110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
I am looking at setting up a off grid system to use our water well just for weekend use for an RV.

I have a 160 foot well and the pump is setting at 140 feet deep with a 33 gallon pressure tank. Right now I use a small Yamaha generator to operate the well. Using a watt meter when the pump is running it's using around 1190 watts at 120 volts.

I have a 24 volt 1800 watt Prosine inverter.

Looking at maybe (2) 225 watt 24 volt panels with a pole mount and (4) 6 volt batteries and a charge controller of some sort.

Would this be enough to power that well for short periods of time.

Thanks.
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Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    My guess is that the inverter won't supply enough power to start the pump.

    How much water do you need to pump over the course of a day?

    You might consider a 24 vdc submersible pump like the shurfo 9300, which will pump to 50 psi drawing ~ 10 amps.

    A probable cheaper alternative is to simply double or triple up your pressure tank, run the generator every day or every few days to supply water as needed. You could also install a larger tank (un pressurized) and feed that into the p-tank with a smaller pump.

    Tony
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    kendive wrote: »
    Using a watt meter when the pump is running it's using around 1190 watts at 120 volts.

    There's your first clue: nearly 1200 Watts running. The start-up surge is likely 3-5 times that, which means the Prosine 1800 won't start the pump. As a rule, generators are a much cheaper way to go for this sort of application.

    That said, the other bit of missing info is how long the pump actually runs. Six minutes a day? Or sixty?
    In order to size a battery bank properly you need to know how many Watt hours you'll consume. The running draw of that pump is 1.2 kW, so one hour would be 1.2 kilowatt hours. Six minutes would be 120 Watt hours. (At 9 gpm, that's 54 gallons. You can get a rough idea of how long it will run by calculating your water usage against the flow capacity of the pump.)

    The standard T105 "golf cart" 6 Volt battery is 225 Amp hours. At a maximum DOD of 50%, that gives you 112 Amp hours to work with. At 24 Volts that's about 2.6 kW hours capacity. Just to give you some idea.

    To recharge that same bank fully (without generator use) you'd need:
    22.5 Amps (10% rate) @ 28.4 Volts = 639 watts, less efficiency derating (77% typical) = 829 Watt array. Again, just to give you some idea of what you'd be getting in to. That's likely to be $2000+ just for the panels, plus an MPPT charge controller (another $500) plus the batteries.

    Generator noise sounding pretty good by now, eh? :p
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    The power needed at startup depends what brand and type of pump. Grundfos sq 1/2 horse is a slow start pump that only needs 10% power surge and is advertised to run on mod sinewave. I have one I am going to put in sometime. Nameplate says running .99kw so to start it needs 1100watt surge. :Dsolarvic:D
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    Thanks for all the answers...

    The pump they put in the well is an Goulds Model 7LS05. Looks like I may just put a generator out there and run it off propane.
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    There's your first clue: nearly 1200 Watts running. The start-up surge is likely 3-5 times that,

    Not sure if the start-up is that high because I only use a 2000 watt generator and it runs the well great.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,804 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    A generator with a spinning mass, and engine, can supply brief surges beyond it's rated capacity (mostly the ability to keep the RPM at the right speed for 60hz) The 2 seconds it takes to start the pump, the genset does not slow much, but a transistor inverter just cannot supply the needed juice.
    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

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  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    mike90045 wrote: »
    A generator with a spinning mass, and engine, can supply brief surges beyond it's rated capacity (mostly the ability to keep the RPM at the right speed for 60hz) The 2 seconds it takes to start the pump, the genset does not slow much, but a transistor inverter just cannot supply the needed juice.

    Good point... I guess I will just do the Genset and propane bottle out there at our property. We are only using this land to play, shoot, use the RV one in a while anyway.

    I may just sell the 24 Volt 1800 watt Prosine inverter.
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    It depends on what you feel about cost. We have a Grunfos 110 v. soft-start version of the pump; the starting surge is around 11 amps, then runs a bit below 10. My 2500 w. inverter handles it just fine. I am not certain about an 1800 w. inverter, but I would think it might be ok.

