELOW

    #1 - Is the VFD’s pulse width modulation (PWM) voltage
    rise-time (dV/dt) more than 500 Volts per micro-second
    (500 V/µ-second)?

    #2 - Is the motor nameplate voltage more than 379
    Volts and is the cable from drive-to-motor more than
    50 ft (15.2 m)?

    More than 99% of the drives applied on water well
    submersible motors will require the purchase of
    additional output filtering based on question #1.
    Output filters can be expensive. However, when needed,
    it is required for the motor to be considered for warranty.
    Make sure this item is not overlooked when quoting
    a job.

    PWM dV/dt value can be defined as: the rate at which
    voltage is changing with time or how fast the voltage
    is accelerating. This information can be supplied by
    the drive manufacturer or the manufacturer’s drive
    specification sheet. The dV/dt value cannot be measured
    with typical field equipment, even when using a true-RMS
    voltage/amperage multi-meter.

    The only drawback (besides seeming to be on the expensive side) is that you would need a ~240 VAC volt AC inverter (or step up transformer) to drive the pump. Although--The output filtering requirement for PWM/MSW VFD's may be a big issue for long motor life--Franklin appears that they may not honor warranty claims if non-Franklin VFD is used...

    A 1,500 watt inverter may drive the pump but you might want to look at 2kW--Would you be dedicating the inverter to the pump, or would this be the main inverter for your home?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Looks like there are 3 options to run the existing AC pump:

    1. Supply it with 240V, the inverter has to be sized to handle the inrush current. This is different to the startup current you listed. Some of the current clamps have the ability to measure it, but it's usually a special feature of the meter. A rough estimate is 3 x the running current, about 15A or 3600W, when you check inverter specs, look for the surge ratings. There's an article on rough sizing of inverter to pump if you google for the exact phrase "Inverter Sizing For Submersible Pump Applications". You'd be looking at a 2500W continuous rated inverter to start that pump. Once you have the right size, the next problem is how to get 240V to the pump.

    (For the example inverters I've listed below, bare in mind that some are inverter/chargers and others are just plain inverters. The former has a built in 120V AC charger with integrated transfer switch, so that you can plug in your generator and charge the batteries. They'll also switch between batteries and generator without cutting the power at all.
    The plain inverters don't have a charger so you'd need to buy an additional charger + transfer switch if you wanted to run the house on the gen and charge the batteries.)

    You can either buy a split phase inverter/charger that can deliver 120/240V, or use a 120V single phase inverter and add a transformer:
    a) Split phase inverter/charger, the smallest I know of is the 4kW magnum: http://www.solar-electric.com/maenms4040wa1.html for $2100. That'll have no problem starting the pump.
    b) Single phase inverter/charger rated at 2kW (perhaps a bit small): http://www.solar-electric.com/mams20wasiwa.html ($1600) or 3.5kW Outback inverter for $1700 + a transformer: http://www.solar-electric.com/x-240.html for about $300. Plain 3kW inverter (http://www.solar-electric.com/sa3wa24vosiw.html) + transformer = $1500.

    So looking at the options above the single phase 2kW inverter/charger + transformer = $2000 and for a $100 more you get a split phase inverter of 4kW. Or plain inverter + transformer for $1500.

    The second option is to buy a smaller inverter + transformer + franklin VFD. The VFD means you can use a smaller inverter, but the difference in price between a 2kW and 3kW inverter is much less than the $1000 for the franklin VFD. So this doesn't seem like a viable option.

    The third option is the smaller inverter + transformer + generic VFD (about $300 I'm guessing), and the difference in price between a plain 2kW and 3kW inverter is also about $300. Plus you potentially have the franklin warranty issues bill mentioned.

    If I were in your shoes, the decision would be between a 4kW split phase inverter/charger for $2100 and a 3kW single phase plain inverter + transformer for $1500.
    I'd spring for $600 more and get the split/phase magnum, all the bells and whistle + charger + transfer switch + never having to worry about future loads (with reason :) )

    Since you have 4 12V batteries, you can go straight to a 24V battery and inverter which will mean less wiring and more space for future expansion.
    The number of panels will depend on how long you use the pump for every day, and whether there will be a difference in pump run time in summer and winter(?)
    You don't have to get the number of panels right from the start because if you spring for an inverter/charger then you can always make up the deficit from the generator and just add more panels whenever funds become available.

