DC water pump/containment system question

dgr611February 3, 2013

Help needed with a garden water source question.

I have a small water hole that I want to use for irrigation purposes. It is about 4-6 ft deep or so and a few feet in diameter. I can pull a few buckets of water out which will lower the water level but it will return to its top level over the next several hours. So it has limited high-volume capacity but it is a replenishing source. So what I am thinking of is a system that will pull water out and store it in a container about 15 ft in the air. Then as I need it I will draw from the container. That elevation will provide me with a gravity feed to anywhere I need it. (I'm not set on an elevated tank - just my first thought at a solution)

I have a structure nearby (within 10 feet) where I can put this container. The water will be used in a garden nearby and on some fruit trees about 300 ft away.

There is no access to utility power nearby. The power will have to be self-contained.

I was thinking about a 12 VDC Battery/Solar system running a pump to fill the container. It would run as needed until the water level drops to a certain level and then lets the water hole refill and then run again after it gets to a certain point, and so on. I could then pull water from the container as needed.

I've looked at bilge pumps (centrifugal and diaphragm) but not sure if that elevation is too much. The pump curves that I've seen usually don't go to that amount. It doesn't need a high GPH, it just needs the head height not sure if I can get one without the other. Anyone have any ideas on a pump or plumbing scheme for this application?

What kind of power source would I need? Can solar handle it alone (~30 deg lat, ~5 hrs of unshaded sun/day) or would it be better to use a battery with a solar charger. Does the battery need to be marine deep-cycle or will a car battery suffice? How big a solar panel is needed? Any recommendations? Which costs more, a high powered solar panel or a marine battery w/solar charger?

Also, what kind of circuitry/switching/floats should I consider?

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

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Don't know the level of your pocket book. But a centrifugal pump is somewhat expensive to purchase and run for such short bursts of time. These pumps are good at lifting but run a higher volume. So you would be starting and stopping the pump. You might look at filling a pressurized tank which would do better at feeding trees 300 feet away. A tank 15 ft in the air only gives you about 7 psi which is not strong enough for long lines or frequent drip interval. I would talk to a local irrigation or pumping person to map out what you want. Go to more than one person to get a good feel of the local costs and configurations. Aloha

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:21PM
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