water pumping advice needed

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
I have a rural well that supplies a 3 br home, a shop, and water for 20 head of cattle. It is a 1 hp, 230vac submersible in a 4" casing. Depth of pump is 140 ft. Static water level is 48 ft. Yield is 40 gpm.
Here is what I want to do. Be able to pump water even if the grid goes down and I run out of fuel for my backup generators.
I have bought a 3000 gallon water tank. My plan is to replace my pump with a solar pump to keep the water tank full and use a pressure booster pump to pressurize the plumbing downstream of the big tank. Thinking Grundfoss because of the wide voltage capability. Question are:
1. Is there a better way to do what I want?
2. Can anyone suggest specific equipment? I would like to be able to install it myself.
Thanks for any help y'all can give.

Comments

  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: water pumping advice needed

    Solar equipment and new pumps are expensive, water tanks are cheap :D Couldn't you install bigger tanks and just keep it full for when the grid goes down?
    To install an expensive solar powered system just for the special cases when the grid goes down could be a poor use of resources.

    A few questions:
    - How much water do you use per day?
    - How long does the longest power cut last?
    - How often are the power cuts?
    - Is running out of fuel for generators really a problem?
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,822 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: water pumping advice needed
    c-cap wrote: »
    It is a 1 hp, 230vac submersible in a 4" casing.

    ......
    1. Is there a better way to do what I want?
    2. Can anyone suggest specific equipment? I would like to be able to install it myself.
    Thanks for any help y'all can give.


    That's a big pump. A smaller pump, running longer, may be a better fit. When pumping, what does the water level fall to ? Slower rate, may have a higher level, and not need as much power.

    240VAC, only the Xantrex XW inverters give 240V. Other inverters need a add-on transformer. Very pricey.

    1HP = 1,000W, How many hours a day does it run ?

    Booster pump, back to an inverter to power that.
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  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: water pumping advice needed

    Thanks for the replies.
    I will probably add another storage tank or two anyway.
    We don't have a problem at this time with power losses, but I am not optimistic about the future as far as availability and cost of electricity.
    I would rather invest in a secure water supply now and not have to worry about it later.
    Anyone have experience with the grundfoss sq pumps run directly of of panels?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,642 admin
    Re: water pumping advice needed

    I don't have a well--but I have read that they are nice (although expensive) setups...

    If you can run them all "day" at the lower flow rate and meet your daily needs--you should be very happy with it. Using solar panels directly with the pump and avoiding the whole battery/inverter thing is a real cost savings (and efficiency booster).

    I like that they can take AC/DC/Battery/Genset power without any additional converters--makes running one off a small, fuel efficient backup genset very nice.

    If you are thinking of buying one from our host NAWS--I believe they have lots of experience selling the line in Arizona.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: water pumping advice needed

    Seeing as though it's general electrical supply you're concerned about, you could consider starting to build a complete solar system that would feed the pump and also other devices you might want to power in case of a grid outage. To go this route you could use:
    - 3 phase water pump
    - variable frequency drive that converts 110VAC single phase into 230VAC three phase (about 200 bucks). The VFD also allows you to start the pump up slowly so that there's no starting surge. It'll also let you select its speed, so you could buy a 1HP pump and then choose to run it at only 0.5HP, whatever suits.

    The rest of the equipment would be standard off-grid solar kit:
    - PV panels
    - Charge controller
    - Batteries
    - 110VAC inverter

    Even if you didn't want to power any other devices, it would be interesting to compare the costs of the above system with the Grundfos kit.
  • scottjscottj Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: water pumping advice needed
    c-cap wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies.
    I will probably add another storage tank or two anyway.
    We don't have a problem at this time with power losses, but I am not optimistic about the future as far as availability and cost of electricity.
    I would rather invest in a secure water supply now and not have to worry about it later.
    Anyone have experience with the grundfoss sq pumps run directly of of panels?

    I have used the Grundfos SQ Flex for many years, thay are the best, and can be manipulated by the amount of DC power you give them
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: water pumping advice needed

    40 gpm is a lot of water. Is that what you need, or what you can produce? How much water do you need on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? .4 gpm is one number with one set of solutions, 4 gpm is another, and 40 is yet another.

    I agree with the suggestion, that unless you are REALLY concerned about the reliability of your grid, and or the availability of fuel in the long run, a larger storage tank system would be way cheaper. If you are worried about Armageddon then designing a complete system might be in order.

    Personally, my feeling is grids are pretty reliable, fuel will continue to be available for emergency generators (albiet with increasing expense!) so the doomsday scenario is pretty unlikely,


    Tony
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,237 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: water pumping advice needed
    c-cap wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies.

    I would rather invest in a secure water supply now and not have to worry about it later.

    Harvest rainwater! There are very few things to go wrong if it is done right! You do need rainfall...

    I just finished a system that I designed a brute force approach that is always an option with regular 220vac pumps that you could also consider. This is in Arizona where AC cooling is used and basically the deep well runs one hour a day off 4,000 watts of solar. During that hour in the afternoon when the battery has completed charge the air conditioning times off for the hour that the well runs. It is perfect for the user as the well can only supply a finite amount of water and needs 15 hours to refill.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: water pumping advice needed
    c-cap wrote: »
    I have a rural well that supplies a 3 br home, a shop, and water for 20 head of cattle. It is a 1 hp, 230vac submersible in a 4" casing. Depth of pump is 140 ft. Static water level is 48 ft. Yield is 40 gpm.
    Here is what I want to do. Be able to pump water even if the grid goes down and I run out of fuel for my backup generators.
    I have bought a 3000 gallon water tank. My plan is to replace my pump with a solar pump to keep the water tank full and use a pressure booster pump to pressurize the plumbing downstream of the big tank. Thinking Grundfoss because of the wide voltage capability. Question are:
    1. Is there a better way to do what I want?
    2. Can anyone suggest specific equipment? I would like to be able to install it myself.
    Thanks for any help y'all can give.


    c-cap: Any chance you can get some elevation on the tank(s) to help you out ?

    We have gravity fed spring system in our house.....3000 gallons of storage as well, and the spring output varies from all a 3/4" pipe will handle ( rest simply overflows into creek bed ) down to as little as a quart/minute ( I've measured it ) in the driest parts of the year ( usually Sept/Oct here ). Tanks are located about 60' above the house, and that gives us 25-30psi....not 'great' pressure, but enough. I ran a 1" line to help with some more volume.

    I had a well drilled couple years ago as a backup, but if we pump it hard, it muddies up and never been able to clear it.....taking water off slow, stays clear. My plan is to build another storage tank facility, then install a SQ pump on a couple of panels, and just let it pump anytime the sun shine.....I'll put a float switch on the tank so when full, it shuts the pump down.....then gravity will feed the tank water to the house, garden, cows as needed. Our well is 220', static level of the water is 50', and it will produce plenty of water, just gets muddy after the static level drops about 30'....my guess is the incoming water is running over a vein of mud and that washes into the well, messing up the rest of the water.....but I can shut the out put down to a gallon/minute, and never get's muddy. SO, I figure a Gundfos pump at about 1/2gal/min would be the ticket.
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