Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment's Rockhampton branch were engaged by local beef cattle graziers Lance and Colleen Sypher (located in Alpha, QLD) to deliver a unique surface mounted Solar Array and Pump Float to supply onsite dam water to both their residence and the property's many cattle watering troughs.
Lance and Colleen Sypher approached Dowdens Rockhampton seeking a design for a solar pumping system with the ability to float on their dam, eliminating the need for any power cables or pump modules to be placed on the bank as is the case with traditional dam solar pumping systems. Having the unit completely isolated (floating) on the surface of the dam would remove the potential for the pumping unit sustaining damage from cattle walking along the edge of the dam. Cattle are known to cause damage to solar pump modules (in particular the associated power cables) that are situated on the edge of dams.
The innovative solar pumping unit design that Dowdens developed needed to meet a required flow rate (during the summer months on average the pumps required duty is 25,000 L/day @ 10m total head). Part of this new design incorporated the solar arrays being installed level with the dams surface, the main advantage of this design feature means the pumps power supply is not affected if the floating pontoon swings or floats across the dam. Having the solar arrays set at an angle, as is found on most traditional solar pumping units, would mean the pontoon would need be to be anchored to the floor of the dam (to avoid any rotation away from direct sun), thereby substantially increasing the overall cost of this project. Angled arrays would have also increased the potential for the arrays to catch any high winds, potentially flipping the unit over into the dam.
Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment's Rockhampton branch specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of innovative customised Solar Pumping systems for the commercial, agriculture and mining sectors of Central Queensland and the greater Capricorn Coast regions.
The final design incorporated a Mono Pumps 600 Watt SUN-RAY SRX Solar Pump due to it's highly efficient, self-priming helical rotor pump. The pontoon has been designed in a way that it can accommodate a wide range of solar pumping units, making it customisable for whatever site requirements are presented. Dowdens believe this is the first time any pump shop has mounted both the solar arrays and pump unit on a float for this application. Having the solar pump operating independently saves the customer spending time and money travelling to and from the dam each day to switch on the pump.
The entire solar pump float system was designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned on time and within budget. Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment's Rockhampton branches design philosophy for this project was: Cost Effectiveness - Innovation - Ease of Installation - Simple & Effective Pump Operation - System Reliability & Reduced Ongoing Maintenance.
Dowdens Pumping Rockhampton's Unique Solar Pump Float - Key Components: