Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

13

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    As your system is currently, or proposed to go to 24 volts--Not as currently designed.

    Very roughly (as I understand), think of the Grundfos pump like a having an automatic transmission between the wheels and the engine on a car...

    The pump takes the available engine power, and up-shifts/down-shifts the automatic transmission to match the avialble horse power to the wheels.

    If you hold the throttle at 1/4 open, if you are going up a hill with a trailer, the car goes relatively slowly.

    When you are going on a flat road with a tail wind, the car will probably exceed the speed limit with the same throttle setting.

    If you attach a Grundfos pump to an AC inverter (or generator/mains), it "loses" that "feedback" from the engine (RPM, throttle opening, etc.). and sees a (in theory) unlimited power source (the AC Inverter tries to keep voltage stable regardless of load). So, you need a battery bank+AC inverter that is large enough to handle the pump's rated load (at 120 VAC and well depth/pump type/motor rating).

    And, if you feed DC from your battery bank directly to the SQFlex--You need >30 VDC to start the pump up (as I remember). And the pump+electronics are less efficient if operated below ~90 VDC.

    At this point, I think you are looking at a 24 volt system, which would not work as a DC power direct power source for your SQFlex.

    Don't get me wrong, the SQFlex looks to be a fantastic pump (efficient, flexible power input, reliable--I don't have a well, so it is just from what I have read here)--It just will take some more detailed planning on your side to size your system to support the pump.

    So, as I see it, you have two basic courses to take:

    The first, install the pump in the well with a local solar array (no batteries) and a backup outlet you can plug your genset into (need water during poor weather or for emergency water use--such as a fire). You could start with a "minimum" array you think you will need, and add more panels, as needed, if it turns out you need more water from your pump (seasonal, weather, expanded needs).

    Pump to a cistern and use a small DC water pump to pressurize your home (you may already have this part). And, at the same time, I would look at ~doubling your present home solar array to better charge your battery bank, and give you a bit more power for home loads (but this has nothing to do with the well pump project).

    Your second choice is to start from scratch. Look at your present household loads (plus any growth you may need), and add the requirements for your well pump. At this point you have many options to look at:
    • Pump to cistern from 48 VDC battery bank
    • Pump to cistern from 120/240 VAC inverter+battery bank
    • Pump to pressure tank from 48 VDC to 240 VAC from AC Inverter (get rid of small house pressure pump)

    If you do think about the second option--I would also look at your propane usage/refrigerator needs... My guess is, if you add a large enough battery bank and AC inverter to run the pump, you will have a large enough system to run a full sized Energy Star electric refrigerator and keep the propane as backup (or sell to somebody else).

    If you use the rules of thumb for battery bank + solar array charging (5% to 13% rate of charge, and really recommend 10% or larger), you may need a minimal amount of (additional) solar panels to support the refrigerator.

    It is a really tough call here--But I would probably suggest the first option (just add a pump + local solar array + AC generator receptacle). It will probably cost the least amount overall, and not disrupt your present system (which, I suggest, you still should add more panels too for better battery life and more power with less backup generator operation).

    And, if you ever decide you want to rework your home system (higher DC Voltage, larger AC inverter, more batteries, more panels, etc.), you will not have wasted much money with using #1 option first... About the only "extra" parts would be the original local solar panels for the pump (you may be able to roll those panels into your new system--but that is another set of discussions--nothing is "easy" with solar RE design :cry:).

    Sorry for using "IF" so much--There are just so many conditionals here, I ran into my limited ability to properly alliterate in English. :blush:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,036 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    And I think the trade-off of propane fridge & refilling bottles, vs buying PV panels, was a couple seasons of a summer cottage or 2 years in a full home. I think the est. for the fridge consumption was 25# propane (1 small BBQ container) a week.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Would the proposed 12volt system run the Grundfos?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    In theory, a 1,000 lbs of lead acid batteries will support the same amount of power... Remember that Energy=V*I*time, so if you double V, your I is 1/2--But still the same amount of energy.

    But, there are practical limits for how much current you can send to reasonable copper wiring... More or less, ~100 amps of current is a handy maximum.

    Which for a 12 volt system, 100 amps * 12 volts = 1,200 watts average power.

    And for a 24 volt * 100 amp = 2,400 watt; and above that, look at 48 volt systems.

    You can build a system with heavier cables, but it can be costly and difficult to wire.

    So, yes, with a 300 watt house load and ~1,000 watt pump--You could run it at 12 volts.

    But, if you are buying a new inverter anyway, then I would really look at a 24 volt inverter, and rewire the rest of the system + batteries (your charge controller can charge a 12 or 24 volt battery bank, and 2x larger wattage array on a 24 volt bank).

