230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

bbbuddybbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 125 ✭✭✭
Well yesterday we finally got around to hooking up our 1 HP well pump directly to the Magnum 4024 PAE inverter and threw the breaker and pumped water! The inverter didn't even hesitate to start the 1HP well pump. For those who come after, I post the following specs:

Well: 240' deep, water level at 79'.
Pump: Gould 230V 1 HP 3 wire
Inverter: Magnum 4024 PAE (wired for 240v output)
Solar: 2200 W

I was worried about the STARTING of the well pump, not the running, because it's start-up locked rotor amp specs are for 41.8 amps for the first 300 milliseconds. The inverter specs are max 40 amps. I also worried about the 400 amp battery bank being capable of supplying that needed (230v x 41.8amp) 9600 watt surge, but didn't need to expand the deep cycle bank otherwise.

The solution was to buy two 800 amp vehicle batteries, (MUCH cheaper!) hook them up for 24 volts, and add a "make before break" Blue Sea switch between the deep cycle batteries and the vehicle batteries.

We pump into a 3,000 gallon tank, so we will be doing the following each time we fill the cistern:

1. Turn OFF the house breaker - we need every amp the inverter can supply at start-up.
2. Turn the "make before break" switch to the vehicle batteries.
3. Turn ON the well pump breaker and start pumping.
4. Turn the "make before break" switch back to deep cycle batteries, the house breaker back on, and continue to pump water while the house use is on (internet, 110v fridge and chest freezer, lights). At that point yesterday we were taking about 500 watts from the house batteries while pumping water, most of the approximately 2700 watts being used was directly from the solar array.

The inverter had no trouble starting the pump from the vehicle starting batteries (that I reasoned are MADE to supply a big starting current, unlike the deep cycle type) and the solar array. It was about 1:30 pm when we hit the well pump breaker.

It was that start-up that I was worried about, but it was smooth. We will be able to start the pump around 10 am in the summer and run it for several hours pumping 40 GPM to irrigate a couple acres totally from the sun!

Being a 3 wire pump the VFD route wouldn't work. And no way was I giving up the capacity to pump 40 GPM by going for a solar pump...

The question of whether the Magnum would start the 1 HP 230v pump is now answered!

This was the first time in 9 years we have pumped water without the noise of the gennie running. It felt SPOOKY to see the water running out of the overflow pipe when the tank was full, and no NOISE...we will have to hook up an alarm in the tank to remind us to turn off the pump when the tank is full, lol...
Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.

Comments

  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    Congrats!!

    If you ever decide to replace your pump look at the Grundfos SQ series. They have a built-in "soft start" capability that eliminates the surge of starting your 3 wire motor.

    Once the water is in your tank how do you irrigate? 2nd pump? 40 GPM sounds like a lot of water from a 1 hp pump. To get 40 GPM you need a really high water level and a high capacity, low pressure pump.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,696 admin
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    If you have a three wire pump (starting capacitor at well head)--I think you can also look at a VFD solution too.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • bbbuddybbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 125 ✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!
    Congrats!!

    If you ever decide to replace your pump look at the Grundfos SQ series. They have a built-in "soft start" capability that eliminates the surge of starting your 3 wire motor.

    Once the water is in your tank how do you irrigate? 2nd pump? 40 GPM sounds like a lot of water from a 1 hp pump. To get 40 GPM you need a really high water level and a high capacity, low pressure pump.

    Our well and tank are purposefully located at the top of our property so that all water usage is gravity flow from there!

    Yes we get 40 gpm. (Actually we get 42 GPM at ground level but it slows as the tank fills, for an average of 40) We went through a bunch of pump books supplied by our well driller to find this one, and it performs just as stated.
    Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,461 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    do you have a measurement for your power consumption for the pump ?

    My 1/2hp pump, pulls about 1,000w as reported by my inverter. I don't recall my starting surge from the tables.
    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 ||
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  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    My book shows that this motor should pull around 1200-1600 watts depending on load. Looks like it's a 33GS10 at your pumping volume and level.

