A solar water pump is one of the solar PV technologies that can deliver great sustainability benefits to millions of people around the world living with limited access to water.
It is an excellent alternative to diesel-powered solar pumps in terms of costs and reducing carbon emissions. Solar water pumps are used to extract groundwater that can be used to irrigate crops, provide livestock water, and drinking water.
A solar water pump is an alternative to diesel-powered solar pumps because, after years of research and technological advances, it has proven to be operationally, financially, and environmentally sustainable.
Also, the cost of solar PV has dramatically reduced by up to 80% in the last decade. Solar water pumping also requires minimal maintenance compared to diesel power pumping.
Solar water pumps can supply water to off-grid locations or areas that are beyond the reach of power lines, mostly found in developing countries. Such areas rely on human or animal power or diesel engines for their water supply. Solar water pumps are an excellent substitute for such current pump systems to achieve great sustainability benefits, including climate-related benefits.
How does a solar water pump work?
A solar water pump is essentially an electrical pump system powered using several photovoltaic solar panels. A typical solar-powered pumping system consists of a solar panel array that powers a solar-powered water pump. The water gets pumped from the ground or stream into a storage tank that provides a gravity feed, so energy storage is not necessary for these systems.
Types of solar water pumps
There are only two basic types of solar pumps submersible solar water pumps and surface solar water pumps, depending on your source of water.
How deep or shallow your source of water is will determine whether you need a submersible or surface water pump.
Deep sources of water such as wells require submersible solar water pumps while shallow sources will need a surface pump.
Surface solar water pumps can push water over miles of pipeline, and a vertical height of between hundreds and 1000 feet and are typically used to provide pressure for home and irrigation. Surface pumps work well with shallow sources of water such as springs, ponds, rivers or holding tanks.