Solar-powered pump

solar-powered pump is a pump running on electricity generated by photovoltaic panels or the radiated thermal energy available from collected sunlight as opposed to grid electricity or diesel run water pumps. [1] The operation of solar energy is more important than that of an internal combustion engine (ICE). Solar pumps are useful where grid electricity is unavailable and alternative sources do not provide sufficient energy.


Photovoltaic solar powered pump system has three parts:

  • solar panels .
  • the controller
  • the pump

The solar panels make up most (up to 80%) of the cost. citation needed ] The size of the PV-system is directly dependent on the size of the pump, the amount of water required (m³ / d) and the solar irradiance available.

The purpose of the controller is twofold. Firstly, it matches the power that the pump receives with the input power from the solar panels. Secondly, a controller provides low voltage protection, where the system is switched off, if the voltage is too low or too high for the operating voltage range of the pump. This increases the lifetime of the pump thus reducing the need for maintenance.

Voltage of the solar pump can be AC ​​(alternating current) or DC (direct current). Direct current motors are used for small to medium applications up to about 3 kW rating, and are suitable for such applications as garden fountains, landscaping, drinking water for livestock, or small irrigation projects. Since DC systems tend to have higher levels of efficiency than solar panels can be used.

Finally, if an alternating current solar pump is used, an inverter is necessary that changes the current of the solar panels. The range of inverters extends from 0.15 to 55 kW and can be used for larger irrigation systems. However, the panel and inverters should be included in the AC motor.

Water pumping

Solar powered water pumps can be used for irrigation or irrigation purposes. [1] Solar water pumps may be particularly useful in small scale or community based irrigation, as large scale irrigation requires large volumes of water that require a large solar PV array. [2] As a result, it may not be required, thus making the system inefficient.

Solar PV water pumping systems are used for irrigation and drinking water in India . The majority of the pumps are fitted with a 2000 watt – 3,700 watt motor that receives energy from a 4,800 Wp PV array. The 5hp systems can deliver about 124,000 liters of water / day from a total of 50 meters setoff head and 70 meters dynamic head. By 30 August 2016, a total of 1,20,000 solar PV water pumping systems have been installed in INDIA. [3] in this system it produces 19M.HW and 26 carbon dioxide

Oil and gas

In order to combat negative environmental impacts of fossil fuels, including fracking , the industry is embracing solar powered pumping systems. [4]Many oil and gas wells require the accurate injection (metering) of various chemicals under pressure to sustain their operation and to improve extraction rates. Historically, these chemical injection pumps (CIP) have been driven by gas reciprocating utilizing the pressure of the gas and exhausting the raw gas into the atmosphere. Solar powered electrical pumps (solar CIP) can reduce these greenhouse gas emissions. Solar arrays (photovoltaic cells) not only provide a sustainable power source for CIPs SCADA type diagnostics with remote control and satellite / cell communications from very remote locations to a desktop or notebook monitoring computer.

Stirling engine

Reasonable energy for a motor, sunlight can be concentrated on the heat exchanger of a Stirling engine and used to drive a pump mechanically. This dispenses with the cost of solar panels and electric equipment. In some cases the Stirling engine may be suitable for local manufacturing, eliminating the difficulty of importing equipment. One form of Stirling engine is the fluid engine that operates directly on the pumped fluid as a piston. Fluidyne solar pumps have been studied since 1987 [5] At least one manufacturer has conducted tests with a Stirling solar powered pump. [6]

See also

  • Solar powered fountain
  • List of solar powered products
  • List of photovoltaic power stations


  1. Jump up^ Note that the pump-shaft has been removed from thewindpumpand it is no longer connected to theborehole; instead, the borehole now contains an electric pump powered by thesolar panels.


  1. ^ Jump up to:b McDermott, James E. Horne; Maura (2001). The next green revolution: essential steps to a healthy, sustainable agriculture . New York [ua]: Food Products Press. p. 226. ISBN  1560228865 .
  2. Jump up^ Simalenga, Mark Hankins; illustrations by Francis Njeru & Michael Glen-Williamson; layout by Michael Okendo; edited by Timothy (1995). Solar electric systems for Africa: a guide for planning and installing solar electric systems in rural Africa (Rev. ed.). London: Commonwealth Science Council. p. 117. ISBN  0850924537 .
  4. Jump up^ Wethe, David (29 November 2012). “For Fracking, It’s Getting Easier Being Green” . Bloomberg Businessweek . Retrieved 12 December 2012 .
  5. Jump up^ CD WestStirling Engines and Pumping Irrigation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL / TM-10475, August 1987
  6. Jump up^ 2013 April 9

About the author


View all posts