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Solar pumping from creek
#536181 06/06/21 08:11 PM
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Well we finally got some rain and the seasonal creek has water now. I have been looking at options to pump water up to the pond for a couple of years now, I have been using a gas pump but don`t like the noise or keeping gas in it. I have tried a waterwheel with limited success. I bought a 48vdc solar pump but the results were less than desirable, it pumped good at about 3' of head but wouldn`t make the 20` that I have. It was advertised to pump more than that. I am currently using a DC treadmill motor hooked to a pulley driven 1" centrifugal pump. It pumps about 10 gpm at 20` of head thru 120` of 1" poly pipe. If I get 6 hours of sun that should be about 3500 gallons a day. In my 1/4 acre pond I lose 1 " a day (in the summer).That is probably about 6000 gallons a day that I lose to evaporation and seepage. If anybody has a better way to pump please let me know.
I have 8 100 watt solar panels wired series parallel producing 82v 11 amps in full sun. No electricity at the pond $30,000+ to get it there.
Looking for ideas, thanks

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536185 06/06/21 10:06 PM
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Tony K,
Are there any areas of the seasonal creek you can access that have elevation higher than the pond? If so you could gravity feed it to the pond with the rolls of black plastic pipe from Lowe’s, Home Depot, or any plumbing supply house.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536186 06/06/21 10:20 PM
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Thanks Heppy. No, my son came out and took readings with his survey equipment. The upper most part of the creek that is still on my place is still 15' feet below the pond.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536190 06/06/21 11:42 PM
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Tony, put a 50 micron filter on the inlet side if you are going to get creek water if you don't want any fish from the creek getting into the pond.


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Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536191 06/07/21 12:05 AM
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Tony,
How about a 12v submersible bilge pump? They are pretty inexpensive and you would need a deep cycle battery of course if you didn’t already have one. They can pump up to 4000 gallons per hour.

Last edited by Heppy; 06/07/21 01:28 AM. Reason: Better idea
Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536204 06/07/21 12:52 PM
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My experience is that "fit for purpose" engineering is almost always the best solution.

I have the same situation at my farm. My conclusion was that the DC solar pumps were the best option. They are not cheap, but they are optimized for your application.

I don't know why your first solar pump could only make 3' of head. Most of the good manufacturers have a wide range of pumps with well-documented pump curves so you can get the right one for your conditions.

OTOH, you also learn something after putting your designed system into actual operation. If your DC treadmill motor is running your centrifugal just fine, then run that to failure. Document your performance to see if that is enough rate for a summer drought period. If the design needs any tweaks or improvements, then you can do that on the 2.0 version.

Good luck on your project.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536205 06/07/21 12:52 PM
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Thanks essup, I had to look up 50 micron, I will do that. right now I have screen wire wrapped around a bucket. It doesn't seem possible fish would be in a creek that has been dry for 9 months, until I thought about the fish that washed out of my pond into that same creek.
Heppy I have a Rule 4000gph pump. The graph shows 4000 gph at 0' head, at 20' of head(which I have) it drops to about 800 gph. I can't find anywhere if this is a cont. duty pump. I may try it out, tho. My luck with bilge pumps has not been good, they haven't lasted very long. Thanks for the suggestion.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536212 06/07/21 01:47 PM
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Tony,

I have used the bilge pumps to move water into totes on my remote drip-irrigation systems.

I think my experience matches yours - they are definitely NOT continuous duty pumps. However, they are great to run for 8" to fill a tote. The cheap ones seem to last as long as the more expensive ones, so I just use the cheap ones and always keep a spare in the truck!

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536221 06/07/21 04:12 PM
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FishinRod thanks. Maybe it was where I bought the pump, the manual that came with the pump was hard to read! It is a surface pump kind of a dc version of a gas trash pump. It has a BLDC 48 v motor and controller. specs are.60-90voc. 660watt -1060watt panels. Max head24m. It states: "The solar water pump controller drives the high efficient brush-less DC pump motor, utilizing the latest MPPT technology to ensure maximum flow is delivered under all light conditions" I have 800 watts of panels. The readout on the controller is 82v. I don't know, it pumps good until I hook the 120' of pipe to it. (20' actual head). I going to install a watt meter to make sure all the numbers are right.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536229 06/07/21 08:17 PM
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Tony,
What are the specs on the DC pump? You do have 8 100 watt panels, but the way you are using them, you have less than 500 watts available. I believe you are using "12 Volt" panels. They are not ideal for a 48 volt system. Read up on solar panels using 60 or 72 cells per panel. Also, do you know the chemistry of the panels?


