Tuesday, 7 June 2016

10:34 – I’m surprised that with all the comments yesterday, no one pointed out that I’d dated that entry 2015. Fixed now.

Still more kit stuff on tap for today. Barbara has a busy week, including a trip down to Winston tomorrow, so we interleave all the kit stuff on a time-available basis. We’re never short of stuff to do.

One of the items on my to-do list is checking into the details of our well. I’ve been thinking about having a 24VDC or 48VDC submersible pump installed to replace the current well pump, assuming our well depth is within its capacity. That could be driven by an ordinary transformer during normal times, and directly by solar panels or solar-charged deep-cycle batteries in a long-term emergency. The ShurFlo 9300 model I looked at pulls only 4 amps max at 24VDC, has a maximum lift of 230 feet, and delivers just under two gallons per minute at max depth. In a pinch, it could be driven directly by one 18V 100W panel, although two panels with a charge controller would be better.

Solar well pumps are a mature technology. They’ve been used widely for years, particularly in the arid western states for unattended livestock watering systems. Their service life is rated at 5 to 10 years, and repair kits are available. I suspect we’ll end up installing one eventually, but for now I’m reasonably happy with the generator and rainwater harvesting for backup. We could run the well pump on generator to produce 100 gallons per day using only 4 or 5 gallons of gasoline per month. Rainfall is pretty reliable around here. In the last six months, we’ve gotten measurable rain probably every week. We’ve had between 3.2 and 4.0 inches of rain per month since we moved here in December of last year, typically a quarter inch to a full inch at a time, and even the summer months have regular rainfall. In a pinch, we could store several hundred gallons of captured rain, which would be enough to carry us through any dry spells.

Back to work on science kits.