    To give you an idea on the panel sizing, you need to work out the total number of Watt Hours you'll use in a day. E.g. 700W pump for 1 hour + house loads of 200W for 1 hour + 20W for 4 hours = 980Wh per day x 1.4 for losses so you'd need the panels to produce about 1372Wh per day. Then use the PVWatts tool to estimate how many panels you need to arrive at that many Wh per day. This is where the winter vs. summer loads comes into play: if you want 1372Wh per day in winter that's going to mean substantially more panels than 1372Wh in summer.
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    I have this well pump on an older sw4024 with a 120/240 volt transformer and it runs the pump fine. I don't think I would want to put any smaller inverter on this pump as the lights flicker when the pump kicks on. The start up current can run more than 30 amps on the 230 volt 1/2 horse Franklin motors, 60 amps on the 120 motors. I have #6 wire running about 150 ft at 240 volts to the house from the power station to the pump, so some of the sag could be from the length of the wire run.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    mikeo wrote: »
    ... The start up current can run more than 30 amps on the 230 volt 1/2 horse Franklin motors, 60 amps on the 120 motors. I have #6 wire running about 150 ft at 240 volts to the house from the power station to the pump, so some of the sag could be from the length of the wire run.

    Having a "long wire run" from the inverter to the pump can be a bit of a help... We usually say heavy wire/low resistance is our friend for efficient solar power systems... But in this case, a long wire run with "moderate" wire resistance can limit the starting surge current of well pumps and be a bit easier on the AC Inverter.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    For what you guys are talking about seems to make this a complicated deal. For all the expense and headache of installing a inverter, transformer, etc. etc. you can just put a Grundfos SQ Flex pump in and go. It doesn't care if you have AC volts or DC volts. It will run on 30V DC minimum up to 300 V DC. No extra VFD's, no extra transformers, no extra nothing. It has everything you have recommended built right into the motor, including the VFD.

    You can get the SQ flex for about $2,000, and sometimes cheaper. Shop around. Save your money and put it on the interface box to tie in A/C and solar power and use the rest to buy more panels. This pump will run on whatever power you give it, the interface box lets you swap it back and forth from A/C to solar as needed.

    BTW: That franklin pump needs about 1,500-2,000 watts to start-up.

    Good Luck.
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    You can get the SQ flex for about $2,000, and sometimes cheaper. Shop around. Save your money and put it on the interface box to tie in A/C and solar power and use the rest to buy more panels. This pump will run on whatever power you give it, the interface box lets you swap it back and forth from A/C to solar as needed.

    BTW: That franklin pump needs about 1,500-2,000 watts to start-up.

    So $2000 JUST for the grundfos pump, and Crystal will be stuck with the 300W inverter for the house.
    Or $2100 for a 4kW 120/240V split phase magnum inverter, no VFD and no transformer needed and never having to worry about peak loads again.
  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    I guess I mis-read the thread. I thought we were talking about an inverter/VFD just for the pump. I can see where the added value would be on getting the big inverter and using it for the whole house.
    stephendv wrote: »
    So $2000 JUST for the grundfos pump, and Crystal will be stuck with the existing 300W inverter for the house.
    Or $2100 for a 4kW 120/240V split phase magnum inverter to run the existing pump and never having to worry about peak loads again.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Yea--That whole big picture/small picture/big picture thing can make a person a bit dizzy at times. :roll:

    Forest--Meet Trees. :p

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Even still, before I considered a VFD just for the pump I think you would be better off with the SQ Flex, even if the cost was more. The VFD's I am familiar with for submersible pumps cost about $1200-2000. Retail is probably closer to $2K, I would have to look it up as we don't see many of them here.
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    I think the point I'm making here is that VFD is not necessary with a 1/2 hp 220 pump she already has but the inverter that she may need to acquire for the house just has to have enough surge power to start the pump, once running they only draw about 6 amps @ 220V and for household use only runs a few minutes at a time.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Thank you all for the ideas!
    We're looking into the split/phase inverter, more panels and batteries option. Since we're trying to get away from using our generator we would like to expand our array and battery bank so that the system will be able to carry all the loads. With our $4000 budget we should be able to afford to purchase more panels and batteries, as well as the split/phase inverter.
    Just so we're clear...if we go this route all we'll need is the larger split/phase inverter (no transformer, vfd)...right?

