Vineyard Solar Pump!

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
We currently have a natural spring that is level with the top of our vineyard and run a Trash pump for about 2-1/2 hours to pump water up 42 feet to a 10K tank that gravity feeds the 2,000 vines each with 2, 1/2 GPH Pressure compensating drippers each.

The slope from the spring to the bottom of the vineyard is 32 feet. Gravity should water the lower 1/3 of the vineyard with the recommended 10 PSI, but the upper 2/3's lacks the 10PSI required for the pressure compensating drippers.

We need to water apx. 10-16 Gallons Per Vine, (GPV) once a week depending on the time of year and would like to eliminate the manual process of gassing the trash pump and pumping individual sections by cutting on and off valves to sections of the vineyard to accomplish the GPV.

What type of solar pumping system could accomplish this 10-16 GPV requirement in 1 or 2 days per week? We really don't want to water any faster as the water will just run-off...

We have solar internet in the vineyard that we would like to automate the watering process, just to make sure the watering is actually happening!

Budget is about $5,000. A case of wine to the most helpful contributor!

We have many other problems as well frost, deer, bear, racoons and tons of ground squirls, but that I'm sure will have to go to another fourm!! :)

Thanks, all responses will be appreciated!

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,020 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    Moving water is a big load for solar. you can use a small pump, and a couple of panels daily, and move a lot, but a cloudy day, and you don't pump.

    Next step up is a battery system, but it's a big move up, with lotsa maintainance, that you likely don't want.

    And of course, there is grid power, at 1/10 the cost of solar. Electric companies often have Ag rates.

    What's the Hp spec for the trash pump you currently use ? Figure for electric you need 1,500watts for each HP.
    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 ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    I agree, the grid would be the best solution but the power comes off the pole about 2000 feet short of the vineyard as the crow flies. With the closest existing outlets about 1300 feet from the Vineyard. This would be the preferred method, but I don't think it will go that far.

    The trash pump is a 116cc, I believe, about 4.5HP. It feeds up in 2 1/2 hours then gravity feeds down over 12 - 16 hours.

    I don't think it matters if the watering gets prolonged a few days due to cloudiness just as long as the 10-16GPV gets there each week from March through Sept. there are very few cloudy days during that time.

    What I'm thinking is using a solar pump to increase the gravity feed water pressure to at least 20 PSI for the entire vineyard..
  • AntronXAntronX Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!
    I agree, the grid would be the best solution but the power comes off the pole about 2000 feet short of the vineyard as the crow flies. With the closest existing outlets about 1300 feet from the Vineyard. This would be the preferred method, but I don't think it will go that far.

    Sounds like you can achieve what you need using 240V induction motor pumps. A 2 hp pump will draw about (2*746)/.8 = 1865 Watts, and at 240V that equals about 8 Amps. 1300 feet of 10 gauge copper wire will give you 25 Volt drop at 8A, or about 10%. I don't see why you could not achieve your goal with smaller 1 hp pump to feed water into the tank over longer period of time, and use 0.5 hp pump to boost pressure for remaining vines.

    If you do need more power, you could use step up / step down transformers to reduce power loss of long wire run. There are plenty of used 240V - 480V transformers in 5 - 10 KVA range. If you could find 240V - 1000V transformers, that would be even better.

    What's your location?
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,020 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!
    I agree, the grid would be the best solution but the power comes off the pole about 2000 feet short of the vineyard as the crow flies. With the closest existing outlets about 1300 feet from the Vineyard...


    Best solution:
    Trench from your load center or pole, 4' deep, 2" condouit, and pull wires.
    If you are a commercial install, you may have 3 phase, which is even better.
    A small 1hp 3 phase pump is much less to run than solar and batteries and such.
    1 day for the electrical contractor to pull your wires.


    This will cost less than solar. You likely have a tractor or something you can hook a back ho or excavator, or rent a trencher machine.

