1. FLOATLESS TANK FILL
The IC Pump Station control and keep a water storage tank full by simply measuring the pressure at the bottom of the tank. Since 1 vertical foot of water equals 0.433 PSI (Pounds per square inch) we can measure the pressure at the tank or anywhere in the pipe going up to the tank (assuming it fills from the botom). The IC Pump Station control can measure from 0.1 to 250.0 PSI so nearly any tank installation can be monitored.
Then experiment with the on-off settings to determine what works best because every installation is different. The pressures are “skewed” in the fill pipe because of turbulence and inertia but are consistent. The Floatless TankFill eliminates the need for telemetry, radio control and SCADA systems and is far less expensive and much easier to install. No wiring or equipment is needed at the tank. Plus the IC Pump Station control unit provides all of the pump pressure control functions and safety shutoffs. Models are available that can even run another pump and pressure sensor independently from the same IC Pump Station control unit.
2. Low producing well or tank storage for higher volumes (gallons per minute).
Here is a common application for the IC Pump Station control. Often a drilled well can only provide a limited rate of flow because the water in the aquifer cannot travel through the ground strata fast enough to satisfy the water users’ needs. The average house needs water delivered at about 10 gallons per minute to satisfactorily operate showers, dishwashers and other appliances. There may be huge amounts of water in the ground but if the ground strata is a tight clay it takes time to “percolate” through the clay to get to the well hole. The well may be rejected as “dry” but often the water is there – just at low rates of flow (gallons per minute).
The Solution is to pump the water out of the well at a slow rate and store it in a tank. We can then pump the water out at a rate limited only by the pump and power we have to run it. The IC Pump Station control keeps the tank full as well as manages the system pressure pump. If the tank runs out of water the IC Pump Station control will shut down – after delays to prevent nuisance tripping – to prevent pump damage.
For low-producing wells it is advisable to install a pressure-sustaining pressure relief (PSPR) valve on the discharge of the submersible water source pump. A PSPR valve regulates the flow out of the well to match the flow rate available from the well. Without a PSPR valve if the water source pump can pump 20 gallons per minute (gpm) that’s what the pump will attempt to do regardless if the aquifer can actually provide 20 gpm. If the water source is “over-pumped” it tends to pull up sand and dirt and that can damage the pump. A PSPR valve closes down to limit the flow to whatever the aquifer can deliver. If the aquifer can deliver only 5 gpm that’s all that comes out of the PSPR valve. Water availability may change from season to season (or even from day to day) and the PSPR valve automatically adjusts to changing conditions. PSPR valves are available from P2FlowLLC.
3. Monitoring water level in underground sources.
The IC Pump Station control unit can monitor the water level in a drilled well or underground tank with the addition of a compressed air source. The higher the air pressure the higher the water level is above the end of the “dip tube” (1/4″ air line in this case). The IC Pump Station displays this level in PSI and feet of head. In addition the IC Pump Station control can turn equipment on or off based on this reading.
Typically the pump is turned on once a day to maintain air pressure in the “dip tube”. One way to do this is to use an inexpensive sprinkler timer and a 24VAC relay to turn on the air compressor once each day for a few minutes.
4. Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) is ideally suited for generator or alternative energy systems.
The ability to vary the speed of the pump motor has a lot of advantages. First among them is reduced power consumption. With an electric motor power increases at a cube of the speed. So even small reductions in motor speed resut in large reductions in the power required by the motor. This is ideal for water pumping because most of the time the motor does not need to run at full capacity.
This feature is especially valuable when one has limited power sources. Most VFD’s are able to display the motor amperage which is a function of how many gallons per minute (rate of flow) at what pressure the water is pumped*. The wattage is the total power required by the motor to pump a given gpm at a given psi. It’s normally expressed as watts or kW (kilowatts) for 1,000 watts.
If you have a generator that will only deliver 5 kW but your pump motor requires 7.5 kW at full load reducing the speed of the motor will reduce the power requirements. This can be done several ways. The VFD can be programmed to limit the motor amperage to a certain value by slowing down the motor. The IC Pump Station “target” pressure setting can be reduced which will reduce the power requirements. We have run VFD’s on solar panels and generators with very satisfactory performance. Since the VFD creates its own voltage waveform they tend to correct power problems encountered with alternative or generator power systems.
*The pump horsepower required is determined by the formula: (GPM X PSI)/3960. This figure must divided by the pump efficiency (a decimal) which varies with the flow rate. Consult the specific pump “curve” for efficiency data. For power consumption as a “rule of thumb” figure about 1,000 watts per horsepower.
5. Outdoor mounting using an inexpensive sprinkler timer enclosure.
This Orbit sprinkler timer enclosure is designed primarily for sprinkler timers but the IC Pump Station control unit fits in it too.