Solar Powered Farm Water

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Installing the panels on an existing shed roof

Using a solar powered pump setup to feed header tanks allows better stock management.

We all know the benefits of keeping stock out of dams. Doing so has benefits from a production point of view and also improves soil management. Sometimes the infrastructure required to do this can be limiting though. Especially when the options to pump the water involve running electricity to the site or fuelling and maintaining expensive diesel pumps.

The parts are plug and play

Alan, who will be familiar to regular viewers, has a great property in the Yarra Valley. He is trying to improve his water and land management by fencing out his stock from all dams and replacing these with troughs fed by a header tank. Using a diesel powered pump is out of the question as he travels a bit (and his old one is out of commission). He needs something that is “set and forget” without daily or weekly fuelling and maintenance requirements.

The main farm dam is 1.5 km from the header tanks that will be used to supply troughs

With his main dam over a kilometre from the road, he needed a cost effective and reliable source of power to shift his water. Alan settled on the 6.7-88 submersible pump from Commodore Australia, just to be sure that he gains maximum power and performance. This 1000w 4 inch diameter pump, with an array of 6 solar panels achieves 6700 Litres an hour flow, with a head of 88m. Alan is pumping from a dam, so a 90 degree fitting on the top and a float made from PVC pipe converted this bore pump into a dam water transfer monster.

Alan Installing the controller with simple tools

The assembly, as can be seen in the video, was literally “Plug and Play” with the only instructions required housed in the door of the control panel. I am fairly confidant that anyone with some simple handyman skills could get this up and going given a reasonable amount of preparation and time. The only janky part of the install were the instructions that came with the isolator switch. These featured letters and diagram that contradicted each other and gave us pause for about an hour. Hence my ongoing hatred of instructions…. Thankfully the company provides installation videos to help with the process, making the old written type a thing of the past.

Thanks to solar technology now becoming cheaper and more accessible, there is a cost effective option for good paddock management. Commodore Australia are a well known and regarded supplier of solar powered farm solutions. Their range of components are great quality and come at a surprisingly competitive price. Get in touch with them if you are looking for a solution like Alan’s and want to take your property management to the next level. Make sure you tell them that Tim sent you.

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