2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6, Page #16[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Specializes In Solar-Powered Pumps
"Customers can set up a portable solar pumping unit by mounting solar panels on a trailer," explains Dennis Austin, Solar Power and Pump Co. "When they're finished watering cattle at one location, they pull the pump and head to the next well. As long as the wells are the same depth and producing enough water to accommodate the pump, it works fine."
Austin carries a number of different pumps, solar cell systems and controllers. One of the features of the Lorentz pumps he sells is that the pump, motor and controller are all separate parts, making them easier to repair or replace. The water-filled, brushless, DC motor is maintenance-free. Pump styles include helical rotor, centrifugal, vane type, submersible and surface or floating pumps.
While they can be battery-powered, Austin advises customers to size and design systems that use solar power directly. For those who wish to store electricity for nighttime use, he sells charge controllers that prevent overcharging a system and controllers with low voltage protection built in.
"We offer 12, 24 and 48-volt systems," he says. "Prices can range from $2,200 to $10,000 for a complete system."
Smaller systems for surface water movement, such as pressurizing a holding tank for a cabin, are less. Often operating for only an hour or so a day, they have very small power needs. They can sell for as low as $1,000.
"Prices depend on pump and solar array size," he says. "Generally, if your water source is 1/3 mile or more from a power line, solar can be a good economic choice. While initial costs compare to windmills, lifetime costs will be much lower."
Austin suggests sizing a solar-powered pumping system based on gallons per day needed. If a home-based power system is already in place, Austin suggests doing a load analysis before adding a pump.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Solar Power & Pump Co., 301 W. 12th St., Elk City, Okla. 73644 (ph 580 225-1704; toll free 866 246-7652; fax 580 225-1120; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.togosolar. com).
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