Reliable and flexible are two words usually associated with the Grundfos SQFlex pump system. Most often they refer to pump performance during operation. However, a team of Australian pump specialists experienced a different dimension of these same adjectives recently.
Three SQFlex pump solutions were installed in a mere three days, in three different Australian states to boot. In fact, two of them were installed on the same day! In doing so, dependable and environmentally friendly water supply solutions now serve the people and livestock on these remote outback stations.
Installing a windmill can take up to four days, including transporting the structure to the site and building the foundation. Then there are the ongoing maintenance costs that are compounded by today’s very strict occupational health and safety regulations. Submersible solar powered pumps such as the Grundfos SQFlex are therefore rapidly becoming a highly viable alternative in outback Australia. Two pump specialists were called upon to install the three Grundfos SQFlex pump solutions.
The Grundfos solution
“On Friday morning my team and James Horgan’s from MSY Bikes and Irrigation drove 450 kilometres from Broken Hill to Tonga Station, arriv-ing at about midday where we installed an SQFlex 2.5-2N and a single pole 200 watt solar system. Installing the pump and solar modules took about two hours,” tells Chris Blackmore of Blackmore’s Water Systems.
“On Saturday morning we drove to Orientos Station, about 600 kilome-tres from Broken Hill in the south west corner of Queensland, arriving in the evening,” he continues.
“On Sunday morning we got off to a great start, installing a second SQFlex 2.5-2N pump and a two-pole 500 watt solar array system in a couple of hours. We then went on to Gidgealpa, where we installed our third SQFlex 2.5-2N pump and a single pole 300 watt solar array,” says Blackmore. “On the way back we stopped at Mount Lyndhurst Station, where my company had last year installed 17 SQFlex solar powered sub-mersibles. I wanted to check the performance of the pumps. All were performing well, with the owner’s only complaint being they were producing too much water!,” reports Blackmore.
For James Horgan the trip was an eye opener. “My company had not previously installed any Grundfos SQFlex pumps and solar modules, so we were on a steep learning curve. But it was amazing - had we been installing windmills, we would not – in three days – have even completed erecting the first one,” says Horgan.