    Now we need to figure out the details. I found the following guidelines to follow when expanding the array:

    1. Always make sure that adding a panel to each string does not cause the cold-temperature Voc of the string to excede the maximum input voltage rating of any of your equipment, from wiring to circuit breakers to VFD input.
    2. You can add new panel strings in parallel with your existing ones as long as the Vmp of the new string is within about 5% of the Vmp of the existing strings. Make sure that the Voc of the new string is not too high (see #1). The current values or number of panels for the new string do not have to match the old string. Just the total voltage.
    3. You can add additional panels to a series string as long as the Imp of the new panel is at least as large as the Imp of the existing panels. To avoid wasting power, the Imp should not be too much higher (~10%?) than the Imp of the existing panels. The voltage does not need to be matched. (but see #1)
    4. Try not to add panels into a location in which they may be shaded at a time when the existing panels are not shaded. Mixed shading conditions will not hurt the panels, but will result in less power then you would get from the new strings under ideal conditions.

    Any other guidelines we need to follow when choosing solar panels?
    What do you all think about the Sharp grade B panels?
    Any suggestions on the best USA made panels?

    Will all the existing components work with 24v (if we decide to go with a 24v system)?

    Thank you all for sharing your opinions and ideas!:D
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Crystal wrote: »
    Just so we're clear...if we go this route all we'll need is the larger split/phase inverter (no transformer, vfd)...right?

    Right. With a 4kW inverter you'll have no trouble starting that 700W pump.
    Crystal wrote: »
    Now we need to figure out the details. I found the following guidelines to follow when expanding the array

    The guidelines are spot on. Don't know what charge controller you have, or the voltage of the current panels... if the controller is small you could leave it connected with the existing panels and then buy another controller + new panels. That way you'll have freedom to choose any panels you fancy, no need to match voltages with the existing panels. It's basically:
    A) Expensive MPPT controller + cheap grid tie panels
    B) cheap PWM controller + expensive panels

    If you're going for more than about 800W of panels then it makes sense to use an MPPT controller to take advantage of better winter output and cheaper grid tie panels.
    E.g. with these panels http://www.solar-electric.com/trina-solar-multicrystalline-240-watt-tsm-240pa05.html you'd need an MPPT charger and strings of 2 panels in series.

    An "off-grid" panel suitable for use with a PWM controller would cost more than double: http://www.solar-electric.com/solartech-spm130p-wp-24v-130-watt-multicrystalline-solar-module.html
    Crystal wrote: »
    Will all the existing components work with 24v (if we decide to go with a 24v system)?

    Probably. If you post the make model of the charge controller and the Vmp rating of the panels we can take a look.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    stephendv wrote: »
    Probably. If you post the make model of the charge controller and the Vmp rating of the panels we can take a look.

    We have an Rogue MPT-3024. Looks like it can switch between 12v and 24v.:D
    Vmp on panels is 18.30
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    You will probably want to budget in a new charge controller. The Rogue is limited to 60 volts Voc as I recall. Are the Evergreens the lower voltage or the higher voltage panels? If the lower voltage panels, you will only be able to series two panels and add 2 more panels giving you a 2 parallel by 2 series for 840 watts which is about all the Rogue can take at it 30 amp limit. By going to a 150 Voc 60 amp charge controller you could go to 8 or 9 panels total in a 3 x 3 or 4 x 2 configuration to 1680 or 1890 watts. This would match up well enough with a 4024 inverter and 400 to 600 amp hour set of batteries. This configuration would certainly be enough power to easily start and run your well pump as well as a few other lights and appliances. Panels are pretty cheap right now and 210 watt Evergreens or equivalents are priced under a $ a watt some places. That would leave you about 3800 dollars out of a 4k budget to by an inverter, charge controller and batteries.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    mikeo wrote: »
    You will probably want to budget in a new charge controller. The Rogue is limited to 60 volts Voc as I recall. Are the Evergreens the lower voltage or the higher voltage panels? If the lower voltage panels, you will only be able to series two panels and add 2 more panels giving you a 2 parallel by 2 series for 840 watts which is about all the Rogue can take at it 30 amp limit. By going to a 150 Voc 60 amp charge controller you could go to 8 or 9 panels total in a 3 x 3 or 4 x 2 configuration to 1680 or 1890 watts. This would match up well enough with a 4024 inverter and 400 to 600 amp hour set of batteries. This configuration would certainly be enough power to easily start and run your well pump as well as a few other lights and appliances. Panels are pretty cheap right now and 210 watt Evergreens or equivalents are priced under a $ a watt some places. That would leave you about 3800 dollars out of a 4k budget to by an inverter, charge controller and batteries.

