Solar Water Pumping: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is solar water pump?
Dc solar submersible pump is an environmentally-friendly water supply solution. Dc solar submersible pump are fitted with a permanent magnet motor which enables the efficient use of energy from nature.
The dc solar submersible pump offers the perfect water supply solution in remote areas where water is scarce and the power supply is non-existent or unreliable.
Why use solar water pump?
Generating electricity on farm using solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology can be an important step towards increasing the resilience and sustainability of your business.
Solar PV is scalable. Additional modules can easily be added to systems. Solar technology is proven, well understood and widely adopted across internationally.
On most farms, solar PV can provide cost effectively at least some proportion of energy needs. Benefits to implementing solar as a source of power for irrigation pumping include:
· Reduced bills for mains electricity and diesel
· Reduced connection and infrastructure costs when new power lines and poles can be avoided if fully replacing mains electricity
· No noise, fumes or fuelling runs if replacing diesel,
· Scalable – additional panels can be added to increase output
· Flexible – solar power can be integrated with mains electricity supply if desired
· Low maintenance. Aside from tracking systems, traditional solar generators have no moving parts and are generally very reliable.
· Protection from rising energy costs. Sunshine is free so generating energy on farm reduces exposure to rising electricity and diesel prices.
Where to use solar water pump?
· Agricultural irrigation
· Garden Fountains
· Home Supply
· Water treatment systems
· Large Scale Watering System for Commercial etc.
The dc solar submersible pump adapt to the characteristic weather profile of any given area. Dc solar submersible pump is more than just a pump -it’s a complete intelligent system. Thanks to its built-in electronics, the dc solar submersible pump can be directly connected to the solar panels or batteries without requiring an external inverter.
What are the main components of a solar water pumping system?
How does the sun power a pump?
The photovoltaic (PV) effect produces the flow of electrons. The electrons are excited by particles of light and find the attached electrical circuit the easiest path to travel from one side of the solar cell to the other. Envision a piece of metal such as the side panel of a car. In the sun the metal warms, caused by the exciting of electrons, bouncing back and forth, creating friction, and therefore, heat. The solar cell merely takes a percentage of these electrons and directs them to flow in a path. This flow of electrons is, by definition, electricity. The wiring in the solar module collects the electricity and supplies it to the DC pump controller and motor, in turn, pumping water under direct sunlight. At night, or in cloudy conditions, electrical production and pumping is decreased or ceases completely.
Where do solar pumping systems work?
Solar pumping systems work anywhere the sun shines. Especially in areas with poor or no grid connection, or where generators are used.
Light intensity varies throughout the day, where morning and afternoon sunlight is less intense because it is entering the earth’s atmosphere at a high angle and passing through a greater cross section of atmosphere, which reflects and absorbs a portion of the light.
We measure sun intensity in peak full sun hours. One hour of peak sun is roughly equivalent to the sunlight on a clear summer day at noon. The sunlight or isolation levels also vary seasonally. Usually we estimate for about 6-7 hours of peak sunlight per day.
Solar water pumping works for any water source, be it boreholes, wells, river, lakes or dams.
For a Solar Water Pump, where and do you place the solar array?
The array of solar modules should be placed in a sunny spot where no shading occurs. Avoid placing the array near large trees or buildings, this could substantially reduce power output.
For these reasons we typically mount the solar modules on a pole or ground mount above any obstacles. To reduce costs it should be placed near the water source, if possible. To reduce risk of theft or tampering, we usually advice to mount high or in populated areas with ample light in the evenings.
Does a solar water pumping system require batteries?
While batteries may seem like a good idea, they have a number of disadvantages in pumping systems and reduce the overall efficiency.
The solar modules operating voltage is dictated by the battery bank and is reduced substantially from levels which are achieved by operating the pump directly in sunlight. Batteries also require additional maintenance, adding costs and complexity. For systems that need to pump water continuously (more than what daily sunlight allows), there are two solutions. The pumping system can be coupled with existing electricity lines (if available) or hooked up with a generator to provide water in off-sun hours for a hybrid solution. Ideally, however, we suggest to install a system that pumps sufficient amounts of water during sun hours, where excess water can be stored in tanks (the storage tanks acts a battery in itself).
What does a solar water pumping system cost?
The economy, reliability and quality of solar electric power make it an excellent choice for remote water pumping. With water sources scarcely spread, where power lines are few and refueling and maintenance costs are substantial for generator use, solar water pumping has a short return on investment (between 1-5 years).
If you water source is >1km from a power line, solar is a favorable economic choice. Extending power lines or running a pump on a generator is costly and prone to breakdown. Solar pumping minimizes future costs and uncertainties. Fuel is free and moving parts are few, promising long-lasting solutions and near-zero operating costs.