    Thanks for the information, I'm sure that somebody will find that really useful. I know I did.

    Also I will throw this in there. You can use two types of control boxes for this pump-a CSCR or a QD. The CSCR is Capacitor run-capacitor start. The QD is Cap start only. The CSCR will use a little less energy because it will allow the start windings to engage and lower the energy usage. A QD box is smaller and only has one capacitor.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    If it's a 6 " well @ 161 standing feet of water it only has 227 gallons to pump @ 40 gpm so it can't be running long unless it has a heck of a replenish rate.

    6" = 1.41 gallons a ft
    8" = 2.61 gallons a ft
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!
    BB. wrote: »
    If you have a three wire pump (starting capacitor at well head)--I think you can also look at a VFD solution too.

    -Bill
    Bill, most of the VFD's that I am using now require a 3 phase motor. Schneider does make a three phase drive that will operate a 1/2 HP or less. It does not seem worth using in a single phase unless you wanted to completely loose the surge. Do you know of a VFD that will drive a single phase 1hp motor? Big difference three phase and three wire roger?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    Lincoln electric sells a variable speed drive conversion for three wire pumps, it replaces the guts of the capacitor box that is usually mounted in the basement

    http://www.franklin-electric.com/residential-light-commercial/drives/drives/monodrivesubdrive.aspx. Not sure of the details but sounds like a nice way to get rid of the pump surge and not have to pull a pump.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,696 admin
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    A three wire motor has two sets of wiring so the well head mounted capacitor can be replaced with a VFD...

    Other than the Franklin Mono-Drive (and one other VFD I could not find any details on), I could not find a 3 wire single phase drive without actually calling somebody who knows more than I.

    I do agree that a true 3 phase motor is the better solution if somebody is buying new (or used) motors/pumps for the application.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,163 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    Bill, the Mono Drive here in Canada is listed for ~$850, that's the price of a new pump or more...
     
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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,696 admin
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    I agree that three phase motors is the better way to go with VFDs.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    No, VFD is not the way to go. If you truly want soft start look at the grundfos SQ with built in soft start. VFD just adds a lot of un-necessary expense and complexity.
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    I am not sure of the statement No, VFD is not the way to go, I used to use them frequently in industry and the ramp up on the load could be programmed so that the load didn't surge which is effectively what a soft start does. I do agree that a positive displacement pump is going to be far more efficient than a centrifugal but for many folks with an existing three wire pump already installed, the VFD option is a heck of a lot easier to implement. A grundfos SQ appears to be a multistage centrifugal so I am not sure why it would be superior.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!
    peakbagger wrote: »
    Lincoln electric sells a variable speed drive conversion for three wire pumps, it replaces the guts of the capacitor box that is usually mounted in the basement

    http://www.franklin-electric.com/residential-light-commercial/drives/drives/monodrivesubdrive.aspx. Not sure of the details but sounds like a nice way to get rid of the pump surge and not have to pull a pump.

    Thanks! I had forgotten about this one when it came out recently. Looks like it should work on a 3 wire single phase pump of just about any residential HP range. The big question, anybody installed one yet? It might be a pricey spare to stock if you were remote.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!
    If you truly want soft start look at the grundfos SQ with built in soft start. VFD just adds a lot of un-necessary expense and complexity.

    Do you have a comparison of prices between SQ vs. VFD + run of the mill 3 phase pump? I suspect the latter might be a cheaper than the SQ. Also, if the SQ is anything like the SQFlex, then all soft start electronics will be in the body of the pump itself. I prefer the VFD solution where it's above ground, easily accessible and simple to repair/replace.
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    Buying out of the box for a new installation the grunfos looks like the better deal than the Franklin VFD and a new Goulds multistage pump. Its not an apples to apples comparison, a VF drive gives constant pressure operation while the grundfos doesn't.

