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  • solar water pump for watering cows.

    I was wondering what would be the ideal set up for pumping water up a hill about 500ft of lift and 5000ft of run to a 50000 gallon water tank from a spring to water about 1000 cows? It is currently being done with a generator and a large well pump. The way the system works now is that the generator is on a timer and runs tell the timer runs out then has to be started and reset. So what i was wondering is there any system out there that can handle this large of a demand?(tank needs to be filled every 3 or 4 days) Another thing is there some type of either pressure sensing or wireless float switch that could be at the tank so the system would not have to be started and stopped manually?

  • #2
    Originally posted by waceycornia View Post
    I was wondering what would be the ideal set up for pumping water up a hill about 500ft of lift and 5000ft of run to a 50000 gallon water tank from a spring to water about 1000 cows? It is currently being done with a generator and a large well pump. The way the system works now is that the generator is on a timer and runs tell the timer runs out then has to be started and reset. So what i was wondering is there any system out there that can handle this large of a demand?(tank needs to be filled every 3 or 4 days) Another thing is there some type of either pressure sensing or wireless float switch that could be at the tank so the system would not have to be started and stopped manually?
    Howdy wacecornia,

    Thats a bit of a tuff one to work out, but no doubt it could be done, the whole bit about 500ft lft over 5000ft run makes me think the system would have to be huge.

    So we really need to know the specs on the current pump and generator, who many kilowatt hours will need to be produced, if your thinking of a solar solution to this problem. How much fuel do you use a week to run the genny now?

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    • #3
      There are DC water pumps that work directly with solar panels and a controller but I am not sure of their "lift" and distance capabilities to pump as far as you want to.

      You might be able to find one that can at least provide some amount of water flow when ever the sun is shining to help top off that 50k water tank but the cost may be much more than installing an automatic generator starting system with a wireless tank level control to run your existing pump.

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      • #4
        500' of lift is a lot for one solar pump. If you could have an intermediate tank at 250', then you could use 2 pumps and do it in 2 stages.
        Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | 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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by waceycornia View Post
          500ft of lift... 50000 gallon water tank ... currently being done with a generator and a large well pump... tank needs to be filled every 3 or 4 days...
          That's 50,000 / 3 = 16,666 gallons per day.
          If it runs just when the sun shines, that needs to be pumped in about 5 hours,
          for a rate of 3300 gallons per hour, or 55 gallons per minute.

          http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/06705.html talks about this kind of system,
          and lists several candidate pumps. A couple of them might just barely meet
          those requirements. It also says this kind of system isn't cheap.

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          • #6
            1,000 cows x 30 galloner per cow per day = 30,000 gallons of water per day. That number alone is staggering.

            I would just drill a well where you need the water and start from there. For a pump that can run all day you need at least 20 gallons per minute (30,000/24/60). For a solar pump it needs to be able to pump it in about 5-8 hours (depends on solar isolation) so you would need at least 60 gpm if you have 8 hours of good solar insolation (most don't).

            Originally posted by waceycornia View Post
            I was wondering what would be the ideal set up for pumping water up a hill about 500ft of lift and 5000ft of run to a 50000 gallon water tank from a spring to water about 1000 cows? It is currently being done with a generator and a large well pump. The way the system works now is that the generator is on a timer and runs tell the timer runs out then has to be started and reset. So what i was wondering is there any system out there that can handle this large of a demand?(tank needs to be filled every 3 or 4 days) Another thing is there some type of either pressure sensing or wireless float switch that could be at the tank so the system would not have to be started and stopped manually?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Texas Wellman View Post
              1,000 cows x 30 galloner per cow per day = 30,000 gallons of water per day. That number alone is staggering.
              Not to mention what cows produce after drinking 30,000 gal of water, some of which is not milk.

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              • #8
                Why not let the cows walk down to the spring and get the water for themselves?
                BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2000kW installed

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by waceycornia View Post
                  Another thing is there some type of either pressure sensing or wireless float switch that could be at the tank so the system would not have to be started and stopped manually?
                  Yes there are automated systems - you would need an auto start generator start kit about $300 for a normal 8KW home type generator and switches in your water tank to start and stop the generator. Also a delayed start on the pump while the generator gets to operating current to prevent burning up the pump motor. The water pumps that operate off of solar (48V) are expensive and wont provide the flow you need so you probably would want to stay with your current pump.

                  It sounds like a large dairy operation with a fair amount of power required - why not install 10 or 20KW of solar to off set or support all your operations and run wiring to the pump?

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                  • #10
                    Lived on farms in my life, especially summers in west Texas and Southern OK. All of them Catle and Horse ranches, and all had water wells and no electricity. Not needed, they use windmills to pump water.
                    MSEE, PE

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                      Lived on farms in my life, especially summers in west Texas and Southern OK. All of them Catle and Horse ranches, and all had water wells and no electricity. Not needed, they use windmills to pump water.
                      [FONT=comic sans ms]Your just showing your age SK. I bet they didn't have TV either. [/FONT]

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                        [FONT=comic sans ms]Your just showing your age SK. I bet they didn't have TV either. [/FONT]
                        Lived on a farm until 73 and didn't have TV (in the 60s) and had a 12KW tractor generator when the power went out, to keep the farm running and not lose milk cooling and ventilation for the 2500 chickens laying eggs.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Carl_NH View Post
                          Lived on a farm until 73 and didn't have TV (in the 60s) and had a 12KW tractor generator when the power went out, to keep the farm running and not lose milk cooling and ventilation for the 2500 chickens laying eggs.
                          Sounds like paradise to me. I only got to visit farms up in NY state when I was much younger otherwise we lived in the suburbs of northmen NJ.---------------------I was lucky I had TV in the 50's although there were only 4 channels and all in black & white on a small round screen. --------------------I look forward to peace and quite when retire and move to my property in northern Florida. Pretty rural up there but I can still go without technology if needed.---------------------Today's kids now can't live without their frickin phones for 10 minutes.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                            Sounds like paradise to me. I only got to visit farms up in NY state when I was much younger otherwise we lived in the suburbs of northmen NJ.---------------------I was lucky I had TV in the 50's although there were only 4 channels and all in black & white on a small round screen. --------------------I look forward to peace and quite when retire and move to my property in northern Florida. Pretty rural up there but I can still go without technology if needed.---------------------Today's kids now can't live without their frickin phones for 10 minutes.
                            Make that 10 seconds to my observation.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SunEagle
                              I had TV in the 50's although there were only 4 channels and all in
                              black & white on a small round screen.

                              Today's kids now can't live without their frickin phones for 10 minutes.
                              We only had 2 channels then; missed one network completely. My first TV was
                              missing the pic tube and had continuous tuning (still have it). I learned that good
                              sound was way more important than the picture. The old time radio guys
                              understood that, and though the sound was only 1% of the bandwidth, the FCC
                              enforced using 10% of the transmitting power for sound. The picture had to be
                              REALLY snowy before you couldn't hear the program. Todays digital guys didn't
                              get it; the sound drops out all the time.

                              My second TV had a 7JP4 crt. If you want to call, use my land line. My daughter
                              eventually bought me an answering machine. Bruce Roe

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