10 Reasons to Install a Solar Powered Well Pump System Today!

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Image of solar powered well pump.Have you ever thought about installing a solar well pump?  Do you have isolated or rural location where you need to pump water from either the surface or from hundreds of feet underground?  Or are you just looking to cut your power bill.?
If so, a solar power well pump is the perfect solution.

Technology developments in both DC pumps and solar power have made this possible.  Solar pumps are brushless and can operate efficiently on DC power.  The solar panels being produced are more efficient and lower cost than ever before.  These advances have allowed a new generation of solar powered systems.  Many of these systems did not even exist just a few years ago!

Below are the top 10 reasons to install a solar well pump.  There are thousands of reasons to install a solar well pump.  If you have never thought about installing a solar power system before, browse through the list and see if any of applications would be useful.  It is surprising, when remote low cost water pumping options are made available, ideas and uses pop into mind!  Don’t delay, install a system today.

1. Pump water anywhere on earth. No external power required

The problem with pumping water in rural locations is the need to run utility power to the site.  For many years wind power and windmills were used in these secluded locations.  Windmills are expensive and time consuming to maintain.  Trust me, I have refurbished a windmill.  Talk about a lot of work!  There are better options in the 21st century.

The breakthrough in solar water pumping is that there is no need for an external power source.  The sun and the solar panels provide all of the electricity needed to pump water from hundreds of feet underground.

2. Solar well pumps are more efficient and more powerful than ever before

Solar Pump Efficiency Plot
The above plot shows the efficiency gains from switching from brushed motors, to brushless motors and then to brushless motors with MPPT controller. All RPS systems come standard with brushless motors and MPPT controllers.

Solar pumps of today, have no relation to the novelty solar fountain pumps of the past.  These systems are high power, low maintenance, efficient, commercial products.  They are made of stainless steal for long steel and feature brushless DC motors.  This is not your mothers solar fountain pump!

Stainless steel is used for the pump housing and pumping mechanism, to ensure proper sanitation and a long life, while submerged in water.  The stainless steel resists corrosion when suspended in water for years, much better than aluminum pump housings.  Stainless steel housing are also hygienic and will not pollute water sources.  Furthermore, pumping mechanisms made of stainless steel will minimize wear due to sand and other particles, while lifting water from deep underground.

Brushless DC motors are some of the most efficient DC motors on the market.  One of the main benefits is not requiring removal from the well to change the brushes, like other DC motors.  Brushless DC motors with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controllers are even more efficient than brushed motors.  The plot on the right shows the efficiency gains these systems can provide.

3. Systems are low cost and readily available

Image of solar power well pump operating off of solar power

Solar power systems of the past had high price tags attached, in the tens of thousands of dollars.  Advances in technology have made low cost systems possible and readily available.  One of the major advances making this possible are solar cells and panels.  Solar cell manufacturing has progressed to the point where it is very affordable.  A system that previously cost tens of thousands of dollars is now in the low thousands.  A 10X decrease!

A basic, but complete solar well pump system including solar panels, will cost about $2000.  This baseline system will pump water from a few hundred feet deep, at a few gallons per minute flow rate.  This basic system will replace most windmills, matching both depth and flow rate.  They will keep a large pond full of water with no operating cost or pump enough water for a few hundred head of cattle.

Higher performance systems increase in cost to about three to four thousand dollars as more depth and flow rate are required.  These systems are suitable to provide water to entire households or hundreds of head of livestock.  They can replace your standard household well pump.  The slight cost increase in these systems is due to the higher performance, but is also driven by the higher power requirements and number of solar panels required.

Specialized systems can cost in the low tens of thousands of dollars.  These are high performance systems, pumping many gallons of water per second, sufficient for a complete farm or even a remote village.  They are overkill for most livestock and household needs and are more suitable for large farming operations and crop irrigation.

4. No ongoing operating costs

After the initial system cost, which is often comparable to other well options, there are no ongoing operating costs.  Normal wells burn money every time they turn on to pump water.  This is not the case for solar well pumps, which get their power from the sun.

Every single day the sun is shining, you are earning free money from the sun.  What better deal exists?  The sun shines down and water is pumped up from deep underground, saving you from overpriced utility charges.

