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Guide lines for solar panels and compressors

This is an extension of the SHTF page and suggests a solution to potential challenges resulting from destruction of electronics due to EMP or solar flare, which would shut down all systems and services that rely on electronics, which is virtually ALL services.

This is a set-up for operating a Brumby Pump to deliver water from a bore or well.

We suggest that equipment be stored and not connected, ready to install if such an event should occur

DC solar compressor


We suggest a small twin cylinder compressor or a single. As the revs will be up and down, overfill the oil and add an oil additive, as the splash oiling system doesn’t work effectively under 600rpm.


Electric DC motor

  • the motor should have some cooling for continuous operation

  • It should have roller/needle or ball bearings to cope with side load from the belt connecting the motor to the compressor

  • Suggested size around 500 – 1000W, depending on well depth and consequently air pressure requirement

  • You may be able get a motor from many sources. Most automotive motors are 12V or 24V DC

Solar Panels

Basically you match your solar panels to your electric motor - or vice verca - whatever comes first

DC comp.jpg

This set-up is a DC motor from India (Link) driving a single cylinder compressor.  It cycles up and down with the voltage from 3 x 250W panels, in this case connected in series to achieve the required voltage. (it ran ok on 2 panels, but slower. 

500W solar.png

A different configuration. The 2 cylinder compressor is preferred. This 500W motor is a 3 phase bike motor with the planetary gear box removed for faster speed. It needs a controller to convert DC to AC, so may not suit this particular purpose. It runs on 3 x 190W panels in parallel

Please note the sizes of the pulleys. The pulley sizes largely depend on the speed of the electric motor and aim to get compressor speed of around 600 to 1000rpm. That speed is not critical, but aims toward low noise and longevity of the equipment

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