Photovoltaic modules, the power source for solar water pump systems, have no moving parts, require no maintenance and last for decades.
A properly designed solar water pumping system will be efficient, simple and reliable. The output of the solar power system varies throughout the day and with changes in weather conditions. The nature of variable electricity in the form of direct current DC is quite different from conventional, steady alternating AC current from the utility grid or a generator. To use solar energy economically, the solar water pump system must utilize the long solar day, drawing a minimum of power.
This means pumping more slowly than conventional pumps. Pumping at rates of less than 6 gpm requires different mechanisms from the conventional centrifugal pumps. Small submersible solar water pumps are unique, both electrically and mechanically. They pump a certain amount of water with each rotation. If it is cloudy or early morning, the solar water pump will receive less energy and run more slowly. A positive displacement pump will pump approximately half as much water with half as much energy.
Conventional AC pumps are usually centrifugal pumps that spin at a high speed to pump as many gallons per minute as possible. They also consume a large amount of power which can be illustrated by the size of the inverter required to power different sized AC pumps. If you run a centrifugal pump at half speed, it pumps one quarter the pressure.
Their efficiency is very low at low speeds and when pumping against high pressure. If your water sources are remote from power lines, add up your long-term costs of fuel and repairs on generators, or the cost of utility line extensions.
Now consider the savings with a solar water pump system that needs attention only once every 2 to 20 years depending on the model. Solar powered water pumps can provide an equal volume of water per day without the high and inefficient energy demands of a large capacity AC pump. Instead of pumping a large volume of water in a short time and turning off, the solar water pump works slowly and efficiently all day.
Often a solar water pump specifcally for wells will work fine in a well with a recovery rate too slow for a conventional AC pump. For booster pumps to increase pressure from cistern or tank see Surface pumps. The sun is the natural source of energy for an independent water supply. Solar pumps operate anywhere the sun shines. While energy production from solar pumps is impacted by cloudy weather, having adequate water storage and decreasing water needs during cool or rainy weather mitigates these impacts.
The output of the solar power system varies throughout the day and with changes in sunlight intensity and weather conditions, requiring specialized pumps and controls that operate within a wider range of voltage and current compared to most AC pumps. They also consume a large amount of power and their efficiency suffers at low speeds and when pumping against high pressure. If you run a centrifugal pump at half speed, it pumps one quarter of the volume.
To minimize the size of the solar PV system required, solar pumps generally use more efficient motors and pumping mechanisms. If it is cloudy or early morning, the pump will receive less energy and run more slowly, but with no loss of efficiency—so at half speed, it simply pumps half the amount of water at the same pressure. Instead of pumping a large volume of water in a short time and then turning off, the solar water pump works slowly and efficiently all day.
Often a solar pump can be used in a well with a recovery rate too slow for a conventional AC pump. If your water sources are remote from power lines, compare the cost of a low-maintenance solar pumping system to what you would spend on a generator, with continual fuel and maintenance costs, or on a utility power-line extension.Whether you are looking for the most environmentally friendly pumping solution on the market or want to give your garden a plus of beauty and elegance, a solar-powered water pump is what you should look for.
The pumps and panels come in all sizes and designs, and it serves a significant number of purposes, from small to large applications. The smaller ones can easily be used for a birdbath or an aquarium, whereas the high-power pumps are suitable for farm ranches and even irrigation. Depending on your needs, you can look for either submersible pumps or pumps floating on water- however, many of them work very well as both.
The Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit is perfect for large fountains, ponds, waterfalls and rainwater collection. This product is an excellent choice for those who prefer to keep the pump in the shadow and solar panel in full light; besides, it is easier to transport than the more robust models. The Tranmix Solar Birdbath Fountain is ideal for any garden, patio and even pool. The long cable allows you to transport easily and move it, which makes it ideal for bigger gardens or large patios.
It also comes in with different nozzles. Change the water flow style anytime you want and make your garden unique by merely replacing the nozzle head of the pump!
Its large flow and low power cost go hand in hand and make it a very efficient solution for those who consume a large water amount and do not want their electricity bill to be too expensive. Given its significant power, this solar-powered water pump is ideal for larger applications, such as the drainage or shipping or aquaculture.
Its large solar collector ensures a higher power than its market competitors. It comes in with one or two pumps, depending on your needs. The Lewisa Solar Fountain Pump comes with a battery backup, so it works even on rainy or cloudy days. Since it works regardless of the weather, there is no need to worry about lack of sunshine. The product is ideal for those who want to create a romantic atmosphere in their garden and enjoy a beautiful sight in the night.
The Skywoo Solar Fountain Pump is an ideal choice for your garden, birdbath, patio or pool. The beautiful shape of this product will catch the eye of any visitor!
Its gorgeous flower design also makes it fit in perfectly in any garden. Its elegance makes it perfect for those who want a beautiful, sophisticated patio or pond. Its adjustable knob enables changing the water flow rate as you wish, which makes it very flexible and easy to control. Its special engineering ensures that, despite its big power, it works very silently.
