Water access in remote locations

Flexibility is key when supplying the power to help access the water supply in a variety of different duties, from an African desert to organic farming in the UK. Grundfos' solar power systems were able to help the clients in each case extract the water they needed to make their businesses succeed.

Grundfos SQ Flex System installation in Hamilton Downs, Australia.
Grundfos SQ Flex System installation in Hamilton Downs, Australia.

Having access to clean water is a challenge in many parts of the world because of its scarcity or inaccessibility, or because of an unreliable, nonexistent or expensive power supply. There may not seem to be too much in common between a cattle ranch in Australia, a game park in Namibia, an organic farm in the UK and a vineyard in Spain. However, these different sites with their various demands all require a low-maintenance system that operates using solar panels, a wind turbine or a combination of both, with the back-up option of a generator or battery.

In each case, Grundfos supplied its SQ Flex Solar systems to provide the businesses with the clean water they required to function. The Grundfos SQ Flex can operate at liquid temperatures between 0°C–40°C, and flow rates of 90m3 per day (max) with a head up to 120 m.

Hamilton Downs is a 2,000 km2 sheep cattle ranch in the Australian outback where an SQ Flex Solar has replaced the more conventional windmill. The outcome has provided a much more reliable and efficient water supply for the 5,000 head of cattle and considerably less maintenance for the owner.

The NamibiRand Nature Reserve also extends over 2,000 km2 that includes part of the Namibian desert. The SQ Flex system here helps preserve the wildlife by delivering water right across the area and sustaining the many animal species who roam free in the unfenced reserve.

Marchweeke Farm, based in Devon in the South of England, recently installed a combined wind and solar powered water supply system. The farm specialises in the supply of organic meats and poultry. Due to rapid growth the farm needed to secure a reliable and cost effective domestic water supply and because of the high cost of water and electricity they sought other alternatives. This led them to install a 60 m borehole and an SQ Flex Solar system that has helped them continue to grow their business.

The system has also been used in Spain to provide the power to draw water from a well to a depth of 95 m. This is used to water 3,000 grapevines via a drip irrigation system. The regular supply of fresh water also contributes to a better vintage quality meaning both increased yields and prosperity of the vineyard owner.

The initial investment in an SQ Flex system is comparable to conventional water supply systems but, according to the company, the systems' overall life cycle costs are much lower than other systems due to the reduced energy and maintenance costs, something that can be an extremely important element due to the, often remote, location of these solutions.