Thursday, February 19, 2015

5 Considerations for Using Solar to Power a Water Pump

Interested in using solar to power a water pump for your home, farm or cabin? Here are 5 things to consider:

In our first blog post of the year we mentioned the incredible potential for using a SUNRNR solar generator to power water pumps, especially in remote locations around the world where access to electrical utilities is costly or impossible. But you can also start right in your own back yard - solar energy is an economic and environmentally friendly option for providing power to pump water for irrigation, livestock, and your home. In fact, according to Colorado State University, solar powered water pumps have been used in the United States for more than 20 years and the number of systems continues to increase as the price of photovoltaic (PV) cells and solar panels drops. The average solar panel now costs around 75% less than it did just five years ago.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider your solar-powered water pump options:
  • Water Storage/Consumption: how much water will you need? The average person uses between 80 – 100 gallons of water per day. Milking cows can require up to 25 gallons of water per day and up to 40 gallons in hot weather. Be sure to factor the requirements for water flow and water storage into your overall system design.
  • Pumps may be powered by standard alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). DC appliances are typically more efficient than their AC counterparts, using one-third to one-half the energy, but some designs may be powered directly from solar panels, requiring sunshine during use. SUNRNRs store the sunshine for use later and provide either type of current.
  • The SUNRNR system is portable – making it a great option to carry in a pickup truck or mount on a trailer and move with livestock at multiple water sources.
  • A SUN240 HYPERLINK ""“Well Pump” model comes with two 140 W solar panels and stores 2000 W of useable energy. There are many variables to consider including duty cycle and amp draw at pump start, but SUN240s are typically used to power 240VAC well pumps up to 3/4 HP and to a depth of 300'. Check out our detailed well pump fact sheet here and be sure to contact us with your pump’s specifications and your water usage so we can help you determine your daily power requirements and options.
  • Solar generators are also fantastic to use as back up power in your home in the event of an outage – in the words customer Bill G, “ The SUNRNR I purchased from you last year worked like a charm, keeping our freezer cold and running the well pump for water when we needed it.”

Are you using your SUNRNR to power a well pump? Let us know in the comments below. What else will a SUNRNR run? Check out more examples here.

Content contribution by Jenna Clarke

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