    ----

    If you want to be independent, then solar, charge controller, batteries, inverter and new pumps would do it.
    Take the loan out now, and pay it back with inflated dollars.
    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 ,

  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!
    What I'm thinking is using a solar pump to increase the gravity feed water pressure to at least 20 PSI for the entire vineyard..

    Lemme take a stab at this...

    2000 vines x .66 (upper 2/3s of vinyard) = 1320 vines
    1320v x 16g = 21,120 gallons
    21,120 / 16 hours (1g per vine per hour) = 1320gph
    1320g / 60 minutes = 22gpm

    So you need a pump that can pump 22gpm @ 20psi.

    That's within the realm of possibility. For example, here's a table that shows Grundfos pumps and their capacity and PV (photo-voltaic) requirements. In that table, the 40 SQF-3 does 38gpm on 200w-800w of PV. (Keep in mind, this is just an example and probably won't be exactly the pump you'll need.)

    http://store.solar-electric.com/grsqpu.html

    Not sure what the pressure is though...

    In any case, it is entirely possible to boost up the pressure from the tank to the upper 2/3s of the vines using a solar powered pump.

    The first issue, is how to power that pump. If you need to run it 16 hours and it takes (worst case) 800w, then you need 800w x 16h 12,800wh (watt hours).

    The problem there, is that you need to use it over the course of 16 hours (not enough sun per day for that) - so that requires a battery. If you rig the battery/pump for say 48v, then you need to store 12,800wh / 48v = 266ah of 48v battery. However, draining a battery below 50% on a regular basis is a certain recipe for early battery failure, so you need to double that.

    If you buy 6v golf cart style deep-cycle batteries, such as the T-105 (very common for solar rigs), you'll need to rig 8 in series (a string) to get 48v. In series, the voltage increases, and the amperage stays the same. The 6v Trojan T-105 has a 225ah capacity, so 3 strings of 8 in series, then paralleled strings would be 675ah capacity @ 48v. So you are looking at 24 x 6v/225ah T-105s.

    Figure for a fixed (non-tracking) PV array, you'll get perhaps 4 hours of full direct sunlight on the panels. So you need 12,800wh / 4h = 3200w of PV to recharge the battery in one day. If you spread it out over say 3 days you'd need about 1100w. But everything is not 100% efficient, so a good guess would be 1500w of PV to fully recharge in 2-3 days.


    Okay, so 1.5kw of solar at say $2/watt would be about $3,000.
    You might find a deal on the batteries at $100 ea. so say $2,500 for batteries.

    You still have to pick a pump, but let's just guess at $1000 max for that.
    You also need all the mounting hardware and wires and breakers and whatnot.
    You also need a solar charge controller to charge the batteries from the PV, but luckily since you aren't dealing with any AC you don't need any inverter.
    Then add in a good AC powered battery charger as well so you can run a generator and recharge those batteries when there isn't enough sun.
    Then of course, there is the labor to set it all up.

    I'd guess you're looking at around 10 grand for the boost pump rig. That's just a guess of course, but it's in the ballpark.

    But!

    If you bump up the PV some...say to maybe 2.5kw, then you could add another pump, running from the same battery bank, to pump from the well to the tank. Just don't use both pumps on the same day...

    And there's the rub - you don't have enough storage tanks, so you have to run both pumps on the same day. You need a total of 2000 x 16g = 32,000g of water. If you had that much storage then you could run a small pump 6 days a week to fill the tanks, and another pump one day a week for the pressure boost.

    [EDIT: Or one pump with valves to do both jobs.]

    Do the vines really need 16g in one day? Could they take 8g/day for 2 days instead? Then you could run one pump to fill the tank for half the day, and one to boost pressure the rest of the day.


    And yea...it would be better and probably cheaper to run 2000' to the grid.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,020 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    Do what I did, find a hill high enough, and put a tank or 3 there, and pump while the sun shines. Let the static pressure do the rest. No hill ? Build an old fashioned water tower with tank on it.

    Anything to avoid batteries and their losses.
    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 ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,061 admin
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    Adding batteries to an off-grid solar pumping system will easily up your initial system costs by 2-4x over pure solar+pump... And you will have to replace the batteries every 8+/- years (not cheap either)...

    As the others have said before in this thread--If you can figure out how to do this with pumping only during daylight hours (and good weather)--you will have a much more cost effective system (the solar only DC/AC/Battery powered in-well pump is not cheap though).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    We don't want to pump any water up to the 10k tank, that we will keep on gas engine for an emergency.

    We want to increase the pressure of the downward flow! Spring is at the top of the vineyard, but not enough pressure (10PSI) for pressure compensating drippers and best at 20-30 PSI.

    Any ideas on how to accomplish this over 1 or 2 sunny days per week?
  • AntronXAntronX Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    Do you specifically want solar power for whatever reason? If so, we can help you. But we want you to be aware that the grid is feasible in your case and is cheaper that solar.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    Not so sure Grid is cheaper at 2,000 feet from the pole as the crow flies. we are at 2700 feet up in the western Sierra's with much more rock and trees than soil. I am interested in your theory of pulling (pusing) power apx. 2,500 feet above and below ground!
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!
    Not so sure Grid is cheaper at 2,000 feet from the pole as the crow flies
    Not sure what your utility might charge per pole, but where I live they like a pole about every 150 ft so in your case it would take maybe 13 poles at $1200 (this is what my utility charges per pole) or around $16000 dollars. You would still have to add in the cost of the pumping equipment. Now the question becomes, can PV powered pumps do the job at an equivalent price or a little more, say $20000 dollars. You still have to purchase the power from the utility if they run poles.
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!
    We want to increase the pressure of the downward flow! Spring is at the top of the vineyard, but not enough pressure (10PSI) for pressure compensating drippers and best at 20-30 PSI.
    Have you thought about using a PTO pump on your tractor since it is intermittent use? You could put an 80 to 100 GPM PTO pump on a tractor that would deliver the required water over 2 days of pumping for 6 hours each day. I have a small vineyard but only have to water in extremely dry years, this was one of them.
  • zeuspaulzeuspaul Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    Divide into three zones. The lower third is taken care of leaving 1330 vines. 1330/2 = 668 vines in each of the upper two zones.

    668 vines x 2.5 gal/hour = 1670 gph.

    Assuming the spring and main piping can support 1670 gph.

    The pump chart for a Sequence .25 hp 1000 pond pump indicates about 1700 gph at 20 psi. If the pump is below the spring you would add head pressure to the 20 psi.
    http://www.plumbingworld.com/pondpumps_sequence.html

    Running the pump for 6 hours will give you 6 x 2.5 = 15 gal per vine per day. Water zone one for a day and zone two the second day.

    The referenced .25 hp pump is rated at 290 watts. Running the pump for a day you need 6 x 290 = 1740 watt hours.

    Eight Kyocera 135 watt panels will give you 8 panels x 135 watts x 4 hours full sun equivalent x .5 derating = 2160 watt hours.

    The Exeltech 2000 watt TSW inverter has less standby draw than the 1100 watt model and the 4000 watt surge rating should easily handle the .25 hp pump start up current. It should also handle the .33 hp model if you wanted a bigger pump.

    8 x 135 watt panels $3240
    Exeltech 24 V 2000 watt inverter $1300
    Morningstar MPPT 45 amp controller $450
    4 x 225 amp hr 6 volt batteries in series $500
    Sequence 1000 .25 hp pump $600
    Mounting and wire $900

    Total $7000
    If fed 30% tax credit applies .7 x $7000 = $5000

    Zeuspaul
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!
    zeuspaul wrote: »
    668 vines x 2.5 gal/hour = 1670 gph.

    My reading of the OP says that each vine has 2 x .5gph watering heads. He can't do more than 1gph per vine since the excess water just runs off instead of being soaked up.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!
    We don't want to pump any water up to the 10k tank, that we will keep on gas engine for an emergency.

