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Solar Powered Pump Replaces Windmills
"The Solar Stocktank will replace windmills because it's much more dependable," predicts Brian Larsen, of the Solar Stocktank, Co., Boulder, Colo., manufacturer of a new system that uses the sun's energy to pump water from wells.
"The Solar Stocktank is ideal for farmers and ranchers who need to pump water for their livestock pastured in areas without electricity. It will open up grazing areas not fully used and can be used in place of existing windmills. Or, the rancher may want to drill wells in new areas since it'll now be easy to supply water," says Larsen, adding that by using the sun's energy, the Solar Stocktank works when livestock need water most on hot, sunny days.
Available with 12 or 20 solar collecting modules, the panel sits at a 40? angle and is mounted on a boat trailer so it's easy to transport from well to well behind your pickup. The 12 module model is 15 ft. long, 8 ft. wide and 6 ft tall. Once at the site, you position the panel to face south. Larsen recommends putting a fence around it and tieing it down to keep livestock and wind from tipping it over. The modules have a tempered glass glazing to withstand rain, snow and hail.
Key to the Solar Stocktank are the photovoltaic cells that produce D.C.electricity when the sun hits them. This electricity powers the Jacuzzi or Grundfos pump installed in the well. Larsen notes that if the Solar Stocktank is replacing a windmill, it can be adapted to power the existing jack pump. Production models can pump 1,400 gal. a day from a 225 ft. well.
To regulate water pumping, a float on the tank shuts the pump off when the tank is full. An optional battery pack lets you store 5 days worth of electricity. That way, even on heavily overcast days, and at night, water can still be pumped from the well.
Larsen says he has four of the units out and working. He points out that besides pumping water for livestock, the system could be used to pump water for drip irrigation.
Solar Stocktank systems start at $9,000, which includes the panel, trailer and pump for a 100 ft. well. Pumps are available for wells up to 300 ft. deep. The cost of the system is eligible for investment and energy credits on your taxes, says Larsen, noting that in some cases, you can recover the entire investment in tax credits.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Solar Stocktank Co., 1478 Alpine Ave., Boulder, Col. 80302 (ph 303 443-8788).


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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #1