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Need Advice On SHTF Well Pump Solar System

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Mountainman, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Need Advice On SHTF Well Pump Solar System Read more: http:

    I am looking to buy the below items for my SHTF well setup. I'm going to shop around on the solar panels since these are low end and could use some advice on better quality ones in the same price range. I went with the small panels so that if one went dead I could still use the setup with what is left. The batteries will be bought dry for storage and I have some working ones to try the setup out with. I'm also thinking about getting a 5KW step up/down transformer for 120V since the inverter is not split phase, link below total price. I need to stay in this price range and any advice will be appreciated.

    12VDC To 240VAC 60HZ Inverter
    5000 Watt Power Inverter 12Vdc to 240Vac 60Hz by AIMS Power $459

    Remote On/Off Switch For Pump Switch Contacts
    AIMS Remote on/off Switch for 5000 8000 1500 3000 - AimsPower $25

    Solar Panels
    Wel-Bilt Polycrystalline Solar Panel — 20 Watt | Crystalline Solar Panels | Northern Tool + Equipment $100 x 6 = $600

    Solar Panel Charge Controller
    Amazon.com: Sunforce 60031 10 Amp Digital Charge Controller: Automotive $36

    Trojan 6V Golf Cart Batteries (Buy Local)
    Trojan Battery Company $150 x 4 = $600

    $1720 plus shipping and wiring.

    120V Step Up/Down Transformer
    Step Up Voltage Transformer Converter - Step Up/Down Voltage Transformer, Step Down Transformer, Step up Transformer, Step up Voltage Transformer, Step UP/Down voltage converter/Regulator, step up and down voltage converters $140 - $150

    Found these on Amazon:

    Amazon.com: solar panels

    Please advise on the quality of these makes and if I buy through them the Monkey/WWP gets something from it.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    MM, There are better deals on solar than what you are looking at....
    those 100 Watt Panels are $2.80/Watt where at these:
    Instapark® NEW All Black 130W Mono-crystalline Solar Panel, 130 watt
    on amazon are $2.70/Watt.... and I know there are much better deals around than that.... I would NOT buy that Inverter especially in 12Vdc Input. For 5000 Watts that is 416 Amp Draw from the Batteries.... That is a good way to destroy those batteries. The "Rule of Thumb" for Inverters is 100-1500 Watts you're safe at 12 Vdc Input. 1.5K - 3K you need a 24 Vdc Battery Bank, and above 3K you should be at 48 Vdc Battery Voltage. This would give you a 200 Amp Draw at 24Vdc and a 100 amp Draw at 48 Vdc. these are much more reasonable Discharge Rates from a decent Battery Bank. Also that Inverter looks like and likely is a Chinese Junk Inverter, at that price, and I am SURE that if you ever even got close to pulling 5K out of it, it would go up in Magic Smoke, in a few minutes. You would be much better off to save up some cash, and buy an OutBack, or Trace Inverter, for your system. Yea, they cost more, but they ARE Reliable, and designed to run at their Rated Power Levels 24/7/365. I would NOT have a 240 Vac Output Inverter, but rather have a 120 Vac Output inverter, and then use the Transformer to make the 240 Vac power required by the Well Pump. This allows for a smaller Transformer, and you can run all your 120 Vac Stuff (House Emergency Loads) directly without the Transformer losses, which will only come into play when the WellPump is running. ...... YMMV.....
  3. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Thank you for the advice Bruce. Looks like I'm going to have to sell some hardware to pay for a better setup. I only have $2k to work with now and was looking at what I could get for that.
  4. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    A good quality inverter is going to cost nearly a buck a watt.......look at the Outback series for quality.

    I agree with Bruce....AVOID the one you listed.......and if you're going up in the 3000-5000w range, aim for 48vDC input.
  5. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Another route to go using solar to pump water is a Grudfos SQ series pumps. It will run off DC or AC.....the AC option is nice if you want to connect a generator for periods of no sun, or you need a bunch of extra water.

    The setup here for it on DC is you simply connect a few panels ( watts required depends on depth of water and volume you want to pump ) and when the sun shines, the pump pumps. You store the water, ideally in a high enough storage location to gravity feed your needs without additional pumping ( 1' of elevation yields 1/2 PSI.....so you need about 40-50' for adequate water pressure ).

    The advantage of this route is no inverter, no batteries, far less panels.....the downside is you HAVE to store the water.....but plastic tanks are cheap.....local farm supply sells a 1500gal tank for 700 bucks.....less if you catch a sale. I use a gravity fed spring into 2-1500gal tanks, and then on down to the house, where we have about 25psi.

    IF you can't gravity feed, you can use a SMALL 12v RV type pump to pressurize your system from the tank into the house.
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Thank you for the advice Andy. I have a Grudfos pump but not sure of the series, I did not put it in. Will check into it and hope that I have the right series. Either way I now have more to think about with the water tank option, but that's a good thing.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Do a search, on the Off Grid Forum for the series of Posts by Colt Carbine, on Off Grid Water Systems.... Read them and use that to guide your design... He is our Resident Plumber, and did some very good work in publishing those post.
    Mountainman likes this.
  8. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Mr Mountain Man in Orygun :)

    Spend a long time reading around on this forum : Solar Water Pumping

    Use this online store to check $ amounts
    & andy has posted the pump I would use..

    Get a calculator and use the attached PIE chart with a Kill-A-Watt meter to see if the math is as good as your spelling ;)
    Magic Circle eirp.
  9. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Thank you for the links Mr Sloth. Did not have a chance to look at them over the weekend but have time now.
  10. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Good info, thanks. Will be pumping out of a spring up about fifty feet of elevation this fall. Have a "dirty" well on a hill for non potable needs that I can maintain a siphon on.
  11. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    E-bay items for kill-a-watt :
    Item number: 330707995868


    Item number: 200746685053

    With one of those , you get a handle on , how much a watt is ..
    Plus I'm using mine to measure the watts the new led's lighting that I'm converting.
    Ive cut the power bill in 1/2 with the changes and improvements so far.

    When I get it more inline with a decent living arrangement / balance then I'll have a better idea for the solar requirements..

    Now I have 4 different smaller solar areas,next will be large enough to run the TIG welders ;) .

    One thing most solar forget is charging time is 5-6 hrs max per 24 hrs during the dark time (winter) so and most panels are .75 of stated in those hours on good days. Now there is the start of the equation .

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