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June 1, 2009

Solar Water Pumping

Filed under: — admin @ 3:52 pm
What is a solar water pumping system?

Solar pumping systems use the sun to generate power and run electric water pumps. The simplest system consists of a solar panel and a DC pump. Systems may also include batteries, sun trackers, and wind co-generators. Adding an inverter makes using an AC motor and pump possible, but this raises the costs substantially.

Solar water pumping systems are really not very different from modern wind turbine systems. Today, wind turbines can power electric pumps, too. Solar systems have some benefits over wind systems, but there are also some limits. As the well gets deeper, the number of gallons per minute pumped lessens. Pumping water from deep wells, or high volumes of water from shallow wells, means more powerful pumps. Stronger pumps need more power. Getting more solar power means adding more panels and this can get costly for high volumes or very deep wells. A possible choice for such conditions is an electric pump powered by a wind turbine.

Why should you consider a solar water pumping system?

There are many reasons to think about solar pumping systems over common windmills.

  • Fewer moving parts and a pump that is easy to maintain means lower yearly costs. There are no wooden rods or leathers to keep up and no need for large equipment.
  • In many areas the sun is more dependable than the wind, especially during the hot, dry periods of peak demand. Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland, El Paso, and Albuquerque are five of the top ten sunniest cities in the United States.
  • A solar pumping system is easier to install from scratch than a conventional windmill.
  • With some systems, it is possible to move solar panels from well to well, so it may not be necessary to buy a full set-up for each well.
  • Some systems have float valves that turn the pump off when the storage area is full. This helps conserve water.
  • Solar pumping systems are safer because there are no towers to climb.
  • How well any one solar system works depends on the kind of system selected, how much water is required, the depth of the well, and the amount of sunshine at the site.
What happens when there’s no sun?

Livestock water use drops during cool or wet weather. However, some systems come with batteries that will pump when there’s no sun, and most can be hooked up to batteries. Most people would agree that it’s easier to haul batteries or a generator than water.

When and how to consider a solar water pumping system?

Solar pumping systems are only economical in remote areas where there are no power lines. The best time to think about a solar water pumping system is when a new well is being set up or when an existing windmill needs to be replaced. High upkeep costs on windmills drive some people to look for other answers. However, solar systems are not always the right solution.

Every pumping situation is different. You should seek expert help and consult more than one vendor before installing a new system. Even the people who sell solar systems agree that if you have a reliable windmill that meets your peak water demands, you should stick with it. There are many factors to consider when deciding what kind of system to install. Vendors should ask for the following kinds of information when you call about a system:

Water Source: Static water level, total depth of well, inside casing diameter, casing material, production, location, & age of well, previous use, including pump type, water quality conditions.

Water Requirements: Amount of water needed in a day, how water is used, pressure requirements, number & type of livestock.

Site Condition: Water destination, site information (shading, terrain, etc.), water storage (tank, trough, & pipe information).

Where to get more information?

Recommended Reading

  1. Water Pumping: The Solar Alternative. by M. B. Thomas. Sandia National Laboratories. April 1987. Document No. SAND 87-0804.
  2. Solar Water Pumping: A Handbook. by Jeff Kenna and Bill Gillett. 1985. Intermediate Technology Publications, London, UK.

Government Help

  1. Oldham County Extension Office
  • Box 380 / Vega, Texas 79092
  • 1-806-267-2692
  1. Governor’s Energy Management Center Texas Energy Extension Service
  • P.O. Box 12428 / Austin, Texas 78711
  • 1-800-643-SAVE
A Few Commercial Vendors (In alphabetical order.)
  • Apollo Energy Systems
    • P.O. Box 238 / Navasota, TX 77868-0238
      • 1-800-535-8588
      • 1-409-825-8188
  • Cimarron Manufacturing, Inc.
    • Rt, 2, Box 55 / Selman, OK 73834
      • 1-800-521-2268
      • 1-405-727-4259
  • Real Goods Trading Corporation
    • 966 Mazzoni Street / Ukiah, CA 95482
      • 1-800-762-7325
      • 1-707-468-9292
  • Sun-Belt Pump & Supply
    • Amarillo, TX 1-800-777-8671
      • 1-806-381-1199

