Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Im in Northern Michigan and currently just at the research stages of things.
I'm looking at a piece of land where the estimated well depth from the local well drilling company is 90-100ft. I want a solar powered well pump that can provide enough water for three small cabins and a large garden which will also be supplemented with rainwater catchment. I'm currently thinking about having the solar well pump the water into a in-house raised cistern (one in each cabin) that will be used for gravity pressured pluming. Id like the system to be around $10000. does anyone have any experience with such an idea? would gravity pluming work? critique, info, and ideas are welcomed and appreciated. Thank you,

-Mota
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,005 Posts
Estimates of gallons per day seem a tad high, I use under 400 gallons a month.....we have 3 houses on our property and it is right around 1000 gallons a month for all 3...…..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Estimates of gallons per day seem a tad high, I use under 400 gallons a month.....we have 3 houses on our property and it is right around 1000 gallons a month for all 3...…..
oh snap, Thanks for the input shawnlee..ill go ahead and edit that
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,005 Posts
In my experience there is no savings, if you want to do this to be self sufficient, then its viable, to save money....if all goes well you might break even in 20 years.

The technology exists to do about anything you want, from scratch or pre made...….


In Michigan extra considerations will be the winter temps and tanks...… Basically the above ground, cistern or above ground tank becomes the buffer on the in ground/well output.....the slower the well output the larger the tank which will need to be balanced with usage.

There are calculators online to give a idea of the height/pipe diameter of a storage tank to estimate the water pressure it will make...…..you will need to figure out what pressure you need and then get the approx. height needed to produce it and see if that is a viable thing in your location.


You can do almost anything, the hard part is figuring out what you want to do. Doing it is the easy part....;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mota

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,905 Posts
To use gravity, you need to have some elevation for the tanks. You get about 1/2psi per foot of elevation, you'll need 40-50' for anything like decent water pressure in the cabins. The garden, not nearly as much....you can get by with 5-15psi.


And if you go with solar, a storage tank IS the way to go. That way you can use a simple DC pump, when the sun shines, the pump fills the tanks. Trying to do a pressurized system (which is the conventional way of AC power) means inverter, battery storage, charge controller....more costly and complex.

If you can't get the elevation, you could put a tank at each cabin and use a small RV type booster pump to draw out of the tank and pressurize the supply plumbing in the cabin. I assume you're gonna have some kind of power in the cabins (solar or conventional), so hooking up a small pump wouldn't be hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
If you can't get the elevation, you could put a tank at each cabin and use a small RV type booster pump to draw out of the tank and pressurize the supply plumbing in the cabin. I assume you're gonna have some kind of power in the cabins (solar or conventional), so hooking up a small pump wouldn't be hard.

Sweet! Thanks TnAndy. I don't think ill be able to get that hight, But I like the Rv Pump idea
 

·
Just howling at the moon
Joined
·
6,586 Posts
Our solar well.

solar well.jpg

Well is 185' with pump set at 150. Static water level is 66'. It pumps about 2.5 gpm into the cistern a that has a float switch. We use it to supply water for the cabin (not currently plumbed in and the orchard).

Orchard is gravity feed from the tank. About 600 foot away with 50 to 60 foot drop. It gets about 200 gallons a day through a drip system. Cistern is usually full by 10 am on sunny summer days.

Cabin will have an internal cistern for winter and rv pump. May add a second cistern on the hill to gravity feed in the summer.

This uses a LCB and Shurflo 9300 series pump. They are a diaphragm pump that needs rebuilt every 5 or so years. Setup was purchased as a kit from https://thesolarstore.com/

WWW
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mota and TnAndy

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Our solar well.
Orchard is gravity feed from the tank. About 600 foot away with 50 to 60 foot drop. It gets about 200 gallons a day through a drip system. Cistern is usually full by 10 am on sunny summer days.
This uses a LCB and Shurflo 9300 series pump. They are a diaphragm pump that needs rebuilt every 5 or so years. Setup was purchased as a kit from https://thesolarstore.com/

thank you WWW thats all great info, very helpful indeed ~*~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
You can pretty much accomplish anything with solar power assuming you have unlimited sun and unlimited resources. It's when you have unrealistic expectations like "I have a 100W solar panel and a 12V battery and want to irrigate an acre of almonds" that people get into trouble. Will AC grid power be run to the property? Solar is a economical choice only when there is no grid to connect to. In my own case I have a large solar system that provides me with both 120 and 240VAC power. I consume about 2500 gallons per week in the summer, almost all going to the irrigation of my orchard/gardens.

If there is no grid, you could for example install a relatively small solar system in each individual cabin, and link the systems together to power a large 240VAC well pump. Both Outback and Schneider make 120/240VAC inverters that can be paralleled to increase capacity. For example (what I am doing) is install a 24V solar system with a Schneider 4024 inverter powered by six or eight 250W grid-tie panels. For an individual cabin, that's enough power to have a 21'st century lifestyle, with an electric refrigerator, TV, high-speed internet. Couple the systems together, and they will run a 1-2 hp 240V pump.

Your biggest problem for watering your cabins will be the winter temperatures you'll have to endure. In my case, I pump my water to a cistern about 150 feet above my cabin. That provides me with 75 psi of water pressure. Although the winter temperatures drop below freezing, and it snows here, keeping the tank full prevents it from freezing. I'll assume that you can't do that. I see you adopting the inside tank pressurized with bladder pump. It's doable. I however only pump water during daylight hours. Running a AC pump without sun would be a very serious draw on the batteries, so you might want a timer so water is pumped out of the ground only during daylight hours. Then you just worry about how many gallons are needed to get you through the day.

If you come up with electrical load numbers, we can help you design a system that will do what you want it to do. Don't go buying random panels/ batteries untill you know what you need. There are so, so many posts on the internet that I see about people who have spent their money buying the wrong panels/batteries/controller thinking it was good deal only to find that they are a poor fit for what they are trying to do. It's like buying tires for your truck before knowing what size you need. Sort of like getting a good deal on Honda Civic tires and trying to put them on a Dodge Ram 3500.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top