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  • Solar Powered Well

    Hello! I am glad to be a new member. I am from Wyoming and I have a well that is 300 feet deep and want to pump 6,000 gallons of water each day for cattle. I am possibly looking at a submersible pump that 3 HP, 230 V, and 17 amps. I was wondering how much solar panels would I need to power this pump? I am not sure if this would be possible, but this would be running 100% through solar panels. There is no power to this farm and it would cost a lot to get a power line to the farm.

  • #2
    Welcome Eric,

    Well, the most base calculation is 240V x 17A = 4080W. 4080W / 0.70 = 5830W. 70% efficiency on a nice sunny day seems to be a popular derate from most forum members. So that would be the minimum power just to spin the pump. Let's just start the coversation with a 6 kW array.

    Next would be to know how many hours that pump has to run to get you 6,000 gallons. Also it would be good to know how much water you can store. It won't be sunny every day and storing water is probably going to be cheaper than storing electricity. Finally, do you want to pump that much year round, or is that a 'summer' number. Is there anything else that needs power at the same time you would be pumping or is this dedicated to sucking water?

    A generator will be prudent regardless. Have you given any thought to which type?
    Last edited by AzRoute66; 11-12-2017, 02:14 AM.

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    • #3
      This is easily going to be a LARGE system, maybe in the $30,000 range, if that helps to price the cost for grid power.
      You will need to build a fair size weatherproof shed, and have a rugged mounting system for the solar panels.
      The shed could have the roof sized and oriented to be a mount for the solar
      It will need to hold a large 48V battery bank, charge controllers and inverter, and possibly a backup generator. (I have 3 backup gensets), and your tools and supplies (distilled water for batteries, wiring tools, test meters, engine spares)

      What are the consequences if you miss a day or 3 from clouds ? Can you store excess water and use it in cloudy weather ?
      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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      • #4
        I would agree that you will have to store water but you may want to look at water pumping inverters . I understand its like a grid tie inverter that will start pumping as soon as theres a bit of sun . No batteries. It will run or not run.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AzRoute66 View Post
          Welcome Eric,

          Well, the most base calculation is 240V x 17A = 4080W. 4080W / 0.70 = 5830W. 70% efficiency on a nice sunny day seems to be a popular derate from most forum members. So that would be the minimum power just to spin the pump. Let's just start the coversation with a 6 kW array.

          Next would be to know how many hours that pump has to run to get you 6,000 gallons. Also it would be good to know how much water you can store. It won't be sunny every day and storing water is probably going to be cheaper than storing electricity. Finally, do you want to pump that much year round, or is that a 'summer' number. Is there anything else that needs power at the same time you would be pumping or is this dedicated to sucking water?

          A generator will be prudent regardless. Have you given any thought to which type?
          Alright, well I was getting close numbers for solar power. I will only be running this pump from March till November. The cattle get slaughtered at the end of the year and we get new cattle the next year. I only need 3,000 gallons of water per day for the cattle. I was planning on storing 6,000 gallons of water in a tank that would give me an extra day in case of cloudy weather. There is nothing else that needs power at the same time I would be pumping, this would only be for the cattle. For Albin, Wyoming we get 6-8 hours of sun based on the research I have done, so I probably will run it for at least 7 hours or so.
          Last edited by ERIC5249; 11-12-2017, 02:47 PM.

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          • #6
            Ya check out solar water pumps. Alibaba .You can find a cheaper set up

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            • #7
              You can get the kit designed for what you need.Pump, panels,controller,etc.

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              • #8
                check this.https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...8352uxBp08&s=p

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                • #9
                  Even has a water level senser to turn off when full

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                  • #10
                    Thank you everyone for all the advice. I will be looking at choosing a different pump. Based on the pump being used, which will be different. How do you calculate which solar panel you need as there are different wattage of solar panels?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ERIC5249 View Post
                      How do you calculate which solar panel you need as there are different wattage of solar panels?
                      The BEST way is to see what panels are sitting on a pallet in some warehouse within driving distance (avoiding shipping) and offer 60 cents on the dollar to take them away. The second best is to shop around for pallet pricing and get the best deal. As long as the panel wattages add up to your required wattage you are likely all right. There are, of course, some brands that are perceived to be better than others, but the large majority of them are like buying melons...

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                      • #12
                        There are small "Linear Current Boosters" for small pumps and small setups where a couple panels will work without batteries. But the large scale pump you are talking about, is going to be a bit pricey. The Grundfos SQ series comes to mind, https://us.grundfos.com/products/fin...ct/sqflex.html
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The pump set up will have a min and a max pv that it can handle . I would pretty much max it out with panels.The pump setup I showed you could handle 700-1400w of pv. You may need something bigger but that said 60000 L /day. Thats most likely on the best day with the max pv. Youll have to figure out whats required.

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                          • #14
                            I bought used panels. Conergy235w $100 each. Just have to look around

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