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Solar Pump Systems

Close up of irrigation sprinkler head

Photo by CIAT - CC License

Pumping with Renewable Energy

Getting grid power to a location where you need a pump is often not cost effective or practical. Whether you have a dam down the hill, a bore in the field, or a tank at the end of your property, in most cases you cannot choose the location of your pump. You can, however, choose the power source.

Pumping with renewable energy was first recorded in the 9th century - using wind as the power source. Windpumps or windmills have since turned into an iconic structure in many countries, including Australia. Although those windpumps are still part of our rural landscape they have been superseded by solar pump systems which are more efficient, quieter, and require a lot less maintenance.

Solar Energy as Power Source

Solar energy as a power source for water pumping is an ideal solution where water is required when the sun is shining, or where it can be stored in a high location (eg in a header tank). Solar pump systems can also be configured as 'hybrid' systems and incorporate an additional power source, eg a generator.

Rainbow Power Company designs and supplies solar pumping systems for submersible bore pumps, surface pumps (or floating pumps) or inline transfer pumps. We offer both, domestic (home use) and commercial solar pumping solutions.

For an obligation free quote on solar pump systems, please complete this form or download a printable version and return it to us.

Sketch: tap with running water

Solar Pump Systems for Home Use

First off, a solar pump system can usually NOT replace a home pressure pump. Water may not be needed around the clock but certainly after dark or before sunlight. Hence we only recommend a solar pump system for your home if you have

  • a sizeable header tank
  • a bore hole (min 100mm ΓΈ) with clean (tested) water
  • not more than 50 metres between bottom of bore and top of tank.

Since water can only be pumped during sun-shine hours you need a header tank that is at least a few meters higher than your house. The pressure in your pipes is then supplied by gravity - simple, reliable and renewable!

System Components

The main components of a residential solar pump system include:

solar powered bore pump in paddock

  • Solar Panel(s)
  • Pumping Maximiser
  • Pump
  • Cables & Connectors

Please note: we do not supply pipes or fittings. These items are found in most hardware stores and in our experience are usually in stock.

Configuration

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Configure a residential solar pump system with our SHURflo design tool.

If you do not have a header tank you would need an alternative power source (eg batteries) to be able to access that water at night time. In this case we usually recommend a 240V home pressure pump which of course would also require an inverter (1000W or higher). We would only ever suggest a DC pump (12 Volt or 24 Volt) for households that use very little water.

Sketch: sprinkler in field

Solar Pump Systems for Commercial Use

While water is a scarce commodity in much of Australia, sunlight is almost constantly in abundance, particularly in the Australian Outback. Therefore, a solar pump system can drastically reduce your company's diesel or electricity bill by using sunlight to power your water pumps.

Irrigation | Conservation | Sanitation

Here are some applications (continuous or intermittent operation):

  • Farming:
  • National Parks:
    • Watering wildlife
    • Water supply for camp-grounds / ranger's office
    • Bushfire prevention
  • Housing:
    • Water supply for mining villages
    • Water supply for communities (Multiple Occupancies)

High Quality

Diagram: SQFlex Pump Data

Click to enlarge

Our commercial solar bore pump systems can deliver up to 14,000 litres per hour, or pump water up to 250m high - that's a quarter of a kilometre of vertical lift!

Our commercial surface pump systems can even achieve 19,000l/h from a dam (using a floating pump) or a tank (using an in-line surface pump).

All components of a commercial solar pump systems are made of high quality materials and are generally maintenance free. We have helical rotor as well as vertical centrifugal pumps - the former achieves a high vertical lift (head), the latter high yields (volume). Please note: most cheaper pumps come with a diaphragm which needs replacing regularly and have a poor "life expectancy" in a commercial environment.

System Configuration

Simply put, all you need to determine is the following three parameters:

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  • geographical location
  • required maximum head (total vertical lift)
  • required water quantity per day

By analysing average sunshine hours for your location, we can tailor the system so it matches your application perfectly. Please fill in a Solar Pump System Request form to get an obligation free quote.


We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.