What are solar pumps and their benefits to farmers?
Solar-powered irrigation systems open countless opportunities for smallholder and large-scale farmers worldwide. Despite the extensive mechanization and technological developments in agriculture, certain areas remain dependent on manual labor. On most occasions, they can be labor extensive and tedious. Providing a reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly water pumping technology can assist farmers in growing crops throughout the year, taking care of their livestock, saving energy costs, and earning more profits.
What is a solar water pump?
A solar water pump is a pump system that uses solar energy from solar panels to pump water to a particular area.
A solar water system is composed of:
- A solar panel array to power an electric motor
- a pump and an electric wire
- Water level switches
- PVC piping, valves, and connectors
- Irrigation equipment like tapes and tubings
- PVC cutter
- Water storage tanks and stands
- Water can be pumped from a borehole, pond, river, or dam into a storage tank or directly into the farm.
How does the solar pump work?
Solar water pumps grant farmers high-quality power to scale up their irrigation processes. With low operational costs and the growing utilization of these systems, pumps a cost-effective, efficient, and convenient pumping solution in both established farms and remote areas.
So how does the solar pump work?
Solar pumps are easy to install, run, and maintain. Besides, they have a longer life span and can last for decades with proper maintenance. The water system operates using a solar PV( Photovoltaic) system. The PV system converts solar energy into electric energy, running the motor pump set. The motor then runs a surface pump mounted on the ground to draw water through a suction. Submersible pumps are used for most deep wells. To store the electrical energy from the solar modules, you should introduce deep cycle batteries into the system. Multiple filters are needed to protect the pump from clogging.
A pump controller is used as an automatic transmission to enable the pump to run even when the solar rays are not intense. In advanced systems, the controllers have additional features such as protecting the pump in over-voltage conditions and shutting it off when the storage take is full.
The sun rays hit the solar panels at different angles during the day. A solar tracker can be installed to tilt the PV array as the sun moves. This increases the efficiency and energy gain by more than 50%.
A solar pump can be combined with a drip irrigation system to increase water efficiency, irrigate hilly terrains, and minimize fertilizer loss in a wide variety of value crops such as strawberries.
Some solar pumps that you can use include:
- Irrigation solar pumps
- Home pumps
- Circulation pumps in ponds, especially when doing fish farming
- Pumps for providing water for livestock
- Fountain pimps
- Pool pumps
Benefits of solar pumping
There are many benefits of using solar-powered irrigation systems, which include:
Don’t Need External Power
Solar pumps do not require any external power, which can be used anywhere. This can be in remote areas, miles away from power sources, or deep into the farm. The pump will keep running, provided there is sun and well-working solar panels. For this reason, you will not be required to spend thousands looking for external sources to power your pump. Using solar is the best option for powering your water pumps in remote areas.
Minimum Operating Cost
Fuel such as petrol and diesel have a massive cost to your farm irrigation. You have “access” to free solar energy from the sun with proper panels. By using solar pumps, you will be cutting your power or fuel bills. A solar pump is an excellent investment that can help you focus on production and farm management without worrying about your water needs and energy costs.
Solar pumps have:
- Low operation costs since they do not use fuel
- No dependency on expensive fuel
- Low maintenance costs
- Low energy needs
Compared to other pumps, solar pumps are relatively easier to maintain. The pump systems can run for years with little maintenance. They rarely develop problems in their mechanical components, rarely require replacement and repairs of parts, and are very hard for them to breakdown. That means that the maintenance costs will be significantly low.
With the increasing global warming and climate change, rainfall patterns are becoming unpredictable. Sustainable practices need to be embraced to tackle the problem. Solar irrigation is a sustainable method that uses renewable energy. Solar pumps do not produce harmful emissions into the atmosphere and hence are environmentally friendly. Using a clean alternative to fossil fuels helps create a low-carbon irrigation system.
Selecting the right pump system
Buying a low-quality solar pump can ruin your entire investment, result in a poorly functioning system, and affect your irrigation process. At Mazero Agrifood Ltd, we help ensure that you can pump water efficiently, reduce operation costs, and have a fully functioning irrigation system. We provide high-quality solar pumps and solar products to help you scale up your irrigation needs. Besides, we have a team of experts to provide you with cost-effective installation and ensure that all components are well-functioning. Contact us today and learn more.