    However, the pump cost us around $1100. But for that money, we are able to run it on our existing household elec. system [PV]. We only let the pump run during sunny spells, too. I have a switch in the house and I only turn it on when its sunny. [We have a cistern and small 12 v. pump for our water...we fill the cistern periodically with the Grunfos, so we can easily wait for sun.]

    The regular [non-soft start] version of the same pump needed a large surge to start. It has been six years now since I bought ours, so my memory is hazy, but I believe the surge for the regular pump was 60 amps. That was beyond my Trace 2500 w. inverter for sure.
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    SCharles wrote: »
    It depends on what you feel about cost. We have a Grunfos 110 v. soft-start version of the pump; the starting surge is around 11 amps, then runs a bit below 10. My 2500 w. inverter handles it just fine. I am not certain about an 1800 w. inverter, but I would think it might be ok.

    However, the pump cost us around $1100. But for that money, we are able to run it on our existing household elec. system [PV]. We only let the pump run during sunny spells, too. I have a switch in the house and I only turn it on when its sunny. [We have a cistern and small 12 v. pump for our water...we fill the cistern periodically with the Grunfos, so we can easily wait for sun.]

    The regular [non-soft start] version of the same pump needed a large surge to start. It has been six years now since I bought ours, so my memory is hazy, but I believe the surge for the regular pump was 60 amps. That was beyond my Trace 2500 w. inverter for sure.


    Funny you mention the Grunfos pumps...

    I was just looking at this model 11 SQF-2 Helical Rotor 300 Feet 11 GPM 50-1400 3" (1-1/4" NPT)

    Looks like it will run on AC or DC and just about any voltage. So I could run this off solar DC power and batteries or if we ever build out there I can run it on 120 or 220...

    I would take out that little 110 1/2 hp pump I have now and install this pump.

    I am sure that 11 GPM changes depending on what voltage you are running it on.
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    Our model is the "5 SQE05-180". I don't know whether the "E" designates soft-start. It's a 5 gpm model. The label says 10.9 starting amps. With 100 ft. head and a horizontal, diagonal and steep uphill run to the cistern, I have measured the flow up at the cistern with a stop watch and five-gal. bucket and got a definite 5 gpm, so they are accurate with their figures.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,625 admin
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    Be careful that you check ratings--some of those pumps are 190 VAC (VDC?) maximum rated last I checked (if I recall correctly).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    BB. wrote: »
    Be careful that you check ratings--some of those pumps are 190 VAC (VDC?) maximum rated last I checked (if I recall correctly).

    -Bill

    Ok thanks for the info... so no 220 VAC. Right now I would only run 24 VDC and then 120 VAC to the pump anyway.

    The guy that put the pump in said I could get a hand pump that is all SS. It would pump water into the tank and has a spigot to fill a bucket. It goes in line with you AC pump but it's around $2K installed.

    I think I would rather do the $1800 pump with solar...
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    SCharles wrote: »
    Our model is the "5 SQE05-180". I don't know whether the "E" designates soft-start. It's a 5 gpm model. The label says 10.9 starting amps. With 100 ft. head and a horizontal, diagonal and steep uphill run to the cistern, I have measured the flow up at the cistern with a stop watch and five-gal. bucket and got a definite 5 gpm, so they are accurate with their figures.