17 Comments

  1. 【solar pump system_Shenzhen Solartech Renewable Energy_ http://en.solartech.net.cn】
    Solartech is one of the earliest companies’ specializing in research and development of solar water pumping system, with many years of practical experience for the high performance pumping system. Solartech owns a number of invention patents which are in the forefront in the solar pumping applications, and created many “firsts”. The solar pumping systems of Solartech have been already used in over 45 countries and more than 100 areas.
    【solar pump system_Shenzhen Solartech Renewable Energy_ http://en.solartech.net.cn】

    Comment by Sunny — November 28, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

  2. Hey Windenergy,
    I was wondering on a similar note,, Attempting to build an eco-pleasant family home for you and your family members? Researching for an alternate for regular water pumps? What about solar powered types?
    Regards

    Comment by wind and solar energy — April 24, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  3. Hello every boby,

    My name is Adnan. I have done my M.phil in Energy Management in Agriculture from Pakistan. My thesis topic was ” performance evaluation of solar water pumping” i my personally interest was also in solar water pumping was more. i have checked the pv array effi, pump moter effi and overall effi of solar water puming system of atleast of 12 system which were stand alone type. recentally i have tested of solar water pump of 4 in out flow dia. if there is any sort of question/quries about solar water pumping there is always wellcome for every one in from whole world

    Comment by Adna Solar Enterprises pvt ltd — May 19, 2012 @ 4:21 am

  4. Hello every boby,

    My name is Adnan. I have done my M.phil in Energy Management in Agriculture from Pakistan. My thesis topic was ” performance evaluation of solar water pumping” i my personally interest was also in solar water pumping was more. i have checked the pv array effi, pump moter effi and overall effi of solar water puming system of atleast of 12 system which were stand alone type. recentally i have tested of solar water pump of 4 in out flow dia. if there is any sort of question/quries about solar water pumping there is always wellcome for every one in from whole world

    Comment by Adna Solar Enterprises pvt ltd — May 19, 2012 @ 4:21 am

  5. The solar pump products maded in China,which is named Solartech,in shenzhen xili jiuxiangling ,China.The products also contain others :solar water pump ,solar pumping system ,solar pumping inverter ,and so on.

    Comment by solar pumps — July 9, 2012 @ 1:06 am

  6. Dear sir,
    very good information.pl send the details about solar pumping with diagram.
    sspathak

    Comment by sspathak — February 7, 2013 @ 6:08 am

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    Comment by solar generation perth — April 17, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

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    Comment by http://solarpanelsperthquote.wordpress.com — April 18, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

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    Comment by right Here — May 19, 2013 @ 7:34 am

  11. Solar pumping system is more and more used in the irrigation area, i found more successful stories using the solar energy to irrigate the farmland, like what you say.
    I also used the solartech solar pumping system in my fountain, and it is very helpful. and the system design also exist a water tower, which can make sure pumping the water to irrigate when there is no sun shinning.

    Comment by solar water pump — June 3, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

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    Comment by pediatric dentist philadelphia — July 30, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

  13. Please Sir, kindly sent to me information on solar powered water supply technology with diagrams.

    Comment by Adam Mohammed — July 30, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

  14. You mentioned about “what happens when theres no sun” I always thought, even thoguh it might not be sunny, the photons still get through so your panels get a bit of energy, just slightly less? Also I have a solar panel costs video you might be interested in, its located on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PMU-wngQoI

    Comment by Tom — August 19, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

  15. Also forgot to mention, I appreciate the information, water pumping can be a great advantage to any household and even better if people can pump it via solar energy.

    Comment by Solar Panels Cost — August 19, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

  16. Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
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    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward
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    Comment by loosing weight — August 26, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

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