I know this all sounds technical, but after you answer these questions, it will be easier to help you set it up correctly.


Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%
Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536231 06/07/21 10:26 PM
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Brian, they are polycrystalline panels from Rich solar. The pump manual states "best open circuit voltage 60-90v". The voc of each panel I have is 21v(on watt meter) 4 wired in series to produce 84v at 4.7 amps( 1st set and 2nd set) and those 2 sets wired parallel for 84 volts 9.4 amps. I don't know much about solar so I have read as much as can. I am only using it out of necessity. Any help is appreciated!

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536264 06/08/21 02:13 PM
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Tony,
When under load, what is the voltage coming from the solar panels? That is to say, how much are they drawn down under load?


Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%
Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536271 06/08/21 04:30 PM
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Brian, I installed a watt meter on the treadmill motor that I am using, but we don't have any clean sun right now. but here are the readings at 4pm. mostly cloudy. managed to get a reading with haze over the sun.
volts 62.7
amps8.6
watts539
The solar pump with the controller has a digital readout, the other day with full sun it read 82v. The pump calls for 550watts, I didn't have an amp reading, but it looks like it would need 6.7 amps at 82 volts.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536285 06/08/21 11:06 PM
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The power at noon under direct sunlight is what you need to know. But it seems like your solar setup may not be your issue, even though it is not optimal.


Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%
Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536292 06/09/21 04:40 AM
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Might try this.....google it

.What is a hydraulic ram pump?
According to a North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service report, a hydraulic ram pump “is a simple, motorless device for pumping water at low flow rates.

What is a hydraulic ram pump?

It uses the energy of flowing water to lift water from a stream, pond, or spring to an elevated storage tank or to a discharge point. It is suitable for use where small quantities of water are required and power supplies are limited, such as for household, garden, or livestock water supply.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536322 06/09/21 01:10 PM
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Mfitz70 thanks, I actually built one of those last year, and it worked good, Its just not enough gph. I've tried a lot of stuff.


Brian, seems like its been cloudy for 3 weeks now, with a little sun here and there. We went 9 months without rain, now its rained over 9". I live a little west of I-35.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536325 06/09/21 02:57 PM
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Tony,
Would this work for you? It’s rated for 24/7 use for more than 20,000 hours.

https://www.amazon.com/12V-18V-Brus...-Waterfall/dp/B01KC3UAN6?ref_=ast_sto_dp

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536327 06/09/21 03:30 PM
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Thanks Heppy I don't think so. . it states that the max head for that pump is 9.8', I have 20' of head.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536352 06/09/21 11:52 PM
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Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536354 06/10/21 07:18 AM
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Thanks Heppy, that looks interesting. I may have found a solar pump that better suits my situation. Dankoff suncentric 7444 48v.PV- direct. The graph shows it will move 40gpm @ 20' head and only needs 480 watts of pv.

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536355 06/10/21 08:15 AM
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Ever thought about some deep cycle battery's and a mag drive pump with inverter?

I have a few of these Magnetic drive pumps and really like them. My latest is 8000 GPH.

https://pondsonline.ca/aquascape-ultra-400-fountain-waterfall-pump.html

Last edited by DonoBBD; 06/10/21 08:21 AM.

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Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536386 06/10/21 09:50 PM
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Dono, that 8000 is a brute, 4700gph @20'. Something to think about, just trying to do this without batteries. Thanks!

Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536387 06/10/21 10:06 PM
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Donno, you got a link to that 8000 gph pump?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536420 06/11/21 06:57 PM
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Tony,

What brand and model solar panels are you using?


Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%
Re: Solar pumping from creek
Tony K #536423 06/11/21 09:46 PM
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Brian, they are made by Rich Solar. #RS-P-100

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