It really doesn't matter what kind of compressor you use to operate a Brumby Pump, as long as it delivers air at sufficient pressure to get flow started - which is governed by the depth the pump is submersed in water.
A compressor making 100psi (700kpa) - which most compressors will do, (many do more than that) will be good for submersing the pump up to around 50m (160ft) into the water, leaving a safety margin.
Air flow is most commonly around 5 to 10cfm (140 - 280L/min). In shallow bores/wells, you may still make water with around 2cfm (55L/min) of air. Maximum air flow is around 25cfm (700L/min). After that performance goes backward. Of course piping size is also a factor.
Most common are regular electric compressors, but petrol and diesel powered compressors are also often used.
Solar compressors are under development and we even experimented with a bike driven compressor. That was hard work.
NOTE: The compressor doesn't have to be located at the water source. It can be hundreds of meters away and just run cheap piping (usually poly or PEX of appropriate pressure rating for your water depth) down to the pump location.
Electric compressors can be simple. They can be just a motor and compressor mounted on a base and joined by a belt, although a tank and regulator are ok as well.
We recommend to have the compressor run at around 800 to 1000rpm for quiet running and long life. This can be done where necessary by changing the belt pulley on the electric motor. Use a steel pulley on the motor, as aluminium pulleys tend to wear.
However, any compressor set-up will work. We recommend that you don't run a fast revving compressor for long periods of time, but short intervals
Petrol or Diesel compressors are mainly the same set-up as electric compressors, but have a petrol or diesel motor to drive the compressor. They tend to make more air volume, the smallest units generally being around 25cfm (700L/min) of air. However, the air can be choked in to slow it down and the engine/compressor will slow down to compensate, so it's not running flat out all the time.
Diesel units tend to use less fuel, but are more expensive to buy.
If you were thinking of starting a business cleaning out bores and wells using a Brumby XS1 pump, a petrol or diesel compressor may be the way to go, as there may not always be power available to plug an electric compressor into
Solar set-up can be done in many ways. We are still developing a solution that we are happy with. We want to keep it basic and as efficient as possible.
We have worked with brushed motors, which run up and down with the changing voltages coming from the panels. That worked well, but we were looking for limitations, so left them running continuously, stopping on their own when power from the panels got too low. The result was burned commutator and brushes in the motor. Easy enough to fix by pulling the motor apart and cleaning the components with 1200 grade sand paper, but not something we want to sell to clients.
36V 3 phase motors - work well, but so far the only ones we have found are made for electric bikes and have a complicated controller on them. We will look at them further though.
110V - 240V with inverter. This would be easy enough to put together using a regular compressor and an inverter.
We want to stay with low voltage equipment that will allow the option of operating with or without batteries in the system. That makes it safer, more efficient and more versatile.
Regardless of the set-up, a controller is required to stop and start the compressor as the voltage from the panels goes up and down, to avoid damage to the electric motor
If you have any ideas, sources of suitable low voltage electric motors or contributions in general, please contact us. We are always looking for improvement
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