Energy Options > Solar Power

Solar Well Pump Ideas

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I wanted to be able to select the power source for my 1/2 HP water pressure pump (takes water from the rain water storage tanks), just in case.  So, I wired both a grid powered outlet, and a solar (inverter) powered outlet by the pump, so I can select the power source with the plug.  I usually keep the pump connected to the solar powered outlet, but can switch outlets if I happen to be working on the solar electric system.  Overall, I am pleased with the performance.

A word of caution, using a 1/2 HP pump was a compromise, as it wont pump a lot of water but is a lot easier to power with an inverter.  A larger pump would supply more gallons per minute, but might not have been that easy to power.  This pump only feeds a washing machine, a bathroom sink, and a single outdoor faucet.  Don't assume this would work for your needs without first calculating your water demands (gallons per minute) with several simultaneous demands.     

Gravity fed water systems are excellent, a very smart way to go if you have sufficient change in elevation.  Eliminating the pump, and pressure tank will save you a lot of money. 

My property is flat, so I can't use elevation to get my pressure. And I have a family of 6 which need 600+ gallons of water a day.

The PV array and batteries to run the compressor and pressurizer doesn't need to be that big. I was planning on 2 - 85w panels, which i can make myself for around $200. And then 4 - 6v golf cart batteries.

Sounds like good plan, but you may be a little light on the panels, especially if it becomes necessary to de-rate panel output  due to temperature rise.

I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble but hopefully it will save you some money.  Our Well is 200 ft deep and it works on a 220 pump.  We contacted our well guy that  kept telling us that solar was not going to provide enough power to pump water out of our well.  Today he brought over a solar system to hook up to show us that it wouldn't work.  Sad to say it worked a few minutes then it quit.  He suggested that if we had a power outage we have on hand a 4500 watt generator and pump it to a cistern then on it have a hand pump.  That way we only run the generator long enough to fill the cistern. 

I'm now checking again to see if there is another way but so far this does look like what we will be doing.  Does anyone have any information on what to do with a cistern.  I was so upset the solar wouldn't work I didn't ask.


I'm sorry, but what your water well guy showed you was not a solar powered pump meant for deep wells. There have been lots of people using deep solar well pumps to pull enough water to supply a family house needs.

Most solar well pumps I've seen pull 1-2 gallons a min. which is slow compared to your 110v or 220v AC pump. It just requires you to pump to a storage tank, and then pressurize it to the house.


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