    Charles I think you paid too much money for your pump. The 5 designates 5 gal per minute. I should have put my model number in my post so I will now. Model no of my pumpp 10 sq/sqe-160. suposed to pump 10 gal per minute. has 164 foot of head .5 hp 110 volt .990 watt with 1100 starting watts. You should be able to buy this pump for $660.00 It is also rated to run on a modified sinewave inverter. Solarvic http://www.wwpp.com/products/grundfos-pumps/sq-3-inch-submersible-pumps.htm I There is a chart here to figure what head is, pump actually cheaper than other site I looked at.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    You already have the Prosine 1800, so I suggest you try a quick temporary connection to your inverter and give it a try. Most common, every day submersible 1/2 HP pumps are capacitor start. The ones with a separate starter relay box tend to start easier than the designs with the starter built into the pump motor. The first has 3 wires + ground = 4 wires coming from the motor, while the latter have 2 wires + ground = 3 wires. I have in continuous service, a Prosine 1800/12 and am almost stunned at what it will start. Far more powerful that way than I ever expected. Starts a 1/2 hp band saw (capacitor start) actually quicker than grid at my location. Of course mine is supplied by six L-16 batteries, so the inverter doesn't starve for supply when presented with a heavy load. I believe it would be well worth a try to see what happens. Then you'll know how it will work in your specific case. FYI, I ran my $400. off the shelf, every day 1/2 hp 4 wire submersible pump at the cottage for a couple of summers on a 1500 watt MSW that was a toy compared to the Prosine 1800.
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    You already have the Prosine 1800, so I suggest you try a quick temporary connection to your inverter and give it a try. Most common, every day submersible 1/2 HP pumps are capacitor start. The ones with a separate starter relay box tend to start easier than the designs with the starter built into the pump motor. The first has 3 wires + ground = 4 wires coming from the motor, while the latter have 2 wires + ground = 3 wires. I have in continuous service, a Prosine 1800/12 and am almost stunned at what it will start. Far more powerful that way than I ever expected. Starts a 1/2 hp band saw (capacitor start) actually quicker than grid at my location. Of course mine is supplied by six L-16 batteries, so the inverter doesn't starve for supply when presented with a heavy load. I believe it would be well worth a try to see what happens. Then you'll know how it will work in your specific case. FYI, I ran my $400. off the shelf, every day 1/2 hp 4 wire submersible pump at the cottage for a couple of summers on a 1500 watt MSW that was a toy compared to the Prosine 1800.

    Encouraging information...

    I guess I could get two 12 volt batteries and bring them out there to test the well with the inverter. I don't have anything yet to run the inverter and I pick up the inverter for $300 a while ago new in box.

    I know my well has a starting cap mounted in a box next to the tank.

    The other issue would be having enough panels to recharge the (4) 6 volt batteries I would use.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    One thing to keep in mind, something I learned the hard way. Even though this is just a test at the well, you MUST make sure to have good, solid connections, using proper size wire at and between both batteries and inverter, or it ain't gonna work! When I first got my Prosine 1800, just to be sure it was working OK before final installation, I hooked it up to the batteries with jumper cables, figuring that would be good enough for just a quick test. WRONG! It wouldn't do much more than run a light bulb without shutting down. It was so bad, I concluded the inverter was defective. Finally, as a last resort before sending it back on warranty, I made good, solid connections, and BINGO!!!!!! It worked perfectly!
    Good luck and let us know how you make out. From my experience, it's encouraging your pump has the capacitor starter box at the tank. If it's a 1/2 HP pump, I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised as long as your battery voltage doesn't sag too much when the pump starts ;)
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    One thing to keep in mind, something I learned the hard way. Even though this is just a test at the well, you MUST make sure to have good, solid connections, using proper size wire at and between both batteries and inverter, or it ain't gonna work! When I first got my Prosine 1800, just to be sure it was working OK before final installation, I hooked it up to the batteries with jumper cables, figuring that would be good enough for just a quick test. WRONG! It wouldn't do much more than run a light bulb without shutting down. It was so bad, I concluded the inverter was defective. Finally, as a last resort before sending it back on warranty, I made good, solid connections, and BINGO!!!!!! It worked perfectly!
    Good luck and let us know how you make out. From my experience, it's encouraging your pump has the capacitor starter box at the tank. If it's a 1/2 HP pump, I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised as long as your battery voltage doesn't sag too much when the pump starts ;)

    Thanks for the info. I already have a bunch of 1/0 cable and term lugs. I also would like to add a quick disconnect connector from the batteries to the inverter. Like they have on golf carts to charge the batteries.

    Do you think I need to install a DC fuse block just for the test? And what size would you recommend?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,625 admin
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    Usually, inverters do include their own fuse(s).... The external fuse is to protect the external wiring--You should not need any extra fuse for your test.

    Just don't drop a wrench on the battery/cable connections. :cry:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    BB. wrote: »
    Usually, inverters do include their own fuse(s).... The external fuse is to protect the external wiring--You should not need any extra fuse for your test.

