Question about solar water pump for cattle.

edited October 2013 in Energy Alternatives
I am using this well for cattle watering. It is in an afternoon shade. Sunny until about 2:00 P.M. I will install it myself. Yes I will use a generator for backup. I have a 1000 gal. storage tank and a 640 gal. water trough for the cows to drink from. Using a generator, I have been pumping about 750 gal. to 1000 gal. per day into the storage tank and gravity feed to drinking trough. This is all with a 1" PVC line. The well has a 4" Casing, and is about 35 to 40 feet to the water. My well has about 25 to 30 feet of water.


  • Pumping 750 - 1,000 gallons per day may be a problem in your situation because the available "solar window" ends at 2 p.m. Is there an option to clear some of the tree canopy out so that you can pump until at least 4 p.m.?
    My experience is that lower cost pumps usually do not last as long and you may run into more trouble with them pumping the GPM you need.
    I believe Bison pumps will cost about $3,100 including: solar pump, solar controller, racking, three solar panels, 100 feet of wire, CC rope, pump connector kit, sanitary well seal, 100 feet of poly pipe, and hardware kit. A similar Grundfos system will cost you $4,135.

    The Grundfos pump is more expensive but has a reputation for many years of reliable service. Either of these systems will pump slightly over 1,000 GPM (with a full solar window) and should last you several years as long as there is not a lot of suspended material in the water. If either of these systems is affordable for you, I would recommend them for their durability and my experience with them being hassle-free. These systems will also allow you to hook in a generator if necessary. The systems come with easy to follow directions so that you can wire it all up yourself if you have some basic electrical experience and Volt/Ohm meter. A farmer I know installed his own Bison pump and is pumping about 6 GPM from 257. It is working pretty well for him so far. Do you know how much NRCS is willing to cost share on this system?
  • The grundfos pump works wonderfully. If there isn't enough sun to pump at it's full capacity (12gpm) it will start lower and continue slower as the light goes down. Ours pumps constantly in the summer and we run a small farm with it.
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