Your pond will benefit from a big, flexible water flow and the silence and serenity of your garden will not be altered. This pair of solar fountain pumps have a built-in brushless motor to ensure a low energy consumption and long service life.
The fact that there are two in a pack makes it perfect for those who cannot decide where to place their solar pump! Try out the best place and position for your pumps and change it whenever you want! They are both suitable for your birdbath, pond or pool.
Its different nozzles enable changing the water flows as often as you want.In the last issue, there was an excellent article by Dorothy Ainsworth on water pumping using mechanical windmills.
There are many remote applications where a solar-powered water pump is more cost effective than installing a conventional grid-connected AC pump. I recently designed a solar-powered pumping system for a local farmer wanting to pump water from a lake up to a watering trough for cattle in a distant fenced field.
We have also designed larger systems to pump directly from drilled wells up to elevated storage tanks, which provide gravity-fed water back down to remote ranch buildings. These solar applications made economic sense because the location was too remote to run a long power line.
A solar-powered water system is one of the easiest solar power systems to install, since you will not need a battery or battery charging equipment. Low voltage DC pumps designed to operate on solar power are not designed like volt AC water pumps. A DC water pump is designed to pump using the absolute minimum of electrical power. Unfortunately, this also usually means a very low flow rate, so having a storage tank or open trough is essential.
Although the flow rate can be less than one gallon per minute GPM for the smaller pump sizes, this small flow will be fairly constant throughout the solar day 9 AM to 3 PM for most locations. This low flow rate can still provide over gallons of water per day from all but the deepest well applications. A solar module can be mounted almost anywhere, but should face in a southerly direction for North America. Most farm and ranch applications should have the modules and pump controller mounted on a raised pole to stay above snow drifts and potential damage from animals.
A pole mount also allows easier adjustment of module tilt and east-west orientation during initial setup to achieve the best overall year-round performance. For most applications the tilt will be equal to your latitude.
Your solar powered pumping system should include a pump controller such as the one in the photo on page It will also avoid trying to operate the pump in a stalled condition when solar output is too low. Each residential-size solar module will produce a fairly constant volts output at almost any level of sunlight. However, the current output amps will be directly proportional to sun intensity.
The pump will have a minimum current draw when stalled and no pumping is taking place. As the voltage is increased, pump rotation and water pumping is increased as long as enough current is available. During less than ideal solar periods, the current output of the solar module s can be below the amp draw required for the pump to begin pumping. A solar pump controller will convert any excess voltage of the solar array to more output current.
This makes it easy to add a high and low level float switch to the storage tank, or a low-limit float switch for the well or pond providing the water source. You might find this book helpful if you are considering installing your own solar power system, and it goes into much more detail than space allows here.
Table 1 will get you started by estimating how much water you will need per day. Any well or pressure pump is designed to provide a given flow of water GPM for a given pressure or lift head. When measuring the distance a submerged pump must raise water, you do not start with how far down the pump is in the well.Solar pool heating systems use the existing pool filtration pump to circulate water, so the selection of a pump can have a profound impact on solar pool heating performance.
You can get the same water filtration turnover in your pool at a fraction of the energy cost. Given that the pool pump is often the second biggest energy hog in a Southwest Florida home after air conditioninga variable speed pool pump is the single most affordable upgrade with the best return on investment when making energy efficiency upgrades to a home.
Variable speed pumps have been available for several years, and have proven reliability and energy savings. Many people are finding that they are required to upgrade their single speed pumps when they go bad, and that changes the dynamics of pool operation and flow. Since older pools were often built without energy efficiency in mind, the speed and horsepower required of a pump is typically higher than new pools. Nonetheless, big energy savings can be achieved by circulating pool water longer and slower.
Pool service companies are still getting on board with this technology. Some claim that variable speed pumps cause poor sanitation and algae growth. The idea is to run your pump for a much longer duration at a lower speed. I recommend setting a schedule to run the pump at a relatively high speed for a couple hours per day to get effective skimmer action and boost the turnover a bit.
You should have no problems with sanitation of algae growth if your pool is filtered and turned over enough. Running a variable speed pump at a very low speed will not heat the water up more by slowing the water flow in the panels. The result is quite the opposite. Heat transfer is best when there is a large differential between the pool water and the solar collector surface. A small temperature rise with a high flow rate is the most efficient way to heat a pool with solar panels.
For that reason, one of two strategies must be employed to make solar pool heating work best with a variable speed pool pump:.
A basic solar pool heating controller balances energy savings and heater performance. No matter what, you will still save a tremendous amount of energy with a variable speed pump with solar pool heating. We recommend a solar pool heating controller to balance energy savings and heating performance. We are seeing two major trends in pool building:. In either case, integrating a solar pool heater with a new pool has some important considerations.