    Just don't drop a wrench on the battery/cable connections. :cry:

    -Bill

    Agree with BB. Mine, being 12 volt, has either a 225, or a 250 amp (forget which) fuse just inside, in the positive line. Yours being 24 volt, I would expect a fuse roughly half that amperage.
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    BB. wrote: »
    Usually, inverters do include their own fuse(s).... The external fuse is to protect the external wiring--You should not need any extra fuse for your test.

    Just don't drop a wrench on the battery/cable connections. :cry:

    -Bill

    Yep I have heard some stories on shorting battery terms...

    So If I do setup this up you don't suggest putting a fuse or DC breaker inline on the positive side going to the inverter?
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    kendive wrote: »
    Yep I have heard some stories on shorting battery terms...

    So If I do setup this up you don't suggest putting a fuse or DC breaker inline on the positive side going to the inverter?

    Yes when and if you do a permanent installation. Personally, for myself, I wouldn't bother just for a quick test.
  • MaineCabinMaineCabin Solar Expert Posts: 29
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    I run a soft-start Grundfos 5SQ05-180 115volt pump on a Xantrex DR1512 inverter w/4 - 6V golf cart batteries. Works like a charm.

    This is at my summer part-time cabin. It's been in service I think 4 years now.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    No offense, It only took me 20 years and many $$$ to figure out that a 12 or 24 VDC pump that pulls 3 - 10 amps DC will do the same job if you use 500 gallons or less a day. You use open storage and then pressurize for use. Just the on and off cycles of a AC pump are a killer on a off grid system.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    No offense, It only took me 20 years and many $$$ to figure out that a 12 or 24 VDC pump that pulls 3 - 10 amps DC will do the same job if you use 500 gallons or less a day. You use open storage and then pressurize for use. Just the on and off cycles of a AC pump are a killer on a off grid system.

    No offense taken. To each his own, what I have works extremely well for me in my situation.
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)
    MaineCabin wrote: »
    I run a soft-start Grundfos 5SQ05-180 115volt pump on a Xantrex DR1512 inverter w/4 - 6V golf cart batteries. Works like a charm.

    This is at my summer part-time cabin. It's been in service I think 4 years now.

    How many Panels do you have? Wattage?

    I will be taking the 1800 watt inverter out there soon. I just need to get an extra 12 volt battery to test the inverter.

    Will update soon.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    I have run my 220 vac well pump off my Prosine 2.0 thru an autotransformer setup every time I lose power for more than a couple hrs. No problem. I don't have a clue as to the hp of the pump, or it's 220 vac rated draw amps, but the prosine shows 46 amp draw @ 12 volts at startup and about 24-27 amps while running. The pump is about 187 ft deep.
    i'm impressed with it. only problem with mine is when grid power returns, the prosine won't automatically go back to charge mode every time.
  • kendivekendive Solar Expert Posts: 38
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    Question?

    I want to get two 6 volt batteries at Samsclub for my RV. I have a interstate deep cycle battery now for it that came with the RV it's a 2008.

    If I go to test the Inverter with the well pump can I use the two new 6 volt batteries with the one 12 volt interstate battery to get 24 volts for the inverter?

    Or would you not advise that????:D
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,625 admin
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    At the very least, it is recommended that batteries in series should be relatively close in AH capacity.

    For testing, it is not going to hurt anything... For long term, you might have problems with equalization (some batteries may undercharge and others over charge in the string--depending on capacity, leakage current, etc.).

    Equalization can make batteries all 100% charged--but it does this by overcharging some batteries to bring the "weak" ones back to 100% charge.

    Over the long term, equalization is pretty hard on batteries and should only be done when needed (for example, when the range of specific gravity is 0.030 or greater from lowest to highest cell).

    Normally equalization is done once every 1-3 months or so for flooded cell batteries. Some companies recommend equalization every 2-3 months, and others only equalize when needed.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,804 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    for a test, it's ok, but for long term, the batteries should be matched. (long reason why not typoed yet....)
    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 ,

  • FrxddyFrxddy Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 110 Volt AC Water Well Setup (Off Grid)

    One other thing that might enter into this line of thinking....You say the well is 160 feet & the pump is at 140, but, what is the level of the water? If the water is less than 25 feet from the surface it gives you a host of other ways to pump. You might get away with a small pump on the surface.
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