    Most folks are looking to retrofit an existing pump and yanking a 300 foot well string (in my case) and swapping a pump is not my idea of fun. If can buy the Franklin box and plug it in in my basement and get constant pressure operation to boot I would pick that choice. Constant speed means that the pump isn't cycled on and off like a standard pressure switch and getting rid of the startup and shutdown surge is bound to extend pump life. The VF drive also allows the use a very small pressure tank while with an on and off pump the standard recommendation is go as big as you can afford. I ma not sure how to set the pressure with the franklin box but there is also the possibility that you can turn the pressure way down low and run at reduced current if you are short on power
  • bbbuddybbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 125 ✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    To answer the questions above:

    our well has an estimated 1200 GPM replenishment rate, so we can't run it dry, lol.

    The pump is single phase with a start capacitor. The only soft-start I could find for a 3 wire single phase is the Mono-drive, which is WAY MORE $ than a couple of truck batteries! I decided to try this route instead...

    Yes, the pump is a Gould 33GS10

    It seems to run at about 2,000 watts at ground level, and goes up a couple hundred watts as the water level rises in the tank. It is spec'd to run at 9 amps 230v. We've had the pump for 9 years now, so it's probably using more watts than when new.

    We have the QD box, I never have seen anything about the CSCR box, thanks for the info, I'll look into it!
    Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,696 admin
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    The Grundfos SQ-Flex pump is just a VFD mounted inside the pump... Don't get me wrong, a very nice VFD system in a very nice pump. And not cheap by itself.

    Many VFD's output just MSW type power. Not ideal in itself for the motor.

    I certainly don't know much about VFDs--They are a very complex subject with a wide range of available product. It is a problem to find enough information (in an understandable format) for an end user to find and make an informed decision.

    But when you can find the right VFD for the right application--It can be a game changer. We have the poster that used a large solar array + ~5 HP pump for irrigation. Working great (DC to VFD--Not sold for application, but appears to work great).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!
    BB. wrote: »
    The Grundfos SQ-Flex pump is just a VFD mounted inside the pump... Don't get me wrong, a very nice VFD system in a very nice pump. And not cheap by itself.

    Many VFD's output just MSW type power. Not ideal in itself for the motor.

    I certainly don't know much about VFDs--They are a very complex subject with a wide range of available product. It is a problem to find enough information (in an understandable format) for an end user to find and make an informed decision.

    But when you can find the right VFD for the right application--It can be a game changer. We have the poster that used a large solar array + ~5 HP pump for irrigation. Working great (DC to VFD--Not sold for application, but appears to work great).

    -Bill
    NICE ! Adding one more thing, I would say that the VFD electronics are susceptible to lightning and power surges (will need separate protection) and if you are pumping directly to a remote home and not to a tank, spare electronics would have to be considered. Even with the back-up water of a tank one would need to have a way to easily know that the pump has stopped working. At least some of the folks I know would....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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    E-mail [email protected]

  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    I'm not referring to the SQ Flex, which I have used on many solar wells. I'm referring to the SQ series. They are a straight up single speed pump that have soft start built in. They can be had for much less than $1,000 and require no fancy control boxes. The SQ normally comes as a 3" pump/motor (will fit in wells 3" and up). The part that I am trying to re-inforce is that they have a soft-start, they wind up slowly and do not surge the way a regular submersible well pump runs.

    if you got the dough definitely look at the SQ Flex, but for the same money you can go with an SQ pump as you can upgrade to a VFD unless you really don't want to pull your old pump.

    FWIW: If you go with the VFD that is compatible with the single phase motors soft-start is not available on the 2-wire motors. You can still get soft start on the 3-wire motors.

    I generally do not use VFD's as they add more complexity to the system that is IMO not necessary. If you just need to be able to run on a low power (open flow to a tank) I can see where they would be useful. If you look at the pump-curve most pumps cannot make a useful amount of pressure or flow at the low rpms (30 Hz is the minimum) so you really are not getting that benefit. You can really benefit once the pump curve goes past 60 HZ (3450 rpm), but you are using more energy. FWIW on the mono-drive boxes you cannot go past 60 HZ on a regular 3-wire motor.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    Good point Ron!