    Thinking about adding two more panels to equal 840watts, so we don't have to invest in another charge control (right now). We plan on filling a 200 gallon in home cistern, so then the pump will not have to run everyday. There will be a small diaphragm pump supplying our home water needs.
    At the moment we power DC led lights every night that equal up to 2 amps, two laptops up to 12 amps (when they're both running). Eventually, the submersible pump and the small diaphragm pump will be run on the system.
    Will 840 watts be enough keep our batteries charged?
    Should we add more batteries? If yes, how many do you recommend? (We should replace the 4 batteries we have right now if we add to bank).
    Wondering if we should upgrade to 24v system...what would be the benefits?
    Thank you for your answers.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,367 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    HI, I read through most of the thread, Mikeo has repeated the info I relayed in a PM. If you want to use the Rogue in a 24v system you need to look for panels that compliment yours. With a VMP of 18.3v, you can run your current panels in series giving you 36.6VMP so they don't match well with most of the cheap available panels. Your looking for panels that are true 24 volt panel in the 35-38 VMP. I think the DMSolar 12 volt nominal panels are around 18.4 Volts 145 watt panels so a pair would leave you shy of the 840 watt target and 4 would be well over, but likely just loose a bit on cool days. Marc at Rogue can tell you about over paneling the Rogue. A couple 230watt 36VMP panels would work out nicely.

    The added load is the unknown, so with out knowing the amount of load we won't know if you'll keep your batteries charged. Filling a cistern during the day sounds like a very good idea, that should help, as the energy to run your well, won't have to be stored.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Photowhit wrote: »
    HI, I read through most of the thread, Mikeo has repeated the info I relayed in a PM. If you want to use the Rogue in a 24v system you need to look for panels that compliment yours. With a VMP of 18.3v, you can run your current panels in series giving you 36.6VMP so they don't match well with most of the cheap available panels. Your looking for panels that are true 24 volt panel in the 35-38 VMP. I think the DMSolar 12 volt nominal panels are around 18.4 Volts 145 watt panels so a pair would leave you shy of the 840 watt target and 4 would be well over, but likely just loose a bit on cool days. Marc at Rogue can tell you about over paneling the Rogue. A couple 230watt 36VMP panels would work out nicely.

    The added load is the unknown, so with out knowing the amount of load we won't know if you'll keep your batteries charged. Filling a cistern during the day sounds like a very good idea, that should help, as the energy to run your well, won't have to be stored.

    It seems that it will be easier to invest in another MPPT CC. Then we can choose any panels we want and not have to follow any guidelines. Is having more than one CC just as efficient?
    What about this idea...hook up the new array with a new CC to a new battery bank and have it work as a separate system? Could we use the same meter for both systems? If this could work, then we can keep our current battery bank. Might be a crazy idea...just wanted to put it out there.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    With a properly designed and wired system, you can put several charge controllers on one battery bank without major issues.

    Note that most charge controllers will not be "in sync" as they charge (they will transition from bulk to absorb to float) at different times (a few controllers can sync with the same model)--But that is not an issue. The bank will still be properly charged.

    But, I aways suggest going back to basics. What is your present load (amps*hours/Watt*Hours per day), battery bank voltage / AH rating, your present array+controller, and what your new array+controller would be.

    Then run the numbers and confirm the system is still "balanced" (array, battery bank, usage).

    I always suggest one battery bank (is is hard enough to keep one system going). If you have a second independent system, it is more difficult to efficiently use both systems (i.e., one system has excess power, and the other has excess loads--plug in an AC battery charger to transfer energy between the two systems?).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    BB. wrote: »
    With a properly designed and wired system, you can put several charge controllers on one battery bank without major issues.

