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Solar Water Pumps

Solar Water Pumps

Solar-powered irrigation: A solution to water management in agriculture?

Farmers have always played a significant role in our society as they provide the world’s population with food. However, one may forget that, not only do they provide food but they also provide energy, which nowadays, is of paramount importance, especially as in light of renewable energies. Indeed, farmers can produce energy from the wind, the sun or the biomass and they can use it for their own farm, or, if they have a surplus, resell it to companies. Solar energy might be one of the easiest ways for farmers to produce energy. Indeed, farmers usually have several large buildings whose roofs are directly under the sun, without being hindered by the shadows of the trees, turning them into an ideal place to settle a photovoltaic system. Therefore, the use of solar energy in agriculture is becoming increasingly popular and the energy produced from this renewable source can be used either on the farm or in the local power grid, providing the farmer with an additional income. With the cost of diesel and electricity rising constantly, solar powered water pumps are the perfect alternative for rural regions as these have a low maintenance cost and ensure a long product life.

How do solar water pumps help rural regions?

People from rural regions have to work additionally hard for water, especially due to the unpredictable nature of rain in the country. Our solar powered water pumps are a low cost solution enabling residents in these areas to spend more time increasing their income by growing crops etc., rather than ferrying water from far off distances.Solar pumping system is a system of two main components: solar panel and solar pump. A solar panel is composed by a small electronic device called solar cells made in semiconductor materials which produce direct current (DC) when exposed to the solar radiation. The panel system collects the direct current and is then supplied to the pump directly or stored in the batteries for later use by the pump.

How does a solar irrigation system work?

The pumps used for the transport of the water are equipped with solar cells. The solar energy absorbed by the cells is then converted into electrical energy via a generator which then feeds an electric motor driving the pump. Most of the traditional pump systems mainly work with a diesel engine or with the local power grid. However, these two modes of operations present disadvantages compared to solar pumps.

In many rural areas, especially in developing and emerging countries, the access to the electricity grid is not always guaranteed. In this case, farmers cannot rely on the traditional irrigation system. Thus, using an independent and alternative energy system can be a solution for the farmer to secure a safe power source and for the public grid to avoid saturation. Diesel pumps are slightly more efficient than AC powered pumps as they allow greater flexibility. However, one of the main constraints is that this system relies on the fuel availability, added to a greater impact on the environment. Diesel-driven pumps are cheaper than solar-powered pumps but the operating costs are quite high and depend heavily on the diesel price. In solar-powered systems, it works the other way round, that is, although this system is relatively expensive, the source of energy is free, therefore, after the amortization period, there are no longer operating costs (only the maintenance costs must be considered). Therefore, solar pumps turn out to be a viable long term investment.