A 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.The operation of solar powered pumps is more economical mainly due to the lower operation and maintenance costs and has less environmental impact than pumps powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE). Solar pumps are useful where grid electricity is unavailable and alternative sources (in particular wind) do not provide sufficient energy.
Solar powered water pumps can deliver drinking water as well as water for livestock or irrigation purposes. Solar water pumps may be especially useful in small scale or community based irrigation, as large scale irrigation requires large volumes of water that in turn require a large solar PV array. As the water may only be required during some parts of the year, a large PV array would provide excess energy that is not necessarily required, thus making the system inefficient.
Solar power, or energy created by the sun, can be harnessed in a number of ways, including through solar panels that convert the sun’s rays into electricity. In the case of a solar pump, solar energy is converted into electricity and fed to a pump that circulates water. These types of units can be used in swimming pools, fountains and larger agricultural projects.
A solar-powered water pumping system is composed of a power source consisting of one or more PV (photovoltaic) panels. Solar cells are the building blocks for solar panels. Each solar cell has two or more specially prepared layers of semiconducting material (generally silicon) that produce direct current (DC) electricity when exposed to sunlight.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.
There are many great reasons to choose a solar-powered water feature over a mains-powered feature. One of the most popular reasons is that solar water features are almost ridiculously easy to set up and maintain. With no wiring to hook up to an outdoor mains socket, you can place the feature almost anywhere in your garden, whereas mains-powered water features usually need to be fairly close to your house to enable the wiring to reach the power supply.
Solar water features are also a great investment as after the initial cost of purchasing the feature itself, there are no running costs. Whereas a mains-powered feature will add to your electricity bill, a solar water feature is powered entirely by free, renewable energy from the sun. In this way, you can not only save money and enjoy a beautiful yet very economical garden feature, but also do your bit for the environment by using eco-friendly, renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.
- No inverter – D.C. motor connects directly to solar array.
- No fuel cost- uses abundantly available free solar energy.
- Long operating life.