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Six interconnected 3,000 gallon (11,356 liter) galvanized steel tanks (buried for freeze protection)

Pump controller

Twenty 6 volt, 220 amp-hour, lead-acid batteries 1,100 amp-hours at 24 volts DC

Six interconnected 3,000 gallon (11,356 liter) galvanized steel tanks (buried for freeze protection)

Twenty 6 volt, 220 amp-hour, lead-acid batteries 1,100 amp-hours at 24 volts DC

Sump pump 65 gpm (246 lpm) at 220 VAC

1,000 gallon (3,785 liter)

Two portable pumps: 60 gpm (227 lpm) jet pump & 6 gpm (23 lpm) gas pump

1,000 gallon (3,785 liter)

Two portable pumps: 60 gpm (227 lpm) jet pump & 6 gpm (23 lpm) gas pump

Sump pump 65 gpm (246 lpm) at 220 VAC

All ground wires ommitted for clarity.

Gould well pump

2 horsepower at 220 VAC for 6 gpm (23 lpm) from 850 feet (259 m)

batteries. We do plan to add a relay, powered by its own solar panel, which will open a float switch loop if we're having a cloudy day. Fortunately, cloudy days are few and far between here in New Mexico.

Don't Try This At Home, Folks

The only snag I ran into was with the first inverter system I had set up. Originally, I had two Trace DR2424 inverters running out of phase to create the 220 VAC. The system would work some times and not others, which made me suspect the pump controller instead of the inverter setup. One of the inverters burned up—it literally smoked—three times before I figured out what was wrong. I then replaced it with a 3600 watt Vanner 220 VAC sine wave inverter. Until we were ready to make the larger investment for the bigger inverter, I tried to "make do" with what we had. At one point, I was running a hair dryer to bleed off some of the extra juice while the system was running the deep well pump!

For some reason, when the inverters were powering an additional load (the hair dryer), the pump controller would not shut down. I suspected that the output wave form of the inverters changed when it was operating at

Above: Components inside the power shed. The Vanner inverter is in the center with its cover off.

its peak output. We finally had the well driller come out again with his generator to power the well pump and confirm that the problem was not the pump controller. It turns out that the well pump controller could not handle the modified sine wave output of the Trace DR2424 inverters. We have had no problems with the replacement sine wave inverter.

Well System Capacity

Our community well system is designed to handle the supplementary water needs of thirty landowners who live in water-efficient homes with little or no blackwater (water from flush toilets). Our houses have 1,400 to 3,500 square feet (130 to 325 m2) of roof and 3,000 or 6,000 gallons (11,356 or 22,712 liters) of water storage capacity. A one inch (25 mm) rain on 1,000 square feet (93 m2) of roof can catch 600 gallons (2,271 liters) of water. In our system, rainwater is routed from our Propanel roof into 3,000 gallon (11,356 liter) cisterns

The Water System Costs

Qty.

Component

Cost

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