Integrated design at work

8 01 2012

Plastic tanks are becoming very popular in Australia, but I much prefer the more traditional Australian steel tank. BHP make Aquaplate tanks for drinking water which is a food grade coating that doesn’t taint water and stops the tank corroding from the inside. They come with a 20 year warranty.

This picture shows an improvement I made to our place last year. The shed was built out of entirely recycled building materials from a 100 year old demolished house, and I integrated a tankstand into the design. It’s made of new galvanised steel 100mm square posts which go through the steel roof on top of which is the platform the 2000L tank sits on (~550 galls).  Between the four posts I built a “strongroom” where I can lock up all my valuables, such as they are….

Water is collected in the 22,500L (6000 gallon) tank at L of the pic, and pumped up to the header tank with a barely visible demand pump I picked up new for $90! It’s tucked away out of the weather under the shed.

The water is exclusively used for the garden, and is another example of energy efficiency at work. The pump uses ~500W and only needs to run for 30 minutes to fill the tank (at a cost of 0.5 kWh). I can then water our 200m² garden for a week without using any power by gravity… Unless it’s very dry (and hot like now) in which case I might have to do this twice a week. The entire project cost me under $3000 including the brand new header tank.

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One response

10 01 2012
Mark

Nice work. Having a gravity fed system also increases resilience – I’d hate to need a pump in an emergency where that pump could be cut off from power etc.

I think my ideal set up for anything where you might want more pressure is to have a header tank flowing through a pump. If the pump fails you should still get water flowing by gravity through the pump. Of course you’d need an additional pump to fill the header tank. The one pump system here with a header tank with quite a bit of elevation (up a slope) might do the same job, but incur additional pumping losses.

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