When I started my search for a new solar well pump, I initially thought the options were endless. It soon became evident that this wasn’t the case at all and that most of the advertised solar water pumps were for garden fountains or swimming pools rather than wells.
The deeper I dug, the more frustrated I became.
Numerous submersible solar well pumps were no longer available or appeared to be duplicate product listings for the same generic pump.
After much searching and a little soul-searching, I finally found a few items worthy of a second look.
More solar well pumps are available for shallow wells than for deep wells where you’re trying to access water located 100ft or so underground. Once you get over 300ft, your options become even more limited.
The good news is that I’ve done a lot of the footwork for you.
The following reviews focus on the features that will play the most significant roles in making your solar well pump installation a roaring success or a complete fiasco.
Our Top Solar Well Pumps
The manufacturers of this pump opted for the lower grade 304, which, while corrosion-resistant, isn’t as suited to a well with high levels of sodium chloride in the water.
However, in terms of power, this submersible well pump has the upper hand, boasting a maximum flow of 7.9 GPM. Admittedly, that’s a fractional improvement and probably won’t make a marked impact on your well’s productivity.
This pump works just as effectively off battery power as it does solar power. On the other hand, its maximum head is just 262ft, making it unsuitable for deeper wells.
This powerful pump utilizes MPPT technology to optimize energy use and has intelligent water sensors that will automatically stop the pump should the water level drop below a functional depth.
Although the product specifications state that the pump needs two 150w solar panels to operate effectively, customers who’ve used this pump have reported problems when relying on such a limited system.
Some even suggest setting up a six-panel system to ensure optimum performance. Unfortunately, taking that approach makes your overall investment pretty steep, especially given the elevated cost of the pump itself.
- Produces a maximum flow of 7.9 GPM
- Energy-efficient design
- Intelligent water shortage protection
- Lower-grade stainless steel construction
- Limited to depths under 263ft
This versatile and affordable solar well pump may only produce a maximum flow of just over 3 GPM, but it’s still powerful enough to access water from depths of up to 230ft.
Easy to install, this solar pump is suitable for wells with a diameter of 4” or more, making it slightly less versatile than the JENENSERIES, for example, which can operate on a well with a 3” casing just as effectively as it does on larger versions.
It can be easily connected to almost any renewable energy source, be it solar or wind. While that makes it versatile, it doesn’t guarantee its dependability, and some users have reported problems with this pump drawing excessive amps, especially when using battery power.
Although this pump doesn’t come with water sensors or water shortage protection, it can run dry without causing damage to the motor, unlike the cheaper model from ECO-WORTHY.
The affordability of this solar well pump is one of its most attractive features, although it’s also lighter than some of the other, more expensive models, which means it’s also easier to install.
That’s probably a good thing as you’re probably going to be performing regular maintenance on it, so you’ll be dragging up and down the well repeatedly during its lifespan.
- Can run dry without damage
- Adaptable to different energy sources
- Lightweight and therefore easier to install
- Prone to drawing excessive amps
- Not as durable as higher quality pumps
This solar well pump from PVS is made of superior quality and corrosion-resistant stainless steel, can raise water from depths up to 320ft, and produces a maximum flow of 7.7 GPM.
Unfortunately, the installation process isn’t straightforward, and it can be tricky to get the control box and pump to communicate effectively. If installed correctly, however, this pump should work effectively on either solar or battery power.
The PWS pump also needs several solar panels to work effectively, making your investment costly.
On a more positive note, however, the PWS pump has been widely and positively reviewed, giving us a little more confidence in its capabilities. It also comes with a more generous three-year warranty.
- Works off either solar or battery power
- Three-year warranty
- Suitable for deep wells
- Poor quality instruction manual
This compact pump doesn’t look as impressive as our earlier picks, but it’s surprisingly powerful, especially given its very reasonable price tag.
One of the most noticeable benefits of this submersible pump is that it operates just as effectively using wind power as it does off solar panels or a 24v battery system. Furthermore, it can be used either with or without voltage controllers and other components.
Although this submersible pump can raise water from depths of 230ft, its maximum submersion depth is 100ft, so accessing water at a level lower than 100ft could reduce the flow to an impractical level. The maximum GPM of this pump is only 1.6 GPM as it is, making it far less efficient than any of the pricier items listed here.
Perhaps more worrying is that the manufacturers of this pump decided not to include intelligent water shortage sensors or protection so your pump could continue running without water, causing damage to the motor and limiting the pump’s service life.
Costing less than a third of the price of any of the other submersible solar pumps we’ve explored so far, this is clearly a budget option and, as such, is unlikely to have the durability or longevity of its more expensive rivals.
- Works with wind, solar, and battery power
- Easy to install
- No water shortage protection
- Low GPM
Whether you’re looking for a solar well pump for a deep well or to pump water from a shallow well, lake, or reservoir, you need to consider more than just the price.
The maximum flow rate of the pump is crucial, especially if this is your only source of water.
The number of panels you’ll need to operate the pump will also have a big impact on your costs, as will the depth of the water you’re trying to access.
What Kind of Solar Pump is Best For a Shallow Well?
It seems almost impossible to find a solar-powered surface pump, so even if your well is only 25′ deep, if you want to use renewable energy, you’ll probably have to invest in one of these submersible pumps, even though their capabilities make them somewhat excessive.
How Deep Can A Solar Pump Work?
If your water level is below 300 feet or so, you may well be wondering just how deep can a solar pump work.
Although the pumps discussed in this review reach a maximum depth of 320ft, some solar well pumps, like this one from Sun Pumps, can raise water from depths of 600ft.
Experts estimate the maximum capacity of solar well pumps is around 650ft. The amount of solar energy required to raise water from a depth lower than that makes it impractical. Any deeper than that, and you’re looking at some hefty bills, not only in terms of installing the pump but running it as well.
Even at 100’ or so, installing a submersible pump can be challenging, as can performing routine repairs and maintenance.
As a result, I’d recommend investing in a better quality model that requires less maintenance than saving money on a cheaper version that you’ll be pulling up every other week to repair.
What Is A Good Flow Rate?
A maximum flow of 7 GPM or more is recommended, especially if you’re completely reliant on your well for your household water supply. A lower flow could leave you short or force you to reduce your water consumption.
How Long Will A Solar Well Pump Last?
As a good quality submersible solar pump has a service life of around 10 years, compared to cheaper models that may not make it past 12 months, it’s worth investing in one made from high-quality stainless steel. This will limit corrosion and give you a longer period of hassle-free operation.
How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Run A Well Pump?
In addition to the quantity of water you need to pump from your well daily, you also need to consider how much you’re willing to invest in solar panels or if you’re planning on using existing panels.
Although some smaller solar water pumps can get by on just one or two 100w panels, others require as many as six.
The size of your solar panels will affect the number needed. You could, for example, invest in a 180w solar panel and reduce the number of panels needed.
Nevertheless, a 270w solar pump will need at least three 100w panels and more powerful pumps, as many as six.
Assuming you live somewhere where, like me, you get around seven hours of sunlight a day throughout the year, a solar well pump can be highly cost-effective, enabling you to fulfill all your household water needs without spending a cent on electricity or fuel.
A good-quality pump, like the one from Jeneseries has a lifespan of around 10 years and requires minimal maintenance during that period, making it a shrewd investment for anyone seeking to get off-grid or for those who want to save money and use a more environmentally friendly approach to water access.