    We want to increase the pressure of the downward flow! Spring is at the top of the vineyard, but not enough pressure (10PSI) for pressure compensating drippers and best at 20-30 PSI.

    Any ideas on how to accomplish this over 1 or 2 sunny days per week?

    Yes, and I told you how. The pumping up to the storage tank was just an added option IF you already had a system in place for the pressure boost to the watering system.

    If you've got a solar pumping system in place, it doesn't hurt to look at ways to make full use of it. Since you only need to water one day a week, that's an expensive rig to leave sitting idle the other 6 days...


    You can lower the cost substantially by eliminating the batteries. But you can't do that and still pump 16 hours a day. To eliminate the batteries, you need to split the watering up into multiple days so that it only happens when there is either adequate sunlight or a generator running to power the pump.
  • zeuspaulzeuspaul Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!
    My reading of the OP says that each vine has 2 x .5gph watering heads.

    Good catch, thanks dwh

    dwh typed
    Do the vines really need 16g in one day? Could they take 8g/day for 2 days instead?

    OP typed
    What type of solar pumping system could accomplish this 10-16 GPV requirement in 1 or 2 days per week?

    My interpretation is the OP is ok with 8 gal per day over two days.

    If we go to 8 gal per day per vine over two days and a 300 watt 1340 gph pump at 20 psi.

    .67 x 2000 vines = 1340 vines
    1340 vines x 1 gph = 1340 gph

    Sequence .25 hp pump greater than 1340 gph at 20 psi and less than 300 watts
    http://www.plumbingworld.com/images/sequence-1000-5100-flowchart.jpg

    300 watts for 8 hours = 2400 watt hours

    10 x 135 watt kyocera x 4 hours x .5 derate = 2700 watt hours

    one string of four golf cart 225 amp hr batteries 24 V x 225/2 = 2700 watt hours.

    Add $800 to below estimate from my previous post for two additional panels.
    8 x 135 watt panels $3240
    Exeltech 24 V 2000 watt inverter $1300
    Morningstar MPPT 45 amp controller $450
    4 x 225 amp hr 6 volt batteries in series $500
    Sequence 1000 .25 hp pump $600
    Mounting and wire $900

    Total $7000
    If fed 30% tax credit applies .7 x $7000 = $5000

    I selected the Kyocera 135 watt panels because they are the largest I can find that ship UPS.

    Zeuspaul
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    + labor

    That's assuming 8g per day per vine. Vintners are picky about their vines, since it seems small variations can make a big difference in the final taste.

    I wouldn't assume that each vine would be okay with 8g/day. Maybe, maybe not...up to the grower. He may not care and is only doing it all on one day to save having to work at it for two days. Or maybe the vine's roots are old and deep and it takes that much of a soak to reach bottom.

    Even if he really does have to soak 16g per vine in a single day, he could break up the field into 3rds or 4ths and soak each section on a different day. That would still leave him needing to run the pump for 16hr/day on watering days, but would also let him get away with an even smaller pump.
  • zeuspaulzeuspaul Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Vineyard Solar Pump!

    Agreed on the labor. I am a DIYer so I don't include it for my own projects.

    Also I didn't include a generator because I figured when it's cloudy the water requirement would be less so he could wait for a sunny day. Three of my close neighbors have vineyards and I agree they can be rather picky about their grapes. A portable generator is a good idea.

    Also agree the watering habits will effect the setup. Spreading the watering over two days reduces the cost.

    Also one needs to consider the hydraulics. We don't know how much pressure head the pump inlet sees nor the size of the piping.

    My neighbor has a tangerine orchard on a slope. He gave up on the pressure compensating drippers. He switched to non pressure compensating drippers and regulates the flow by adding more drippers.

    Perhaps the OP could use non pressure compensating drippers and vary the number of drippers to adjust the flow and save himself 10K.

    Zeuspaul
Sign In or Register to comment.