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Retirement Dirt
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:05 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

SwampFox wrote:
Well, the wife and I got the foundation for the tractor barn laid out, leveled, and the treated timber in place yesterday and I called for the building to be delivered/erected. The forestry guy called. He had another contract that the guy could not fund, so he starts our fence rows and the de-stumping of the range tomorrow with the dozer. De-stumping the range will give him the place to build piles and burn. He is still working the cleanup of the old pond and the digging of the new pond numbers.

I will call the fence erectors tomorrow. See if they want to tackle the three rail ribbon fence. Its a polymer 5.25 inch rail with three strands of high tinsel wire in each rail. You put up two stout end posts (6-8 round 10 ft) and stretch the fence between using ratchet spindles. The field or line posts just hold the fence in place and can be spaced 14 ft apart.

We are coming along nicely for two old folks with ailments.

Paul, did you install the solar panels yourself? I am thinking of a solar pump for a new well to keep the ponds full, seapage, evaporation, etc. I am not much with electricity so am a bit reluctant to just order the pump and 8 panels it will take to run it.
Best,
Ed

Ed, yep! we install the panels, inverter and power system ourselves. We also have a wind turbine that hasn't been installed yet. It will more than double the power in the system. Buy it as a kit, they come with instructions. I don't think you will need 8 pannels but it depends on the pump and depth of the well.

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

Paul,
What I intend doing is to keep two ponds full from one pump. The upper pond will overflow, by 4" DWV pipe, into the lower pond. I have found a solar pump that puts out 40 gallons per minute. That is per minute, not per hour. The down side is that the pump takes 750 watts. If the water source becomes to much, I will put in a float switch in the lower pond to shut the system down.
Best,
Ed

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OntheLasGallinas
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

SF,

What is the brand name of that pump. It sounds interesting. I want to look it up on the internet. I've got a well that needs a new pump and I've been considering a solar pump or an air compressor windmill.

Has anyone out there had any experience with air compressor windmills?

Thanks, Cary

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:26 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

Carey,
This is the site for the pumps:

store.solar-electric.c...rsqpu.html

Note this particular pump is a shallow well centrifugal. A centrifugal can normally pick up water from a max depth of 20 feet if above ground. This pump is below the water so by spec can lift the water a max of 45 ft including any up hill pumping, for a max head of 45 feet. The place I bought has a 2 inch shallow well on top of the hill, so it had to be pumping from 20ft at most, 20 years ago. The water is still seeping from the hill in several places.
Best,
Ed

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:41 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

40 gallons a minute is a BIG pump! no wonder it draws the power it does. Our well is 250 feet and uses a pump that is a bit smaller. We pump the water into a 150 gallon sistern and then from there into the cabin on a second pump. (demand) That way we have the volume and pressure for the instant water heater. Both pumps together draw less power than yours.
Is it an AC or DC pump? The 110 AC pumps are a bit more efficient I think.

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OntheLasGallinas
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

This is the first solar pump that I've seen that would pump that much. Impressive! We don’t use solar at the moment, but I’m considering using them for remote locations, where we’ve got worn out windmills.

Here at the house, I just tap into a small irrigation well. I’ve got a 10 horse submersible in the well (298 feet deep). I pump into a cistern, and then boost it the 100 yards to the house with a duel impeller booster pump. It’s a good set up, as long as we have electric power. For irrigation, I run about 40 sprinklers at 50 pounds of pressure. Not bad for a small well.

The big wells are 1,200 feet deep and produce about 2,000 gallons per minute, but they are powered by John Deere diesels (If you can afford the diesel to run them).

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

OntheLasGallinas - this little set up might help you with the 1200ft - these are the only windmills I have any knowledge of:

So the first thing you will need to do is install this little bitty pipe I am leaning on, then you will need to get in a itty bitty windmill turbine and once you set the prop you will have plenty of water.

Actually, none of the items above will help you as they are all for power generation - windmills in ND and a jacked up cooling water flange in AR (notice the fine bevel on the transition piece - the original installers had the pipe come out of the ground crooked and the transition was fabricated to cover the mistake).

I actually looked up the compressor windmills, didn't know they had a critter like that - looks like a good deal and it makes sense. Solar is great but at times the equipment can be pricey in my experience, on the flip side, the compressor set up has a lot of moving parts which would require maintenance as well - looks like a wash to me.



