Author Topic: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup  (Read 511 times)

Lilburner

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"Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« on: September 30, 2019, 09:05:36 PM »
Two completely different things, but both regarding homestead water learned in two different classes at Prepper Camp that I'm pretty excited about.

"Free" water well pumping: The price and complexity of off grid or grid tie solar comes in conversion from one thing to another, and the weak/failure point is the batteries. Additionally, pumping from a deep well is a pretty significant electrical draw.

What you can do is remove electrical conversions, computers, digital everything AND batteries from your well system. You get some separate panels and wire them directly to a DC well pump. Boom. Done. Not really, because it would only run in the daytime.

You solve that by teeing in a storage tank either on higher ground or on a tower. The pump pumps into the storage tank while the sun shines, and you draw from the tank when it's not. The water itself becomes its own "battery", and you've removed expense, complexity, and failure points from the system.

Solar hot water with backup: All the solar hot water systems I've looked at fall in to two categories - DIY and super expensive. DIY is as simple as routing your hot water line through black hose, black PVC pipe, an old water heater painted black, etc. The fancy, expensive ones have more efficiencies built in, but they all have a specific enemy - night. You can work around by scheduling hot water usage, but that's suboptimal. If you like morning showers especially. The next most efficient hot water source is a tankless heater.

TURNS OUT, that at least some tankless heaters monitor incoming temperature against outgoing temperature and only do what's necessary to heat it up - including nothing at all. So if you set it to 150 degrees, and the incoming water is already 150, it doesn't do anything. If it's 140, it only warms it up 10 degrees, etc. So with judicious hot water management/timing, you could get all your hot water needs without power, and/or manage in grid down or absence of fuel. Meanwhile, though, you get all the hot water you need with reduced cost because you're only heating what you need as you go.

I thought these were a couple exciting opportunities I'm following up on -  thought I'd pass them along.
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
~ Daniel Webster

RWS

Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 09:43:19 PM »
I solve the morning hot water shower needs with a large storage tank.  Mine takes 3 days to cool down.  In the Summer I run my solar hot water heater 2 days a week.

ProGeek

Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 11:54:48 AM »

"Free" water well pumping:
What you can do is remove electrical conversions, ... wire them directly to a DC well pump.

Just to be clear this involves getting a pump that can operate on DC like the Grundfos SQFlex pumps. These pumps cost over $2000 and work best at around 100V DC. So it's very far from free.

An alternate option if your well is less than 200ft and you don't require high flow, 8-10 GPM. For about  $650 you can get a 110V pump that has soft-start and draws 12 Amps. So it can be run by a small generator or solar system with inverter of 1750W or so. For about half the the cost of just the pump you can have a pump, panels, charge controller, inverter, and batteries. I admit that if I had an extra $3000, I'd buy the other pump, but I don't.


https://www.aquascience.net/grundfos-sq-series-3-stainless-steel-submersible-pump-10-gpm-1-2-hp-115v-2-wire
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John Galt 1

Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 08:34:27 PM »
The black pipe method has some problems when used in an areas like N. GA when it freezes at night.         A black barrel or bag will also work but not as well as black tubing.
Talk is cheap, Actions count.

Thor

Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2020, 11:35:31 AM »
We are planning on adding the solar panels dedicated to a DC pump. But, our well is located below the house level and too low for a tank on a tower to work, to draw from at night. Suggestions?

RWS

Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2020, 01:24:14 PM »
We are planning on adding the solar panels dedicated to a DC pump. But, our well is located below the house level and too low for a tank on a tower to work, to draw from at night. Suggestions?
Sounds like you need a new pump house down by the well with an inverter, solar panels and batteries.  That solave the night time low water demand.  Excess stored electricity (batteries) can then supply critical loads in your house.
See my pump house rework project.
http://seprepnet.com/forum/index.php/topic,3515.0.html

Lilburner

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Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2020, 08:50:20 AM »
I'm going back and forth on this.
 
For a DC daylight well pump with no batteries, you either need high storage (tower/ground elevation) or a booster pump with local (house tank) source. Water pressure is height in feet times 0.433 - so you need 70 feet of height to produce a modest 30 PSI. If you go the booster pump route, you're back to batteries.

Engineer 775 is the one who originally turned me on to the idea of a batteryless DC daylight pump. When I realized I couldn't get the height, I asked him about the efficiency of booster pumps, he said 'We have well pumps now that are as efficient as booster pumps".

Arggh!

I'm toying with the idea now of HUGE, possibly even multiple pressure tanks. This would help if you pay real attention to nighttime water management, and I'm a die-hard bedtime showerer.
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
~ Daniel Webster

Lilburner

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Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2020, 11:44:06 AM »
Here's a video of a guy using three 20 gallon pressure tanks and notes that a 20 gallon tank holds about 5 gallons of water. According to my first Google search result, his 15 gallons wouldn't cover even a single shower.
Quote
The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) and lasts for 8.2 minutes at average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
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Lilburner

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Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2020, 11:48:03 AM »
Conversely, for relatively not a lot of money, here's a 320 gallon tank that says it has a 119 gallon capacity.

It's all so confusing.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/countyline-precharged-pressure-tank
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
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RWS

Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2020, 04:40:12 PM »
Conversely, for relatively not a lot of money, here's a 320 gallon tank that says it has a 119 gallon capacity.

It's all so confusing.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/countyline-precharged-pressure-tank
That looks like the same tank I have in the pump house next door.

Country Singer

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Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2020, 07:44:21 PM »

Quote
The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) and lasts for 8.2 minutes at average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute



The answer you're looking for is "Navy Shower".
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joebob

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Re: "Free" water well pumping and solar hot water with backup
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2020, 08:35:07 PM »
I usually do the Navy shower as a common practice, I just didn't know what it is called. I use the hose type shower head and I installed a quarter turn shut off valve on the line coming out of the wall for the shower. The shut off valve can be found at Lowe's or H D or just about any hardware store they come in chrome and don't look out of place. I just have always tried to find ways to conserve in every thing I do.