    More or less, I would suggest the maximum power limits for your existing battery bank (12 volts @ 450 AH or rewired at 24 volt @ 225 AH):
    • 12 volts * 450 AH * 0.85 inverter eff * 1/8 hour rate = 574 Watt max continuous
    • 12 volts * 450 AH * 0.85 inverter eff * 1/5 hour rate = 918 Watt short term max loads
    • 12 volts * 450 AH * 0.85 inverter eff * 1/2.5 hour rate = 1,836 Watt few seconds of surge current maximum

    So, I would guess that your existing battery bank (either at 12 or 24 volts) is right on the ragged edge of running the SQFlex at full rated wattage (~1,000 watts) for more than a few minutes at a time (really a guess on my part).

    I think your existing system would need a fair amount of enlargement if it was going to support the SQFlex pump for any larger amount of pumping times.

    -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: »

    So, yes, with a 300 watt house load and ~1,000 watt pump--You could run it at 12 volts.

    But, if you are buying a new inverter anyway, then I would really look at a 24 volt inverter, and rewire the rest of the system + batteries (your charge controller can charge a 12 or 24 volt battery bank, and 2x larger wattage array on a 24 volt bank).

    I think your existing system would need a fair amount of enlargement if it was going to support the SQFlex pump for any larger amount of pumping times.

    -Bill

    In the scenario of using Grundfos we won't need to purchase a larger inverter right now. Maybe it would be better to stay with a 12v system rather than upgrading to 24v. It's just that I have recently been reading about how others would have started out with 24v and are now "stuck" with 12v. Not sure of the benefits of 24v in our situation.
    As far as pumping loads...we'll be filling the indoor cistern about once a week, which will take a small amount of time.
    The market garden will be watered during daylight hours. This in mind, wouldn't the Grundfos run directly from the pvs rather than drain the battery bank?
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Crystal wrote: »
    The market garden will be watered during daylight hours. This in mind, wouldn't the Grundfos run directly from the pvs rather than drain the battery bank?
    The battery bank will serve to provide whatever the pump needs for startup and running that exceeds that amount of power available from the panels at any given moment. Near solar noon, the panel power will be higher than earlier or later.
    But the general principle is correct, that it will not run the battery down as far or may just slow the charging down.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • tmarchtmarch Solar Expert Posts: 143 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Crystal wrote: »
    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?

    This sounds like a good system, now add 2 panels 185-190 watts and roughly 45-50 volts, and a racking system, you will have all the water you need at any time and more than you need most of the time. A SQF11-2 will provide approximately 10-12 GPM at the amount of head you have provided. If your well will recover at that rate you should be able to water your garden with ease. When you aren't watering the garden simply turn the pump off when your house tank is full.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Crystal,

    I just want to be very clear... You have a set of solar panels for your home power system.

    And, you may, have a separate set of solar panels that run the SQFlex pump.

    The above is the "simple" solution.

    Or, you may choose to run the SQFlex from your current (or probably, upgraded) home power system. You could run it from the battery bank (12/24 volt won't work, 48 volt may work, but require very heavy copper wiring).

    And the other option is to install a large enough AC inverter on your home system to run the SQFlex pump (you could the pump during the middle of the da, and reduce the loads on the battery bank).

    Lastly, there is another option, use the same solar array for both your home system, and your SQFlex pump. It can work, but there are more discussions to be had--More complex, most likely a new MPPT charge controller that runs at higher voltage, etc.).

    But, back to the simplest--A solar array at the pump directly connected only to the pump (and not using your battery bank/inverter/etc.). It will save you having to (massively?) upgrade your existing home system.

    Depending on your pumping needs, you could use a smaller array on the pump (500 watts or so) and pump 1/2 the GPM of water... Or you can use a larger array on the pump and get up to 2x the GPM of water flow (depending on how much water you need per day, how much sun you get, etc.).

    Setting up the pump correctly with the array is a bit of playing with specifications... More or less, you want the Vmp-array to be in the 90-120-200 VDC range (optimum for pump)... So, you would be picking panels to get you the series voltage and total wattage you want. See page 24 of this PDF manual for details on derating by voltage (you could run at 35 VDC, but it will pump 20% less water and require a lot more heavy copper cable to keep voltage drop down).

    Note that the (relatively) high voltage for the SQFlex Vmp-array would require a larger/more expensive MPPT charge controller (if you where going to try to share the pump array with your home array). Yes, it can be done, but I would not recommend it unless you really want to get into the details, and setup some sort of transfer switch (you should not share the array with the pump and your home MPPT charge controller at the same time--they will get very confused).