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OntheLasGallinas
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

Those are monsters! I saw a bunch of those electrical windmills in west Texas. In fact, I see the blades going down the highway on trailer trucks, going north on I-37. I figured that they are fabricating them in Corpus Christi or somewhere in the valley (Brownsville, McAllen, etc.).

My 1,200 foot well has a down-hole turbine pump. That is the only pump that I know if that can produce that much water. They are good for large irrigation projects.

As far as the compressor windmill. From what I understand, the compressor is the same type as a regular air compressor. If you keep oil in them, they will last a long time. The advantage is that you have no moving parts down in the well (like a standard windmill pump). All you have is two small PVC pipes in the hole. Check them out on the internet; they look like something worth purchasing if you live in the country. Of course, if you get one, you also need a cistern for water storage, and a booster to pump it to the house, unless you've already got one. I also read that you can place the windmill up to ¼ mile from the well, in an area with better wind exposure. Sounds good to me.


Cary

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

There ya go Cary...That ought to solve yer problem...

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OntheLasGallinas
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

I'm afraid that a power generator that big will fry my house!

Cary

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:36 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

The solar pumps as listed, I understand to be DC.


Paul,
A question, how difficult is it to drum up 110V with a set of panels and an inverter? Would the inverter burn up a shallow well 110/220 1 1/2 hp pump or would it cut off clean when the source power dropped below that needed to produce 110V. If I can run a 1.5hp pump. I can get 50 GPM at 35-40 PSI.

I am trying to run this operation without outside electric power, by wire.
Best,
Ed

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

Cary - If your house can handle at least 1.25 MW, than you should be okay with these little bug swatters. Not sure where the blades are fabricated, they might be shipping them in to Houston and then trucking them up. Many of these units are made overseas. Are you talking about the windfarm you saw in West Texas - wouldn't be Big Springs by chance? That one is a nice touch to the valley, beats looking at the Carbon Black plant on the East end of town.

So far as the compressor set-up, you would need a booster pump up to the house - depending on the distance, and incline etc to the house sistern, head pressure is your biggest enemy - but if you are trying to keep it off the grid, I am not aware of any solar pumps that could push too much without a large panel set up - wait, is that my rear end speaking? because I would have to talk out of there to really be of any help (I am out of my league in the electrical department - I know you have to pay it or they shut it off - beyond that it is just smoke and mirrors to me).

One alternative would assist with the border problem, you could hire a few non-immigration-compliant gentlemen (it doesn't get any more civil than that) and have them hoist 5 gal pails to the house - after a week or so of this the word would get out and I imagine any immigration problems you have in the area would go away - kind of a wash in my book.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:55 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

SwampFox wrote:
The solar pumps as listed, I understand to be DC.


Paul,
A question, how difficult is it to drum up 110V with a set of panels and an inverter? Would the inverter burn up a shallow well 110/220 1 1/2 hp pump or would it cut off clean when the source power dropped below that needed to produce 110V. If I can run a 1.5hp pump. I can get 50 GPM at 35-40 PSI.

I am trying to run this operation without outside electric power, by wire.
Best,
Ed

Ed,
First, you have to use batteries with an inverter. The panels charge the batteries (unless you draw too much power). A good inverter will switch off with low voltage input or over current draws. If you are running your pump all the time then you will need the batteries and panels to poer it at 120% of total use. If it runs 24/7 then you need to have a bank of batteries that will power it for 29 hours and panels that supply enough power to completely charge the batteries in the six hours of winter daylight plus supply the power for the pump while they charge the batteries too. If it is a demand system the you need a lot less. That is why we pump from the well into a sistern. It takes less power to fill the sistern than it would to supply a pressure head to the house.
If you select the pump and power supply for the same task it works well. It is cheaper to pump with no pressure than it is to deliver pressure - especially from a deep well.

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OntheLasGallinas
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

In trying to decide if I want to go with a compressor windmill (the cost for the windmill and tower is about 2,300 to 2,700 dollars) or a solar powered pump, I'm wondering what is the life span of solar panels? If they have to be replaced after 5 or 6 years, the compressor windmill might be the way to go. You also have to factor in the cost of batteries for the solar rig. I do know that I just replaced my shop compressor after 23 years of service. All I ever did was check the oil level about once a year. That's pretty low maintenance.

Has anyone had any experience with the life-span of solar panels?

Cary

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Retirement Dirt Reply with quote

You can find panels that garrentee 20+ years of service, the issue is mainly with the batteries as I understand it.

Dimitri

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