Any increase in pressure, like from a dirty filter, will reduce the flow rate substantially, and may make solar pool heating performance suffer. That is precisely why we do two things: we use the iSwim solar pool heating collector with the lowest flow restriction in the industry, and use all 2 inch PVC plumbing and valves.The PV module drives the DC motor via a built-in linear current booster LCB with differential temperature controller, and utilizes a proportional speed control strategy achieved by the variable output of the PV module.
For most single-family homes, a 10 - 20 watt PV module provides all the electrical power necessary for the entire solar water heater! There are no AC powered electronic components and there is no high voltage wiring to install.
All electronic components — the motor, linear current booster, and differential temperature controller - are all combined into one unit and are powered by low voltage DC power directly from the PV module.
It is so much easier to install than an AC-powered circulator system.
Homeowners also appreciate the fact that ALL the energy used to produce their solar heated water comes from the sun, and none from the electrical grid that delivers electricity generated by environmentally damaging technologies.
Temperature sensors, connection fittings, and connection hoses are sold separately. Flow rates range from 0. Available in 12 VDC configuration only. Flow rates range from 2. Typically, a solar water heater will run for 2, hours per year in mid-latitude countries consuming 80 watts of grid electricity during operation. The added pressure drop of the smaller diameter tubing is easily overcome by this powerful little pump.
Build your own solar-powered water pumping station
No air separator is necessary nor a charging pump. Not only is it economical to use the Solar Pump, but by using solar energy you reduce the pollution for which you are responsible when using a grid-connected pump.
To produce 4, kilowatt-hours of electricity in a modern steam power plant will result in four tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere!! All fittings, hoses and sensors sold separately. The pump is a brass body, vane-type, positive displacement pump. Should your application require fittings or hoses of a different size, metric or imperial, substitutions are possible. Please contact us for more information. No parts are subject to corrosion - all wetted parts are stainless steel, brass or carbon.
It is also self-priming, with a maximum suction lift of 2 meters 6 feet. As the electro-magnetic field rotates, so does the pump rotor causing the pump to circulate. Commutation of the brushless DC motor is achieved by an on-board motor control circuit that utilizes hall effect sensors and a motor control IC. The motor control circuit also features a built-in differential temperature solar controller with linear current booster for a complete solar water heater control package.
Permanent magnets are used, whereas standard motors use electrical coils and electric current to create the magnetic field. This wastes precious electricity. However, permanent magnets are heavy and bulkier than the equivalent electrical windings.
To produce the torque required to boost the pressure of the pumped liquid, a heavy-duty, large-diameter armature with thick copper windings is used, thus reducing parasitic power consumption by the motor.With a dedicated pump, you can install it anywhere in your pond, as the fountain or waterfall will be the only consideration.
It also makes things easier to clean and maintain, as there is less attachments and hosing in a single place. And a final major benefit is monthly savings! Head pressure, or head heightis added resistance your pond pump has to work through to get water to a certain point in your circuit i. So, for example, if you have a 5 foot fountain, you will be effectively adding 5 foot of extra head pressure to your pond system, so you would need to choose a pump that can work through this height and still provide a good flow rate.
This is one of the reasons we recommend a dedicated pump for a water feature, as you only need to know the added head pressure of the fountain or waterfall. When running through a filter, especially a pressurized filter, you will be adding a lot more head pressure due to the increased resistance.
This makes it more difficult to provide an accurate answer for optimal fountain or waterfall flow. Although not as important as head height, you should also take into account the pumps maximum flow rate in gallons per hour GPH.
This is the amount of water a pump can move at 1 foot of ground height. This rating is used for pumps as water needs to be circulated fully every hours for effective filtration and aeration. As an example, if the diameter of your fountain head is 2 inches, you can multiple this by to get an estimate of GPH. The lower the rating, the less water flow you will have at that point of height. Even though we recommend purchasing a separate pump, if you still want to use a pump for both filter and feature, you would need something with more head height to compensate for the added resistance.
You would need to still take into account the max head height and the flow rating at that height, but you now also need a pump that can circulate your entire pond water every hours. There is no hard and fast rule for working this out, but in general we would advise for a regular box filter non-pressurized to add 2 foot of head height, and for a pressurized filter, 7 foot of head height.
Best Fountain Pump & Waterfall Pump 2020 (Reviews & Costs)
For a list of powerful pond pumps which can power both filter and features, check our recommendations here. The pump is connected directly to a solar panel which produces electricity from sunlight it catches during the day. The best solar power fountain pumps will come with an additional battery which holds charge for night time operation. These pumps are also mostly designed for fountains, and not waterfalls. With this in mind, we would only recommend a solar powered fountain pump for very small ponds, or for pond owners who want no monthly running costs.
For our recommendations on the best solar fountain pumps, check here for our guide! These recommendations assume you will be running the pump only for a water feature, and not for circulating your pond water through a filter system. For regular pond pumps which work great with filters, check our guide here.
Florida Solar Design Group
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