Pumping 900 ft well off grid

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  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid
    Wolfe wrote: »
    Do I just need to forget about running the well off the inverters and stick to the generator, or is there a solution? What would be the best solution, and then also what would be the cheapest solution?

    Split the pump off onto a PSW inverter of adequate size.

    Not sure which inverter would be cheapest, but I think any PSW inverter that will do 240v will probably not be cheap.

    In the meantime, I would definitely forget about running that pump off the MSW inverters.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,205 admin
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid

    Personally, I would make some calls to the people That Stephendv googled up:
    stephendv wrote: »
    I couldn't find any on their site either. Here are few resellers that came up in a search:
    http://www.driveswarehouse.com/
    http://www.variablefrequencydrives.net/
    http://www.dealerselectric.com/

    There are some interesting products in there and I would ask the folks about 120/240 (some in the last link seem to do the up converting) and if they have any experience with MSW/TSW inverters and gensets.

    Some of these appear to be surplus (from where?) and are well under $200... Sure would be interesting to try if it were not so expensive/difficult to change out a pump at the bottom of a well.

    I wonder if you have a "friendly" well guy that would be willing to run some tests?

    Even a three phase motor on a surface pump set to recirculate on a the edge of a pond with a pressure gauge and valve would probably tell a lot.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid
    BB. wrote: »

    Even a three phase motor on a surface pump set to recirculate on a the edge of a pond with a pressure gauge and valve would probably tell a lot.

    -Bill

    Nope. Not comparable to trying to get a pump to start against a 900' column of water.

    An inverter to run this pump .... $2,500 range. So maybe exploring the alternatives Stephendv & Bill point at could be more economical.

    Pumping water isn't easy. The stuff is heavy. If you want a lot from deep down at pressure you need serious HP to do it with.

    Cheapest solution is to run the gen and charge a big storage tank.
    And plan out what changes you'll make in future (different pump or bigger inverter, et cetera).
  • WolfeWolfe Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid

    I appreciate the help. I have learned alot, thanks.
    I think I may look into new inverter. The ceiling fans buzz and the microwave takes forever. When we bought the house they were using an outside Hardy wood stove feeding hot water to a forced air furnace. This took lots of juice to run. We are now using a Quadra fire wood stove inside and I have excess power with the two wind generators and solar panels. I would like to put that excess power to use, but am not ready to change out the water pump. Is the concensus that a PSW would possibly power this pump?
  • AntronXAntronX Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid
    Wolfe wrote: »
    ...What would be the best solution, and then also what would be the cheapest solution?

    For best, replace your pump with variable speed 3-phase pump and it's controller powered by battery bank directly, not via an inverter. A system that would use all excess solar energy (when batteries are absorbing or full) to pump water into above ground water tank for passive pressure.

    For the cheapest way, my guess is you could try this very cheap 3KW sine-wave inverter paired with 4KVA 120V - 240V transformer for total of $842 plus shipping. I am not aware of any reviews of this inverter, and for this price it may be junk. Check for warranty. You may find used transformer locally for a lot less.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid
    Wolfe wrote: »
    Is the concensus that a PSW would possibly power this pump?

    Well, the MSW powers it now, just not very well.

    The generator puts out PSW, and you know that works properly.

    I think replacing the older Trace MSWs with a newer PSW unit would be the best solution all around as it will also fix the other issues that you've described. Just make sure it's big enough, because meter readings notwithstanding, that pump almost certainly DOES have a start-up surge.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid

    Oh, and to get back to the amp hours of battery.

    9a @ 240v would be 18a @ 120v would be 180a @ 12v.

    So (very roughly) you could power that pump for 1 hour (180 amps for 1 hour) for every 360ah of battery if your batteries are rigged for 12v and you don't take them below 50% charge.

    So, if your solar array puts out 20a, then it would take (again, very roughly) 9 hours of full, direct sunlight to replace what you took out of the batteries to run the pump for 1 hour.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,461 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid
    Wolfe wrote: »
    Do I just need to forget about running the well off the inverters and stick to the generator, or is there a solution? What would be the best solution, and then also what would be the cheapest solution?

    Get a large storage tank. 3,000 would not be too large. Run genset weekly to keep it full. Bulk up batteries at same time, let solar finish them.

    For the 2 - 3 K $ it will take to get a large inverter, you can buy a lot of fuel, while fuel can be bought.

    Or bite the bullet, and get a large enough inverter. Rewire/Upgrade battery bank to 48V to reduce amps pulled from bank.
    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 ,

  • vcallawayvcallaway Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pumping 900 ft well off grid

    I'm pretty sure that cheap inverter is made by samlex. Looks just like the one a friend has in his motorhome.
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