SQFlex revives historic Australian outback station

A series of new Grundfos solar-powered pumps has made a big difference at Mt. Lyndhurst in the Australian outback.

A century-old sheep and cattle station situated near the Flinders Ranges, 650 km north of Adelaide, is gaining a new lease of life thanks to Grundfos solar powered SQFlex pumps. 

Mount Lyndhurst Station is a 3,500 km² property, which when fully stocked will run up to 15,000 breeding ewes and 1,500 breeding cattle. Mark & Anne Scammell acquired it some 18 months ago. When purchased, 30 windmills - half of which no longer worked - provided the property’s water supply. The need for water, however, was not refl ected in this reduction in output. Rather than repair them, the Scammells decided to replace them all with 17 Grundfos SQFlex Solar pumps. 

The situation

The Mount Lyndhurst station was very run down when purchased by Mark & Anne Scammell. This large sheep and cattle station was estab-lished in the mid 1870s, but had fallen on hard times. Like many cattle stations of that era, it was extremely labour intensive.  Over the past 20 years, however, it failed to maintain pace with modern trends.  The Scammells set out to revitalise the station, finding out that the unreli-able water supply system needed attention. 

The Grundfos solution

17 Grundfos SQFlex 2.5-2N units are powered by 136 GF 50, 50 watt solar modules. Each installation has eight modules on average.  IO 101 switch box accompany them, and each system has replaced a windmill – one of the Australian outback icons. Even though the water depth varied from nine to 50 metres and the fl ows ranged from 3,000 to 5,000 gallons (11 to 19 m³) a day, the same pump model was fl exible enough to cope with this varied demand. Each pump is fi tted with the IO 101 switch box, enabling the usage of a generator, if pumping is necessary for additional hours. The systems range from 150 watts to 600 watts, and all are mounted on a passive gas tracking system so that the sun-light is maximised. The pumps fill water reservoirs then in turn gravity feed water to stock troughs.

The outcome

Mount Lyndhurst Station is now freed from maintaining a large range of spare parts for various different pumps. Additional benefi ts include the SQFlex’s AISI 316 stainless steel casing, enabling it to cope with the harsh and corrosive nature of the water.  Mr. Mark Scammell is very pleased with the result. “Properties such as Mount Lyndhurst operate with as few staff as three or four people. Had we kept the windmills, we would have needed at least two additional staff simply to maintain them. “Solar power is the way to go, and the SQFlex pumps offer versatility, great per-formance and reliability.” “We decided that the expense of installing the Grundfos SQFlex Solar pumps would be a sound investment in the long term. We could either keep and repair the windmills or replace them. The cost of repairing the windmills was going to be $90,000 and as an added benefi t, the windmills could be sold as they were, for $30,000. So it became very cost effective to consider solar technology,” he continues.

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