Energy Options > Solar Power

Solar Well Pump Ideas

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I made a post mentioning I was converting my 350' grid water pump system to a solar powered setup. And I have received a couple of requests to describe what I'm doing exactly. So... that is what this post is about.

I actually own a Sunrise 5218 solar pump, and was just planning on buying the solar panels, batteries, controller, storage tank, etc needed to finish out the system. But once I priced everything out, I was looking at around $5000 (and that doesn't include the $1800 price tag of the pump I already own).

Because Sunrise is now out of the solar pump game, I figured the parts were more expensive than needed. So I looked at some other systems, and If I was to go with a standard solar powered system, I'd go with Grundfos.

But I found something a little different, called a Brumby Pump (Australian). This pump works by pushing compressed air down to the pump (which has no moving parts), which uses air to move the water to the surface. So for my purposes of a 350' well, I'm looking at the Brumby S2 Pump (which pumps up to 150 gallons/hour).

So, a list of the major components needed:

Brumby S2 pump
12v or 24v air compressor (4+ CFM at 110psi)
water storage tank
12v or 24v water pressurizer (to provide pressure to house)
PV array and batteries

All of this is still under review, but from my research, this is looking like the best option for me (at 350' well depth).

I'm still looking into the best options for air compressor and the house pressurizer. I'll post more once I flush those out.

Link to pump

Thanks, let us know if you order one and how it works out.

I just posted to your previous post for your plan details, then noticed the new thread.

Thanks for the new thread.  Deep wells without ample power are big problems.  Nobody wants to be left pulling on a 300 ft rope to get a 2 gallon PVC pipe bucket to the surface in an emergency, ha.   Hmmm, besides I have steel pipe down the well, could not even pull the pump by myself, so I don't have that option. 

Buying a windmill and tower is a good option, but also very expensive.

 I have a well , about the same depth, currently a 1-1/2 HP pump, it is the only electrical load that requires the grid or generator.  I have surface tanks for backup, so it is not my top priority.  I was hoping you had a lower cost solution than the grundfos pumps, ouch, I get sticker shock just thinking about it.  I understand they are pretty reliable and work in very deep holes, however, they are very sophisticated, I would like a simpler pump system if I could have my choice. 

On another property I own, I have a deep well, same story, but the static level is at about 125 ft, very tempting.  The problem is that the well is a low producer, so I need all that static head to offset a low flow rate.  I have been wondering if a slow (1/2 to 1 gallon per minute) pump might actually work, and not suck the water level down to 300 ft, ha.  I can get one of those pumps for about 600 bucks, and only need a few panels at the surface, a gallon a minute for 5 hours would be 300 gallons a day into the storage tank, plenty of water. A simple float switch at the tank would shut the pump off when filled.  My fear is that setting the pump at say 150 feet would not be sufficient margin.  Hmmm, still looking for a better option. 

My current plan is to keep the surface tanks topped off from the well, and use solar pressure pumps to supply water to the houses from the tank.  If the power goes, I have the surface water to act as a buffer supply.  If the power stays off, then I shut down water use to a minimum, and simply use the generator twice a year to top off the big storage tank.  If the power is off longer than that, then I will have to learn to live without water, something like that, ha. 

Now that I found the Brumbly pumps, I will NOT be going the grundfos way.

Overall costs projected:

Brumby S2 pump ($500)
12v or 24v air compressor (4+ CFM at 110psi) ($400)
water storage tank ($1000 for a 2500 gal)
12v or 24v water pressurizer (to provide pressure to house) ($350)
PV array and batteries ($500 - plan on making my own panels)

Total: $2800 or $1800 if you already have storage


I'm new here, I hope you don't mind me stepping in.

I can't imagine that you are going have very big panels (even if you make your own) with only $500 for both batteries and panels.

For my system, I originally was going to use a 1/2 hp pump that would run on 110VAC because I could get an el cheapo inverter to run it. When I had the well drilled, I talked with the driller. He suggested and I went with the Grundfos.

I had heard of pumps similar to the Brumbly  before but decided that I would rather not deal with the compressor. (actually the pumps I heard of were driven by a compressor mounted to a windmill)

I too am going with the large, unpressurized storage tank (1550 gallons - just got it today) and a small pressurizing pump. I will probably run my pressurizing pump off the grid with inverter backup. One thing that helps me is that my well is actually higher than the house so I may actually not need to pressurize except for things like the showers etc.


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