5. Much cheaper than installing main power to remote locations

Trenching main power to a remote location is costly in both time and money.  This is one reason windmills of the past were so popular, since they required no electricity to operate.  The “windmills of today” are solar power systems capable of pumping water without connecting to main power.  You are no longer limited to how long of a power cable can be trenched into the ground or how hard the wind blows.

6. Complete systems can be shipped right to your door

Complete kits can be shipped right to your door in only a matter of days.  It only takes two boxes, one for the pump/controller and one for the solar panels, to ship directly to your home or office.  All standard systems can be shipped by normal shipping methods (USPS, UPS, FedEx) without the need for freight shipping.  This allows for shipping systems to all locations and all residences.

7. Systems are modular and can be upgraded over time

The components that make up solar power well pump systems are very modular.  They can be swapped out and upgraded as needed.  If increased overcast, low light, performance is needed, extra solar panels can be added.  If more water is needed per day, batteries and extra panels can be added, so water can be pumped during the night.  If more volume is needed, the pump can easily be replaced to a higher power model offering higher flow.

8. Solar well pumps are easy to maintain

There are very few mechanical components.  Solar panels are highly reliable and do not require any maintenance, besides a quick wash every year or two.  Brushless motors do not have brushes (hence the name) and therefore require no maintenance.  The pumping mechanisms are highly reliable and are easy to replace in the field.  A system should be able to pump tens of thousands of gallons without any maintenance.

9. Cheap to maintain

There are two items in solar well pump systems which may need occasional maintenance, both of which are very low cost.  Occasionally, every year to two, the solar panels should be given a good scrub with soap and water to ensure maximum performance.  Less often, about every 5 years, it is good to replace the pumping mechanisms which can degrade over time  and reduce pumping performance.  These mechanism cost about $20 dollars and can be replaced it the field.

10. Systems can be self-installed in a single weekend

Solar power well pumps systems are very simple and can be installed in a single weekend.  All of the solar panel connections are made with waterproof connectors, no soldering required.  In fact, I have been on the phone and talked a customer through solar panel hookup in less than 10 minutes.  The well pump was operating in less than 15 minutes, pumping water from a depth of 130 feet.  The joyous laughter when water started flowing were acceptable, as pumping water using power from the sun is… magical!

The solar pump, solar panels, and sensors all connect to the controller using screw terminals, again no soldering required.  The pump should connect easily to existing power cables and plumbing.  Just lower it down into the well and assuming you finish installation before night, water will start flowing!

There you have it, the top ten reasons to install a solar power well pump system.  Yes there are hundreds more.  Don’t delay, install your system today!

Learn how to size your solar well pump system!

Or, if you prefer, give us a call at 1-650-336-5554.

We only offer the highest quality systems, using top grade components, which we are willing to put our name behind.  Don’t fall for purchasing some cheap knockoff system that will only last a few years at best.  Choose a company that will be around to provide support for many years to come.  Visit our website today to find out more!

4 Responses

  1. Hazel Owens

    Solar well pumps seem a bit too good to be true from the way you explained them! Having free water that comes from a pump that hardly needs maintenance and that gets its energy from the sun is a dream come true. I feel like a lot more people should know about solar well pumps as an alternative to normal public water. Thanks for the information.

    • Mike R

      Yeah, they can seem too good to be true at first, util you look at the technology and current state of solar. After that, you will realize it doesn’t take too many solar panels to pump water from deep underground. The technology is here and we have created simple to use and to install kits to take the guesswork out. Let us know how we can help get you setup with a system!

  2. Peter Ateba

    We are constructing a 2 storey (3 floors) about 30 ft high school building in Africa and would like to source the drinking water supply from a well (or borehole) to keep the operating cost down. Apparently we will have to drill to a depth of 40 to 60 ft to get to clean water level.
    Do you have a solar well pump that we can use for this application? How much does it cost? Would it be practical in an African environment with heavy rain and dry seasons?

    Thank you for your help

    • Mike R

      Absolutly! We have many systems currently operating in Africa. They are great for remote locations, where grid power is either unreliability or not available. Plus with a water storage tank, you do not have to worry about cloudy days or getting water at night. If you don’t want to use a tank, all of your kits also come with battery inputs, for pumping at night or on cloudy days. Let us know if we can help in setting you up with a system!