How to select the right submersible pump for my fields?

The water level is 300 feet and horizontal delivery is 800 feet flat. I want to use a rotary sprinkler for irrigation. What horsepower (HP) recommendations do you have for the submersible pump? And how many sprinklers would this pump be able to run?

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I think this question is beyond our scope-- you're looking at agricultural grade equipment, and you should be asking a professional. – Chris Cudmore Dec 31 '11 at 18:12

This is a more complicated question than you've considered. To size a submersible pump, you need to know the total discharge head and the required flow rate. Part of the discharge head is calculated based on friction loss, which is based on the pipe diameter and length.

In irrigation systems, the flow rate is dependent on the type and number of sprinkler heads.

If you have any concerns that your well can't produce the required flow, you should test it. This basically means putting a very large pump down the well (which has a flow rate much greater than you need), and trying to pump the well dry. If it can't go dry, you know the rate is at least what the test pump is rated for. If it goes dry, you let it recover for a measured amount of time, then measure how much water you get out before it goes dry again. Basic math will give you the yield (in eg, gallons per minute).

If your well can't keep up, you either need lower-flow heads, or to install a low-yield system which basically consists of two parts: a well pump that continuously fills a big tank, and a second pump that draws from the tank. Once again, sizing of everything is dependent on the yield, required flow, elevation differences, etc.

You size the actual pump based on the performance curve of the pump, once you know other values.

In short, you effectively need to design the entire system up front, so you know it will all work. For example, if you run too small a pipe, your friction loss will be too high and you won't get enough flow. If you install too large a pump, it will be operating with too little head and not be as efficient as it should be, and probably dramatically shorten the life of the pump.

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