    In the end, you may have a few different paper designs to make sure your system will work/play together properly, and to see how much each option will cost you.

    Solar panels, while not cheap, are much cheaper than they used to be--So, I would not try real hard to use the same panels for multiple jobs. If you can have a pump that runs just from solar panels--It is about as maintenance free as you can get (no batteries to watch/recharge in bad weather/replace when old, etc.).

    For example, it appears that 3-6 of these panels (connected in series, number depending on pump specs and gallons of water per day you want to pump) would probably work well for your needs (around $330 to $230 per panel + shipping+insurance+handling):



    SolarWorld SW-240 Monocrystalline


    Trina Solar TSM-240PA05




    Double check everything (specifications, temperature ranges for your area, etc.) before buy, this stuff is complex (there are a lot of things to check before you buy/install the system of choice). (we are here to help, but this is not our job, and each part of the design needs to be confirmed).

    And if your current home power system is OK for your needs--You don't need to touch it.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • FernwehFernweh Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Here is a nice & helpful Grundfos link to size a solar SQF system.

    http://net.grundfos.com/Appl/WebCAPS/InitCtrl?mode=18
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Fernweh,

    Are you connected with Grundfos in some way? Which is fine... I would like to see some more "well/pumping folks here" to help. We have lots of questions, but my experience tends to be from an engineering/reading the specifications point of view.

    The few people we have here with well/pumping experiences have been incredibly helpful.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • FernwehFernweh Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    BB. wrote: »
    Fernweh,

    Are you connected with Grundfos in some way? Which is fine... I would like to see some more "well/pumping folks here" to help. We have lots of questions, but my experience tends to be from an engineering/reading the specifications point of view.

    The few people we have here with well/pumping experiences have been incredibly helpful.



    -Bill

    Bill,

    I'm sorry, but not connected to Grundfos at all. I just like their SQF systems and working/helping a friend with livestock in Baja California.
    His SQF pump (not sure right now which model) is directly connected to a 8x 80W array, providing ca. 150VDC to the pump. We measured the actual water quantity last in July, an average of 3021Liter/hour produced during a 8-hour solar day. Our next project, to irrigate with the same pump before and after the "regular" solar day. Using a simple 100A 2-pole manual transfer switch (Home Depot $128.00) we plan to run the SQF pump on a 120/240VAC generator.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    tmarch wrote: »
    This sounds like a good system, now add 2 panels 185-190 watts and roughly 45-50 volts, and a racking system, you will have all the water you need at any time and more than you need most of the time. A SQF11-2 will provide approximately 10-12 GPM at the amount of head you have provided. If your well will recover at that rate you should be able to water your garden with ease. When you aren't watering the garden simply turn the pump off when your house tank is full.

    tmarch, will 380 watts provide enough power to pump 10 gpm? Bill recommends 3-6 240w panels. This is a difference of
    340watts on the low end and 1060watts on the high end. We want to make sure we purchase and intall the right amount of panels.
    Thank you all for your help in designing this system!
  • tmarchtmarch Solar Expert Posts: 143 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Crystal wrote: »
    tmarch, will 380 watts provide enough power to pump 10 gpm? Bill recommends 3-6 240w panels. This is a difference of
    340watts on the low end and 1060watts on the high end. We want to make sure we purchase and intall the right amount of panels.
    Thank you all for your help in designing this system!

    The thing to watch is the cost of the panels per watt AND voltage. IF you get the correct panels 2 should easily pump 10 GPM, my chart shows 11 GPM at 80 feet of head with 380 total watts and 95-100 volts with the 11 SQF 2. Many 240-250 watt panels will only give you 70-80 volts (VOC) if wired in a series. I use 185-195 watt panels with a VOC of 45-49 which would give you a realistic 80+ volts if they are wired in a series.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Crystal,

    For pumping and wiring efficiency--You want the Vmp-array to be >~90 Volts DC (>120 VDC if you want the last 5% power improvement).

    It turns out, that most "common" (lower cost) panels are around 30 Volt Vmp. So, you need 3-4 panels minimum in series.

    So, some options may be:

    Solartech 85 Watt Multicrystalline 12 volt Solar Module (5*17.9 Vmp, $199 each) = 425 watt @ $995
    Solartech 85 Watt Multicrystalline 24 volt Solar Module (3*35.8 Vmp guess at Vmp, $254 each) = 255 watt @ $762
    Solartech SPM130P-WP 24V (3x34 Vmp panels, $351 each) = 390 Watts @ $1,053
    Kyocera KD140GX-LFBS (5x17.7 Vmp panels, $284 each) = 700 Watts @ $1,420
    SolarWorld SW-265 Monocrystalline (3x31.9 Vmp panels, $320 each) = 795 watts @ $960

    So--It is a mix and match of panel Vmp, wattage, and price... (assuming I got all the numbers and math right--Trust but Verify).