    Do you think I could use an SQ for domestic water pressure from a tank and get the 30 gallons per minute I need for fire sprinklers in the ceiling? That would probably be 1/2 or less what the Goulds and Franklin VFD's are at? And without the extra complexity that is an issue!
    I'm not referring to the SQ Flex, which I have used on many solar wells. I'm referring to the SQ series. They are a straight up single speed pump that have soft start built in. They can be had for much less than $1,000 and require no fancy control boxes. The SQ normally comes as a 3" pump/motor (will fit in wells 3" and up). The part that I am trying to re-inforce is that they have a soft-start, they wind up slowly and do not surge the way a regular submersible well pump runs.

    if you got the dough definitely look at the SQ Flex, but for the same money you can go with an SQ pump as you can upgrade to a VFD unless you really don't want to pull your old pump.

    FWIW: If you go with the VFD that is compatible with the single phase motors soft-start is not available on the 2-wire motors. You can still get soft start on the 3-wire motors.

    I generally do not use VFD's as they add more complexity to the system that is IMO not necessary. If you just need to be able to run on a low power (open flow to a tank) I can see where they would be useful. If you look at the pump-curve most pumps cannot make a useful amount of pressure or flow at the low rpms (30 Hz is the minimum) so you really are not getting that benefit. You can really benefit once the pump curve goes past 60 HZ (3450 rpm), but you are using more energy. FWIW on the mono-drive boxes you cannot go past 60 HZ on a regular 3-wire motor.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    I believe that there is a 1.5 HP SQ but I would need to look at the specs. With little to no head I'm sure you could get 30 gpm. What are you using now?
  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    By the way, for those interested, the SQ pumps/motors turn at 10,300 rpm, which is how the 3" pump is able to make enough head and flow for such a small pump. If your well or source makes sand I would shy away from using them.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!
    I believe that there is a 1.5 HP SQ but I would need to look at the specs. With little to no head I'm sure you could get 30 gpm. What are you using now?

    I am going to spec and Aquavar from goulds. Nothing in yet!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    Dave,

    Not only do I think the SQ would be a good fit for your application I think it would be the most desirable option of the bunch. The pump can be mounted directly into the tank and in a horizontal position (laying down). They are available up to 1.5 HP but I think for 30 GPM a 1-HP would suit you well. Maybe even smaller. They take several seconds to wind up and as such have built-in soft start.

    Of all the companies I deal with it seems that Grundfos is the hardest to get accurate information for. I have conflicting information that this pump can be readily used with the Grundfos VFD that is called the SQE, all you need to do is add the box and transducer. The SQ should be a much cheaper deal than the Aquavar you were looking at. You can buy them here: http://shop.pumpsandtanks.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=72. If you decide you need a VFD in the future you just buy the box and transducer and you're set. FWIW I think you would need to connect the discharge of the pump to a tank/pressure switch system, I'm not sure how it would perform simply running through sprinklers open-ended. Probably no way to test without making a flooded mess. I would connect to a small well-x-troll tank with an outlet somewhere to test the flow.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    Thanks Ron,

    I was starting to think about the SQ when I was changing a Schneider/Square D pressure switch last month. The Cal department of Forestry does the inspection and up here in the rural part of the state they will just time the filling of a 5 gallon bucket. What do you think of setting the turn on pressure and turn off to maximize the on time to get minimum time to start the pump to pass their test? Kind of the opposit of how you would set it for minimizing pump cycles?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
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  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!

    Use a 1-gallon pressure tank like those used with VFD's and a cycle stop or equivalent valve. That will keep it at constant pressure and an almost instant on.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 230v 1HP well pump now runs on 2200 watts solar!
    Use a 1-gallon pressure tank like those used with VFD's and a cycle stop or equivalent valve. That will keep it at constant pressure and an almost instant on.
    Got it! Good idea. Thanks for the idea! You were asking last year "I think" about a grid-tie inverter (that was not available then) that would work during a sunny day when the utility power went out. Did you see that SMA came out with the model TL that does this? If it was not you forgive me. My brother and I put one in at his house and he is very happy with it.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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