    Note that most charge controllers will not be "in sync" as they charge (they will transition from bulk to absorb to float) at different times (a few controllers can sync with the same model)--But that is not an issue. The bank will still be properly charged.

    But, I aways suggest going back to basics. What is your present load (amps*hours/Watt*Hours per day), battery bank voltage / AH rating, your present array+controller, and what your new array+controller would be.


    Then run the numbers and confirm the system is still "balanced" (array, battery bank, usage).

    I always suggest one battery bank (is is hard enough to keep one system going). If you have a second independent system, it is more difficult to efficiently use both systems (i.e., one system has excess power, and the other has excess loads--plug in an AC battery charger to transfer energy between the two systems?).

    -Bill

    Would like to get another Rogue MPPT, however Marc's new one he's working on is rated only to 30 amp, so if/when we decide to expand again then another CC will be necessary. What MPPT CC do you recommend?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    What is your current array and proposed array? The Evergreens were available in several different voltages.

    A 420 watt array is not very large... How big are you looking at going? Are you thinking of adding more batteries? I am guessing that your battery bank is really 12 volts * 450 AH (not 225--Adding batteries on parallel adds AH, and these should be around 6 volt @ 225 AH batteries).

    With your existing bank, I would suggest your maximum cost effective array could be:
    • 4 batteries * 6 volt * 225 AH * 1/0.77 panel+controller losses * 0.05 rate of charge = 350 Watt array minimum
    • 4 batteries * 6 volt * 225 AH * 1/0.77 panel+controller losses * 0.10 rate of charge = 701 Watt array nominal
    • 4 batteries * 6 volt * 225 AH * 1/0.77 panel+controller losses * 0.13 rate of charge = 911 Watt array "cost effective maximum"
    • 4 batteries * 6 volt * 225 AH * 1/0.77 panel+controller losses * 0.25 rate of charge = 1,753 Watt array "not to exceed"

    So, you can easily add more solar power... If you end up pumping a number of hours per day (irrigation), then you could look at your array sizing as being:
    • 701 Watt Nominal + 400 watts pumping Y hours per day = ~1,101 Watt array (to supply battery charging + daytime/sun up pumping loads)

    And still be under my "recommended not to exceed" solar array size of roughly 1,753 watts (those sunny days where you are not pumping water).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    BB. wrote: »
    What is your current array and proposed array? The Evergreens were available in several different voltages.

    2-210watt Evergreens
    Vmp 18.30
    Voc 2280

    Right now we're trying to figure out the proposed array and whether or not we'll need more batteries...just not sure.

    You're right it is 12 volts * 450 AH...ooops:blush:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    just to inform all here, crystal started a different thread that morphed into a thread going along the same lines as here.
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?19427-JA-Solar&p=152636#post152636
    i thought of merging the 2, but that might be confusing. unless one has more info on the ja pvs then continue all other tech talk here.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Thanks Niel!

    Will we need to install another run of cable from the new pvs to the new CC or can we string the existing pvs to the new pvs and then split them once they get to each CC.
    It would be nice to be able to use the, already installed, 4awg cable that the existing pvs are connected to, if possible.

    Unfortunately, the batteries have been a bit abused. There's a huge learning curve to solar power. :blush: They seem to be working fine, but don't trust them enough to put brand new batteries with them.
    So, if the pvs (existing and new), usage, and current battery bank are "balanced" then we'll just use the bank we have for now and eventually invest in some AGM's. :D
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Wondering if the route we've been focusing our energy on lately...existing AC submersible pump, 2000w inverter (at the very least),
    950w pv array (existing + new), existing battery bank.
    Will there be a way to run the genset to pump water? Or, will the upgraded solar system produce enough power to run sprinklers?