    More watts to the pump will just pump more water (or you turn it off with a float/pressure switch when tank full/water use done for day).

    Another issue, these are price per panel at the dealer... Shipping can be a very significant cost... And around 140 watt panels are usually shippable by any means (UPS, truck, etc.)... The larger panels are (as I understand) only shippable by truck (or pickup). Sometimes, the shipping for one panel is about the same cost as shipping an entire pallet of panels (don't have to break down pallet and repackage single panels, etc.).

    Anyway--Don't focus on the exact array wattage--Look at the total package (number of series/parallel panels, price per panel, total array wattage, total panel costs including shipping and insurance).

    Your best bang for the buck appears to be the 265 watt solar array... 3x the power for an extra $200. HOWEVER, verify cost to your front door--shipping can be scary costly.

    Of course, I have used our host's website for panel pricing and specs. I do not work for NAWS or have any other relationship other than helping to moderate this forum. Please do your own research. It may be more cost effective for to "pay more per panel" but because to save on shipping costs by purchasing from a local supplier (or Craig's List, etc.).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    I forgot to add--Crystal, your power/GPM output will be based on the water level of your well when pumping (dynamic, not resting/static well depth).

    So pump model number and minimum array wattage will be dependent on your GPM and dynamic well depth (and pumping+piping losses + any above ground pressurization--I.e., 40-80 PSI--you may choose for your system).

    -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

    First, I want to thank you all for helping us figure out this solar water pumping project. Lately we've been mulling over the different options and numbers. I've been in contact with NAWS and was told that 3 - 165watt Solarworld pvs would max out the Grundfos 11 SQFlex 2 at pumping 12-12.5 GPM...otherwise 2 - 165watt Solarworld pvs would give us closer to 10 GPM.
    The VMP is 31.9 per panel.
    Will these pvs be a good match for our situation?
    If yes, how many do you suggest? (shipping is the same for 2 or 3 pvs)

    Thanks again!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    NAWS stands by their products and their advice... So, it would be difficult to argue with them.

    However, from a cost/effective point of view, you get the third panel with "free" shipping and the pump runs at higher efficiency, from page 24 of the above pump manual:
    Voltage effect on pump efficiency
    The pump efficiency can vary quite a bit depending on input voltage. This chart shows the drop off in efficiency as the voltage gets lower. For example, if you have two systems with the exact same wattage rating, but System A is running at 120V and System B is running at 35V, System A will produce 20% more water than System B.

    SQ Flex optimal efficiency
    Panel output voltage
    (% loss in gallons/day)

    120V - 300V - 0% loss
    90V - 5% loss
    60V - 10% loss
    35V - 20% loss

    So, you can get 5% more water (per watt), use smaller gauge wiring (higher Vmp-array), use longer wire (if needed) of the same gauge, have more water pumped in morning/evening time (if needed), get ~55% more water with the third panel (vs two panels), and get "free" shipping for the third panel.

    If you can spare the money, I think it would be worth it.

    The only down side, that I can see, is the cost for the third panel and any extra mounting hardware required.

    -Bill

    PS: I should add, do you need any other solar related items for your home off grid system (i.e., more panels with "free" or low additional cost for shipping).
    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

    Thanks Bill for confirming. ;) I think we'll go ahead and get 3 Solarworld pvs. And possibly more pvs for the home system...if NAWS carries USA made pvs that will match the existing Evergreens. Geez, I wish I would've known before that the Evergreens were going to be hard to match. :cry:
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    I know that I'm being very indecisive about this whole project...but that's a good thing. We want to be sure we're doing it right.
    So now we're looking into the Sharp ND240QCJ panels.
    Specs:
    Maximum Power (Pmax)* 240 W
    Tolerance of Pmax +5%/-0%
    PTC Rating 216.4 W
    Type of Cell Polycrystalline silicon
    Cell Confi guration 60 in series
    Open Circuit Voltage (Voc) 37.5 V
    Maximum Power Voltage (Vpm) 29.3 V
    Short Circuit Current (Isc) 8.75 A
    Maximum Power Current (Ipm) 8.19 A
    Module Effi ciency (%) 14.7%
    Maximum System (DC) Voltage 600 V
    Series Fuse Rating 15 A
    NOCT 47.5°C
    Temperature Coeffi cient (Pmax) -0.485%/°C
    Temperature Coeffi cient (Voc) -0.36%/°C
    Temperature Coeffi cient (lsc) 0.053%/°C

    I know Sharp has been around a long time (not sure how long they've been making panels). They have a good reputation (most likely won't go under).
    They are made in the USA (according to what I've read). I can get them for $1.07/watt (which I thought is pretty good).

