Frequently asked questions
How high can the React pump water?
The pump has a maximum dynamic head of 300 m . An extra high head upgrade is needed for sites from 160m to 300m.
How much water can it pump daily?
React pump can be powered from 2, 4 or 6 solar PV panels to pump water from a low reservoir or river to a higher header tank.
Below chart shows estimated flow per day over the calendar year using 4 PV panel kit (1080W) with split East-West array.
These tables are given as a guide only for typical NZ conditions. The test site where this data was measured was in Taranaki NZ. Places with higher average solar radiation levels will observe higher litres per day pumped and vice-versa.
4PV kit on Taranaki test site, on a typical summer’s day, is expected to pump about 6800 l/day to a 150m dynamic head. (120m vertical lift + 30m pipe friction head).
This table may over predict or under predict for your NZ location; it is indicative only. If your site is in lower South Island the performance will be lower due to lower sun hours available. Please also note that if chosen pipe diameter results in a very high friction head then you will get a little less.
The pump will work fine on heads as low as 10m, where it will run most of the time at full speed and peak flow rate. For heads below 50m where less flow is needed, consider fitting only 540W of solar PV facing midday sun. With this array size you will still pump about 2/3 of the flow indicated above. On your best summers day it is possible to pump up to 12,000 litres on a 1080W PV array on heads below 50m. Below 50m less power is required so the pump spends more time running at full speed, limited by the electronic BLDC speed controller to 1200 rpm.
Chapter 2.2.1 of the manual gives more details about the performance.
What's in the package?
Solar powered water pump is offered in 6 different kits. As standard every kit will include the following list of components:
- Fully assembled hydraulic React pump with pressure gauge
- Float switch
- Fixing kit
- Spare parts kit
- 1l oil - Shell Rimula 15W-40 R4 X (or similar).
- Suction Hose - 5m
In addition to that and depending on the type of kit the product includes PV panels, PV connectors. PV mounting (either mounting for timber frame or metal pole mounting) cable clips, twin solar DC cables and some minor accessories. Please refer to this Pump + Solar kits webpage for detailed bill of materials of each kit.
Items that are not provided:
Any civil works
Water tanks (header/storage or any buffer tank at intake).
Installation service (can be arranged in NZ, ask us to quote you)
How long should the suction pipe be and what is the maximum suction head (lift)?
Standard kit comes with 25mm ID pipe that is 5 m long. The suction pipe length must not be longer then 5m, or the suction pipe size will need to be increased from the 25mm ID to 30mm ID. Long suction lines should be avoided where possible.
The pump can be ground-mounted at a height less than 3m above the water surface (suction head) and it will prime itself. This is not advisable where flood levels can reach the pumps and submerge it in water.
What is the warranty?
The React pump comes with a 12 month warranty which is extended to 24 months if product is registered within 6 months of purchase. Some consumable parts need to be replaced yearly and pump must be installed/maintained as per our installation & service guides. For full warranty terms please read section 9 of the user manual.
What is the maximum distance between React pump and PV panels?
The longer the distance the higher the cost of connecting solar panels with the pump. Longer cable is needed with higher internal diameter to compensate voltage drop. We suggest keeping it short whenever possible. For example, 60m distance for 2PV kit and 30m for 4PV kit would keep cable diameter at 6mm ID. Your solar panels can be up to 250m away from your pump. Ideally keep them within 50m to reduce cable costs.
What maintenance is required?
Routine checks such as the oil level and cleaning the intake strainer. Yearly service check and replacement of consumable seals. You can watch our service videos here.
What happens if there is not enough water for the pump?
The flow of water through the React pump depends on having water in your resource. If your resource flow cannot keep up with the React pumped flow then the level will fall until air enters the suction line. Once this happens the pump will continue to rotate, but no water can be pumped, as suction prime will have been lost. Even when the water level builds back up over the suction intake, the React pump will not be able to pump as it cannot prime against a full delivery head, so you will need to intervene to manually prime with water. You can avoid this issue by installing a float switch on the ignition wires of the BLDC. Do not install a switch on the PV supply wires unless it is suitably rated for the 80VDC. For more details please refer to installation manual.
What happens when the tank is full and I don’t need more water anymore?
The React pump comes with a pressure sensor that can be used to turn off the pump when the header/storage tank is full.
If you do not intend to use the pressure sensor to turn the pump off (we advise that you do use it to reduce unnecessary wear and tear) then we suggest that you install a return pipe on the tank overflow fitting. This is the simplest option for dealing with surplus water. If you have previously used grid electricity or a fuel pump you would normally stop the pump when the water tank is full to save running costs. You do not need to do this with a solar pump as sunlight is free. There is more wear and tear on the pump if you let it run when it is not needed, this is an extra cost in maintenance. Farmers who require all the water that can be pumped or those with lower pressure rated pipes may opt for this option.
If you fail to set the off-pressure and have a ball cock fitted in your tank the pump will keep going until your pipe bursts or 300m head is reached. This is why we advise the installation of a weak link as detailed next. This also protects your pipe in the event of a pressure sensor failure.
If you cannot make provision for overflow then see our guidance in Installation Manual for tanks that are fitted with "ball valves" (or "float valves").
One of the suggested connections for supply pipes with the ball valve.
How can I conserve my water resource?
There will be occasions when your water resource may run dry or the pumping rate exceeds the natural flow rate of the resource. In such cases you either need to stop pumping or provide a pumping buffer (tank or pond) for the resource to accumulate when the React pump cannot pump. If for example you have a small spring with a dry summer flow of 0.1 l/s (10 seconds to fill a 1 litre container) then in a day this is 9000 litres and a very helpful amount on a dry sheep/cattle farm. If we assume you need all this water to be pumped to your tank on a 60m hill each day, then some buffer storage of the water resource is required. Normally this storage would naturally replenish at night when your React cannot operate. To stop the React pump a float switch can be wired to the BLDC driver's "ignition" wire. (Do not install a switch on the PV supply wires unless it is suitably rated for 80VDC.) This will stop the pump at the lowest acceptable level of your water intake resource.
Floating switches that are tethered by their own wire can provide a wide, adjustable hysteresis between turning on and off. Much of the time they float level on the water surface. The switch will not operate until it tilts. If the small spring can be diverted into a pipe and fed by gravity into a 10-15,000 litre tank then the outlet of tank can be connected to the input of your SHP, and is the best solution. If you do not have the fall for a tank, you can excavate a small pond to store about 20,000 litres. Ponds can be a death trap for children and animals, so fence it appropriately. Then you can install an SHP on a small pontoon in the middle of your pond with the suction hose set about 100mm below the surface where UV from the sun helps to sterilise the water being pumped. Design the pontoon structure to sit on the bottom of the pond before the foot valve intake hits the mud/silt level. The pump running dry will do it no harm, but it will need to be primed manually, so you may wish to also fit a float switch that breaks the BLDC driver's "ignition switch" circuit, to avoid drawing air in.
Why provide reticulated water to livestock?
Replacing streams and dams with water tanks, pumps, pipes and troughs on hill country farms makes the flow of stock water more efficient.
A recent report for the NZ government identifies the following advantages:
-Increased stock numbers.
-Increased lambing (12%) and/or calving percentages.
-Increased slaughter weights.
-Opportunistic stock finishing.
-Saved costs from not having to maintain dams on a regular basis.
-Economics paybacks from 1.5 years (3 year average over 11 farms)
Note that new NZ legislation will exclude dairy cattle from access to waterways from 2017 and further exclusions will follow in years to come. You will find more information on this matter in the Resources on this website