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API solar modules have a power output warranty of 25 years and cause very little trouble. They have no moving parts to wear out. You can read some current info on solar panel longevity here at CleanTechnica. The motors in the brush-style pumps have a 5,000 hour rating. The motors in the new brushless motor pumps have a 20,000 hour rating.
If the water level shut-off is used to shut off the pump when the tank is full, hours of run time are saved on the motor, extending pump life. We have customers who have run our pumps for more than 10 years without maintenance. Water quality and a proper installation are key factors in how long the pumps will last. If there is no weep hole installed in a well where freezing temps can occur, the pump can be ruined. If the pumps are placed in terribly sandy or dirty wells, premature wear is inevitable.
API solar pumps are factory rebuildable. Depending on the wear on the pump parts and the style of pump, you could spend between $300-$500 for a rebuild.
The solar panels are rated to endure a 1-inch hail stone at 80 miles per hour. The tilt angles of the panels allows them to take glancing blows rather than direct hits. In nearly 30 years of selling these systems, and with thousands of systems in the field, we only know of a handful of panels broken by hail. They have weathered many hail storms and are extremely durable.
We always recommend that you add these solar systems to your farm and ranch insurance policy. Estimates suggest a cost of no more than $20 per year, but consult with your insurance agent for exact costs.
No, all of our API systems less than 250 watts are designed to operate with direct solar. However, they can be operated via batteries if needed for on-demand use.
We do have a small shallow well pump designed for small wells (less than 25' lift). It is for temporary use only, but is great for emergencies. It will also pump diesel fuel and is available in 12vdc or 24vdc. We are also currently in development of a helical (PC) style pump, hopefully available soon.
Yes, but be certain your roof structure is designed for the added weight of the system chosen. It is a more complicated installation than our supplied top-of-pole mounts. Also, be certain there are no shadows that will be on the panels at any time throughout the peak sunlight hours as shadows will greatly reduce system output.
API solar pumps are designed for neutral pH. Higher and lower values could possibly corrode components. Have your well tested or pick up a do-it-yourself kit from vendors like pool companies. We have built custom pumps designed for acidic wells when our customers have no other choice.
Yes they can! API solar pumps can supply up to 2000 gallons per 24 hours, depending on lift, with our API aluminum pumps. However, if more water and pressure is required we have the system to fit most needs, as much as 20,000 gallons per day.