    Any thoughts? Will they work well with the proposed Grundfos 11 SQFlex 2 water pump?
    Thanks!
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Getting ready to make the purchase! We have decided on the following:

    Grundfos 11 SQFlex 2 Submersible Solar Pump
    IO-101 Switch Box
    CU200 Smart Box and float switch
    3-Sharp 240watt panels

    I'll probably start another post once we start hooking it up...I'm sure we'll have a bunch more questions.
    Thanks again for all your help!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Sounds good...

    Let us know know how it goes... We don't really have that many threads here that detail a solar pump install. A few pictures and any issues you bumped into will be helpful for people that follow.

    -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

    Will do! Not sure how soon we'll get pics up...seems to take us awhile on projects like this. :blush: Can not wait to be able to pump water with power from the sun! :D
  • daz25daz25 Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    BB. wrote: »
    Sounds good...

    Let us know know how it goes... We don't really have that many threads here that detail a solar pump install. A few pictures and any issues you bumped into will be helpful for people that follow.

    -Bill

    Yeah I agree, will be interesting to see how this goes.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    We have all the components we need...3 pvs, Grundfos pump, the AC/DC switch box, float switch box, float, and cable. We still need to get a small diaphragm pump for pumping inside the house. Now all we need to do is find the time to get it done.
    Summer is such a busy time for us! I'll post pics and updates once we get started on the project. It will probably be in the next month or so.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Good Luck Crystal! Hope all works out well.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mjp24cohomjp24coho Solar Expert Posts: 104 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Crystal wrote: »
    Getting ready to make the purchase! We have decided on the following:

    Grundfos 11 SQFlex 2 Submersible Solar Pump
    IO-101 Switch Box
    CU200 Smart Box and float switch
    3-Sharp 240watt panels

    I'll probably start another post once we start hooking it up...I'm sure we'll have a bunch more questions.
    Thanks again for all your help!

    I have that same setup at my remote off-grid cabin, and love it. I put it in about 2 yrs ago. Installed the panels (3 suntech 190's, high voltage wired together for highest voltage) and all the electrical myself, and had my well driller come and pull out the old pump to install the grundfos. It works great. I pump from the well up to a 2500 gallon above-ground holding tank (200' up the hill), which pressure feeds all my irrigation. The pump fills my tank automatically (with the level switch shutting it off when I'm not there), and then all my water happens while I'm away (we only visit the cabin once a month). I love that it's automated without any daily maintenance, and my kids love that we're pumping water and watering trees/grass while hundreds of miles away.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    It's installed! We are finally pumping water from the power of the sun!! Of course there are things that we have learned along the way that we would've done differently if we would have known prior. This seems to be true no matter what you are doing. As long as the sun is shining bright it works well. Our well guy was really impressed with the quality of the grundfos pump. Now we are looking forward to getting our toilet and shower plumbed in. Every year this off grid living seems to get easier. We are so grateful that this is the path we have chosen to travel. Takes patience, perseverance, and good planning, but so well worth it!
    If you have any questions about our solar water pump installation I will do my best to answer them.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,077 admin
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    Crystal,

    Sounds great. Any surprises with the well pump/installation?

    Also, you are still running with a pretty small system (300 Watt TSW 12 volt inverter+hardware+battery bank). How is that all working out for you? Are you looking to go with a larger off grid power system (support refrigerator+), or is keeping is relatively and simple your answer to power needs?

    Also, how much are you running the 5kWatt genset? You could get away with 1/2 the size genset, and possibly save quite a bit of fuel (also depends on the AC battery charger you have and how much you run the genset for charging your system). "Over-sized" generators can really suck the fuel if you don't normally use much AC power.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System
    Crystal wrote: »
    Of course there are things that we have learned along the way that we would've done differently if we would have known prior.

    For those of us who may go down your path, what are the things that you most wish you had known? --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Beginning Search for Solar Well Pump System

    c
    I hope you answer these other guy's questions, but either way, thanks for the update. Alot come here and ask for advice but never follow up on how things work out. Myself included. It is nice when the people who invest their time trying to help, at least get the satisfaction of a project comming to fuitation.
    Cheers
    gww
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