Should You Replace Your Old Well Pump with a Solar One?
In the interests of eco-friendliness and energy efficiency, many homeowners consider the possibility of replacing their old, worn-down well pump with a solar-powered one. Although this is an understandable and commendable idea, the realities of existing technology mean that solar well pumps are not always the best option for every home. Understanding when solar power is worth the initial investment and when you are better off with a traditional electric pump setup will help you make the right choice for your well and water-consumption habits.
Extending Past the Electrical Grid
If you have one or more wells located off the electrical grid, you will need to find an alternative energy source to power them. This usually occurs on agricultural land or very remote properties, and you may have to rely on a combination of wind, solar, or manual power to adequately draw water. These measures may also be needed in areas that experience frequent power outages. In this situation, a solar well pump may be your best or even only option.
Comparing Costs and Expenses
Well pumps have been developed and refined for decades, meaning modern models can be expected to run for years or even decades without skipping a beat. Solar pumps, on the other hand, have had less time in the marketplace and may offer less longevity as a result. If the initial installation budget is your primary concern, you can likely get a conventional well pump that will last longer for less money than most solar models available today, though it may not be the more cost-effective solution in the long run.
Recognizing the Limits of Solar Power
When solar power does make sense for your well, you will need to account for the power you can collect versus the power needed to draw water from your water table. Solar systems are generally more limited in the power they can generate. This can make solar pumps for deeper wells prohibitively expensive or impossible to power adequately with solar power, resulting in insufficient water pressure. Furthermore, you will likely need to install batteries to store electricity when sunlight is not immediately available, such as overnight or during prolonged overcast weather. All of this can quickly add up, increasing your installation costs substantially in exchange for renewable energy later on.
Pairing Solar Panels with a Conventional Pump
If you are serious about incorporating solar power in your well system but are having trouble making this financially feasible, you don't need to give up quite yet. It is often much more practical to augment a standard electrical well pump with solar power, supplementing with solar electricity instead of relying on it exclusively. This is typically accomplished either by hooking the pump up to a larger solar-panel system or by installing a specialized solar pump on top of a standard one. Talk to your well-pump supplier or installer to learn about popular and successful options in your region to get started picking the right replacement for your home today. Click here to investigate your options.