Killed my Shurflo 2088 surface pump in 3 days

5 Posts
Apr 26, 2008 06:26 pm
Killed my Shurflo 2088 surface pump in 3 days

Hooked up the panel to the 2088 Shurflo pump, and watched the water stream in to my impoverished pond.  I was at 1st jazzed, but 3 days later the pump died.  To provide a background a small LCB provides 10+ to 15 start amps and a continous 7amp from the Kyo-130w panel. The forest around it is unavoidable and sunny sites are limited.  This site greets the am sun at 7:15 when the pump begins to prime.  A large tree trunk shades the panel at 8 am and the pump takes a break.  Again around 9:15am the panel gets sun and the pump again reprimes.  A large limb 40' up shaded and slowed the pump around 1 pm. I'm chainsawing it soon.  Then the forest shades the area about 75% from 3 pm on.  But how do I pump water from a spring 60' away in  the intense forest (numerous towering 90' White Oaks)up to my pond? (I will also improve the priming situation to lessen pump stress.  Now the pump's 35" from the panel and 25' from the spring, though only a 3-4' lift.  So I'll replace it 3' from the spring with only a 2-3' lift and add a check valve to the intake.) 

Is there a way I can place an inline timer so that the Shurflo only runs when it's sunny, 9:30am to 2:30pm? Am I overlooking a way to make the small Shurflow 2088 viable? I only need about 100,000 gallons annually of water to subsidize this pond.  I've already purchased the new pump, but want to install this one the right way.  Please advise.
2 Posts
Apr 26, 2008 11:44 pm
Re: Killed my Shurflo 2088 surface pump in 3 days

If I were in your shoes, I would move the pump as close to the water source as possible, with as little left as possible. Also, check the piping size (flow rate and distance); I would go at least 1 or 2 pipe sizes larger.  Both draft and discharge sides.  Then I would consider a battery to give a constant power source to the pump and let the solar panel power a battery charger.  Whenever you run an electric motor at less than optimal voltage, you run the risk of reduced life of the motor.
5 Posts
Apr 27, 2008 01:11 am
Re: Killed my Shurflo 2088 surface pump in 3 days

Thanks Tom;
Moving the pump next to it's drafting pool and reducing the lift will be done, it's gotta help.  I don't really like the idea of a battery. This is a long term plan and 10 batteries over 20 years doesn't seem very 'green.'  To keep the voltage up, there ought to be a timer so the pump only runs when there's optimal sunshine on the panel.  Before I consider the charged battery concept, is there a timer or another workable idea?
2 Posts
Apr 27, 2008 07:25 am
Re: Killed my Shurflo 2088 surface pump in 3 days

I would suggest that you monitor the available voltages on your panel while the pump is running.  A photo-cell is normally closed during dark, open during light.  Try to find one that is reversed (Closed with light, open with darkness).  In researching your pump, it appears to be about 3 gallons per hour, if you are pumping 5 hours per day, every day that would be 300,000 gallons per year.  Look at any documentation that came with the pump, it should give you the head (lift) vs. gpm graph to let you know whether your project is within design limits of the pump/motor.  Monitor the temperature of the motor, provide cooling for it if necessary.
9 Posts
Apr 27, 2008 12:32 pm
Re: Killed my Shurflo 2088 surface pump in 3 days

If it was me, I would put a voltage sensing relay (designed for your pumps voltage requirements) in line between the solar panel and and the pump so that the pump can only come on when the voltage comes up to the desired voltage.
5 Posts
Apr 27, 2008 11:50 pm
Re: Killed my Shurflo 2088 surface pump in 3 days

Yep, the pump's ability to get 100,000+ gallons is a conservative goal for our rainy Appalachion foothills, though 300,000 gallon would be feasible in sunny climes.   

Now, supposedly, the LCB blocks the current until it can produce a 15ah jolt for 10 seconds.  After that it would strive to achieve a continuous 7ah flow which the pump is rated at.  Under light loads, there's only a 12' head, the pump uses between 5 & 6ah which the 130w panel handles most the time.

Question:  Does the LCB and these amp numbers leave enough voltage for the motor?

Idea:  There is a shade free location across the point of the pond another 60'away, a total of 120'from the pump. Would the extra distance be too much for 10ga wiring?

I'm not very electrical savvy and trust the pump, LCB, and panel are closely matched.

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