SOLAR WATER PUMPING 101

The first thing a producer needs to do is sit down and make a list of all of his possible water sources.  These may include natural waterways, dams, ponds, wells and even neighboring solutions.  Look at these sites and determine where you want the water from and list all the different pumping elevations that may be required.  Elevation, or lift, is the vertical difference in feet from the water source to the top of the water tank.  Do not confuse this with transfer which is the horizontal distance from the pump to the water tank.  Try to be very accurate with these measurements, go out and take a look and shoot a level line up the hill, go to this spot and continue on, each time you move it is approximately six feet of lift.  Do not guess at this number from the coffee table!  This number is very important in the size and cost calculations of the system.  PLEASE do not under estimate the lift in order to save money, you cannot cheat the system, it will only perform as well as the numbers you provide.  A properly sized system using the correct lift and cattle numbers will provide you with a quality, long lasting, reliable tool that you will be proud to own.  Compare this to a properly sized tractor to do the work or a garden tractor to do the job.  They are both tractors, but which one do you want?  Check well reports, if you can find them on water quantity, depth and static level of wells.  Decide the time of year you'll be requiring usage, such as late fall, summer or winter.

Remember to look at the project under a new light.  If you have always watered cattle in corner "A" that does not mean that you can't look at other options.  Too often producers get tied up in what they want, or what their parents did and miss a very easy solution.  Remember with a solar pump we can put the water where YOU want it.  Make the system work for you.  Think long term with room for expansion.  

After determining the top, or top two sites, you can start to look at what style of pump is required.

The first choice is our SD Deluxe floating pump system.  With this the pump hose drains back to the pump every time, which helps in frost conditions.  The pump itself is mounted on an anti-sink float, tethered in a stream or pond.  This system is designed to transfer water to a trough.  Depending on the site, this may be to an elevated tank that gravity feeds across the pasture, or be used to transfer out of a marsh or boggy area  to a higher solid ground.  This pump is truly an economical work horse.  All of the Sundog Solar water systems come with a low angle electric float switch. As the water level in the tank drops approximately 3 inches, the pump turns on and starts to pump as the livestock drink.   This continues until the tank level fills and the pump shuts off, draining back each time.  This assures cool water is pumped each time and the back flush cleans the pump intake off. The pump intake is appromimately six inches below the pond level which assure us the cleanest water possible.

Pump option two has an elevation or lift capacity to 60 ft. with a 14 gpm output. This stainless steel pump can be placed down a " diameter well and can be run on batteries or solar direct.  This very universal design can be floated for a high elevation tank, pond or creek.  A disadvantage to this centrifugal design is it cannot run under pressure as required for pipelines.  This would lead us to option number 3.

A more expensive design than the previous two, but only used when a systems lift or elevation is between 60 and 1500 ft. or a pressure system with a pipeline is required.  Capable of high pressures, this screw pump design is on the leading edge of solar pumping technology.  By design there is no surge start, the pump starts at 0 RPM and builds up to 1800 RPM each time, auguring the water through the system.  This pump is the best choice on the market for sandy or silt laden water.  It can be used in a pipeline up to 6 miles long or in deeper wells.

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