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Get Powered Up! Certified Energy Manager Jeff Yago answers your alternative energy questions

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Pumping water in Brazil

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I live in a semi rural area in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (lots of direct sun) and am interested in pumping my water from the closed reservoir to the holding tanks above by solar power.

The head is 105 feet at a distance of 350 feet through a two inch PVC pipe.

I see Northern Industrial Tools has these High Wattage Solar Panels – 15 Watt With these panels as a start, what else do I need?

Thank you for your help.

John D Martin


I realize you do not have easy access to many specialty suppliers, but unless you plan to buy a trailer truck load of these 15 watt modules, you need to re-think this project. Although you did not indicate the amount of pump flow you required, which determines the pump size and in turn the pump’s power requirements, you did indicate a fairly high pump head and large pipe size which tells me you will need a pump that will require far more power than you can achieve with these small modules.

First, determine the size pump you need and voltage. As a starting point, I am making a wild guess that you will need at least 150 to 200 watts of solar modules wired for a 24 volt pump, which would be better to use two modules at 75 watts each, or 4 modules at 50 watts each to reduce the wire and mounting issues of using many smaller modules.

There are many solar pump suppliers that can provide you with a complete packaged system with pump, controls, modules, and mounting if you can provide them with more details on the pumping requirements you have. Since you are pumping up to a storage tank, you may want to use a smaller flow high head pressure pump and smaller pipe and let it run all day than a larger pump that quickly fills the storage tank and shuts off, since this would require a smaller solar array and have a lower cost. Contact Dankoff Pumps

Good Luck!

Jeff Yago



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