Iowa Discovers the Sun in Nebraska
solar water pump

Traveling the back roads on the Information Superhighway can lead to interesting discoveries. A recent foray into our eastern neighbor, Iowa, unearthed a hither-to-unknown study on the use of solar energy for water pumping in remote areas.

The Nebraska Photovoltaic System Case Study (Water Pumping Application) was one of four produced for the Iowa Energy Bureau that evaluated the reliability and viability of photovoltaic systems in a variety of locations and applications.

The Nebraska case examined a solar water pumping system on the Kreitman Ranch near Bassett. The ranch owner wanted to achieve uniform grazing activity across all areas of the ranch, including under utilized pasture areas. Because of the remote location, installing transmission lines was not deemed feasible.

Grundfos, a manufacturer of solar water pumps, designed and installed the system over a period of six months. The system pumps water at 25 gallons a minute. Total cost of the system was $5,510, including well drilling. Solar panels with a capacity of 344 watts were installed. The solar cells produced an estimated 700 kilowatthours a year.

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