Solar power is one of the cleanest forms of energy available on Earth, with solar pumps serving as important parts of solar-powered pump systems. Below are some important points to note before you decide to buy solar powered water pumps:
- solar panels catch more solar radiation during the day.
- solar cells generate electricity for a few hours after sunset.
- solar pumps are used for irrigation, solar-powered desalination plants, solar-powered pumping from wells or water tanks to solar-powered water purification systems.
- Solar pumps have been around for decades and solar panels have been available since the 1950s. However, solar power itself did not become a viable way to generate electricity until batteries could store solar energy for days, months, and years.
- In solar-powered homes, solar power is used to generate electricity during the day and stored in batteries. It is then converted into a useful electric current at night after the sun goes down.
There are solar pumps that use solar power to pump water from a well. These solar pumps include the following features:
- solar panel, controller, hoses and submersible pump
- solar-powered control valves for each solar well
- solar cell battery storage system.
Solar pumps can be used together with rainwater harvesting systems to provide clean drinking water in areas where it is scarce.
As solar panels are becoming cheaper and more efficient, solar power is becoming more plausible as an energy source.
Uses of a solar powered water pump
One handy solar-powered machine is the solar powered water pump. Pumping water out of wells, either for crop irrigation or drinking purposes, can be very expensive with conventional fuel-powered engines.
Solar-powered pumps can provide an inexpensive way to pump water without using any fossil fuels. A solar-powered pump has several advantages over traditional solar panels that convert solar radiation into electricity to power a motor.
This motor rotates a pump shaft that draws liquid from a well.
· Since liquid flows easily through pumps compared to fans and turbines; less energy is required to raise the water very high.
· Solar panels can only generate electricity when the sun is shining, not at night or when it is cloudy. Solar powered pumps can still draw in liquid even when clouds are hiding the solar panels from the sun.
A solar-powered pump will raise groundwater to irrigate crops in areas with lower water tables than traditional windmills.
Solar pumping is most appropriate in areas with high solar radiation levels, most places around the equator or in the tropics.
Other prime locations for solar pumping are on mountain ridges and hilltops. Such regions is where solar panels will catch sunlight most of the day without any shadows. Even slightly shaded solar panels will lose much efficiency as solar cells do not convert all light to electricity (visible light and ultraviolet light).
Obstructions to solar light reduce the efficiency of a solar water pump
Buildings can also obstruct solar radiation from reaching solar panels. Such obstruction is avoided by having solar panels mounted atop towers instead of fixed directly onto them.
In the past solar-powered pumps have been hampered by inefficient solar cells and motors. However, solar panels used in solar pump systems since at least 2001 have converted around 15% of solar radiation into electricity. The solar cell efficiency depends on the level of solar radiation that a solar panel has.
More extensive solar panels mean more light falls upon each square unit of surface area to produce more power per size of solar panel. Thus a more extensive solar array will lift more significant volumes of water out of wells or desalinate large quantities of seawater every day.
· More solar cells can be placed atop a solar-powered pump to generate electricity for a few hours after sunset every day. However, solar pumps require solar panels that catch as much sunlight as possible during the day. This will help to keep pumping liquid through gravity at night without needing batteries.
· In some cases, solar panel arrays likely cover more area than is necessary.
Solar cells on solar pumps make solar-powered water pumping systems economically feasible. This is even with the cost of mounting solar panels on top of towers or buildings.