    Right now we water the market garden with the very inefficient way of sprinklers. They are only ran 2-6 hours/week (depending on rain fall). Eventually we are going to invest in drip irrigation (which requires less pressure than sprinkler) and should be able to run off diaphragm pump from the garden cisterns. We probably won't be able to tackle the drip irrigation project this summer and need a way to run the sprinklers.:grr
  • tmarchtmarch Solar Expert Posts: 143 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Crystal wrote: »
    Wondering if the route we've been focusing our energy on lately...existing AC submersible pump, 2000w inverter (at the very least),
    950w pv array (existing + new), existing battery bank.
    Will there be a way to run the genset to pump water? Or, will the upgraded solar system produce enough power to run sprinklers?

    Right now we water the market garden with the very inefficient way of sprinklers. They are only ran 2-6 hours/week (depending on rain fall). Eventually we are going to invest in drip irrigation (which requires less pressure than sprinkler) and should be able to run off diaphragm pump from the garden cisterns. We probably won't be able to tackle the drip irrigation project this summer and need a way to run the sprinklers.:grr

    You have stated that your well guy will buy your existing pump back. If there is enough value in that, a separate Grundfos system makes more sense to me. We are probably talking less money and the Grundfos will be able to handle either sprinklers or a drip system if it's configured correctly.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    crystal,
    maybe i didn't explain that to you well enough. the new 60 celled pvs are not normally compatible with the ones you have now. that means the only thing they can have in common is to connect to the same batteries otherwise they are totally separate systems. this means new wires, combiners, cc, and so on. now you don't have to do away with the pvs and cc you have now, but you must get another cc as the cc you have now can't accommodate more in pv at 12v for the battery bank. i am not up on the limitations for the rogue, but you would need to obtain 2 more compatible pvs to the evergreens to even consider upgrading the pvs for 24v battery operation with the rogue. the characteristic specs of the evergreens is what holds you back on expanding your present system with the rogue cc as those pvs have become rarer and that is only expandable on the rogue if you opt to go to a 24v battery bank as you are near the max for expandability at 12v.

    what i indicated was that a separate solar setup can be used to additionally charge your batteries without the need of throwing away your present working system. if you feel better about 1 cc and 1 set of wires then go ahead and get rid of your present system altogether and buy all new, but i reiterate that this is not a necessity in my view to get rid of the old setup unless you are unwilling to have new pvs into their own wire run and cc.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    tmarch wrote: »
    You have stated that your well guy will buy your existing pump back. If there is enough value in that, a separate Grundfos system makes more sense to me. We are probably talking less money and the Grundfos will be able to handle either sprinklers or a drip system if it's configured correctly.

    We came up with a solution! :D...I think. I was able to find the Grundfos SQFlex, SQF IO-101 Interface Box + s&h for $2283. This leaves us with $1700, plus the cost of the existing AC pump we sell back, for beefing up the house system. We're looking at getting the Sovello panels (not sure on amount of watts), to match the existing Evergreens. This way we won't need another CC or larger inverter. (We do plan on getting larger inverter in the future...right now 300watts is all we need.)
    We plan on running the Grundfos off the proposed house solar system. We will be pumping water to fill house cistern and water market garden with sprinklers.

    QUESTIONS:
    Does anyone see a problem with this idea?
    Looking at the Grundfos SQFlex11...will this be the best choice?
    Will we be able to expand to 24v system with the 2 existing Evergreens and 2 new Sovellos?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Sounds like a good plan...

    The fact you are running your entire electrical load for your home on a 300 watt inverter is very impressive. And doubling (roughly) your solar array on the home should help you (and your batteries) a lot (your current home array is on the small side).

    Regarding the Grundfos pump, how are you planning on powering it? Its own array?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    BB. wrote: »
    Sounds like a good plan...

    The fact you are running your entire electrical load for your home on a 300 watt inverter is very impressive. And doubling (roughly) your solar array on the home should help you (and your batteries) a lot (your current home array is on the small side).

    Regarding the Grundfos pump, how are you planning on powering it? Its own array?

    -Bill

    We are used to living without. Do have to admit that having bright LED lights and unlimited internet is great! We heat with wood, use propane :blush: to power fridge and cooking stove (which also heats water). Next step will be solar hot water heater. When hand tools are not handy we use genset for power tools. We don't use a vacuum (sweep and mop works just fine). Kitchen appliances are not necessary. We are trying to teach our children to live as self sufficiently as possible. Little by little we are building our dream! :D

    We were hoping that the proposed home system would run the Grundfos.:-) Will this be a problem?
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