Solar water pumps are used for water supply at low cost. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity and provide starting and operation of these pumps. Solar pumps are suitable for applications where there is no electricity grid. Of course, there must be some source of water nearby: wells, groundwater, stream, canal, river or lake.
Without spending a physical work or fuel, water is brought in an aboveground storage tank or through the pipeline for drip irrigation systems. By using solar panels and solar water pump, you can easily and for free irrigate your culture and increase yields.
The main parts of each solar pump system are: pump, controller, electrical ground for controller, discharge tubing or piping, storage tank, water taps and solar panels.
The use of solar pumps
Solar pumps are designed for:
- Irrigation systems where there are orchards, nursery gardens and greenhouses
- Bringing water to the drip irrigation systems
- Drinking water supply system
- Increase water pressure in the pipeline
- Filling or emptying of tanks and reservoirs
- Washing or watering
- Garden watering systems
- Water supply for animal drinking troughs
- Water savings for the household
For irrigation of a different culture by a drip irrigation system (drop-by-drop water system), it is necessary to 25-40 m³/ hectare of water per day. The water flow in the pipes of the system is about 4-10 l/h, depending on the seeded culture. The solar pumping systems fully satisfy the need for irrigation of one hectare of orchards and other plantations, where it is applied drip irrigation systems.
The solar pumps generate the necessary pressures of 100-350 kilopascals in the system and draw water from depths of up to 1,200 ft. The pumps are optimized to work on solar energy, and with direct DC power from solar panels. They have up to 20% more performance than pumps that use alternating current and they generate high effects of irrigation with a small number of solar panels. Solar pumping systems are more reliable than diesel powered systems.
Low cost of operation and maintenance
Using solar water pumps enables a significant reduction of maintenance and operation costs. The main characteristics of the solar pumps are:
- No electricity bills and fuel consumption
- They are more cost-effective than gasoline generators
- It’s a good ecological solution – no environmental pollution
- No noise – they work completely silently
- Low cost of maintenance (about 200 dollars per year)
Due to the low operating costs during use, solar pump systems are more cost-effective than gasoline engines. Pumps allow continuous operation from the early morning hours. With the help of an electric inverter, they can be connected to an AC power source or the power grid during the night. There is also the possibility of power stations using the battery. The solar pumps can be equipped with safety floats which shuts off the pump in case of water lack.
Diesel pumps use expensive fuel and they emit harmful gases into the atmosphere. Also, diesel pumps break down often and they are relatively expensive (cost $500 to buy and about $700 a year for fuel and maintenance). The initial investment costs of solar pump system are pretty large (from 10,000 to 15,000 dollars, solar panels are the most expensive), but payback period is quite short. After this period, forget about the future costs of irrigation! Recommended reading: A Few Useful Tips For Buying Solar Products.