Solar Water Pumps: Things To Know andTips For Use
Mechanical pumps have a lot of uses nowadays. They are common in pumping water from wells, aquarium filtering, pond filtering and aeration. When it comes to water pumps, the main use of this device is the exchange of fluids such as water.
From agriculture to the energy industry, pumps are found in a wide range of applications. The main working principle of a water pump basically depends upon the positive displacement principle and kinetic energy which helps pushing the water.
Solar water pumps are a relatively new concept in mechanics. A solar water pump system is commonly seen in residential and commercial uses, as well as for irrigation of agricultural land. Through solar panels, the pump can eliminate the cost of energy and provide a more feasible option that uses energy from the sun (and not fuel-burning mechanisms) for pumping water.
Introducing solar-powered irrigation for poor and remote areas
In times when the entire world is switching to solar, using the sun’s energy in water pumping systems can significantly help and accelerate the development of agriculture in African countries and many other poor remote areas. This concept is known as solar-powered irrigation and is used in many regions nowadays.
The truth is, solar energy might be the easiest way for farmers to produce energy, especially for those living off the electricity grids with poor infrastructure around their homes. Therefore, the use of solar water pump in agriculture is becoming increasingly popular. The concept of solar irrigation represents a virtuous circle—when the sun shines, it feeds the irrigation system and feeds the crops which are dependant on water in sunny weather. Therefore, a large quantity of energy is being released right at the time when it is needed the most.
Solar irrigation is a concept that works through solar water pumps. Below, we are describing them in detail.
What is a solar water pump and what are the most popular types?
As we discussed before, solar pumps present a clean, simple and energy-efficient alternative to traditional electric and fuel-driven pump sets. They are part of an environmentally friendly approach in agriculture and can be used to exploit every region, whether its developed or poor.
Due to their immense potential for productive use and agricultural productivity, solar water pumps are now powering more and more agriculture projects. Knowing that 40% of the global population relies on agriculture as its main source of income, access to water remains an ongoing struggle for many people. This is what solar aims to change and introduce a cost-effective future for around 500 million small-scale farmers all around the world.
The main components in a solar pumping system include a photovoltaic (PV) array, an electric motor and a pump. Solar water pumping systems, on the other hand, are classified as either direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) systems based on their motor’s ability. Recently, the concept of brushless DC (BLDC) motors for solar pumping water applications was presented as well.
Classification and types of solar pumps
When it comes to stand-alone solar pumping systems, the main types include rotating and positive displacement pumps or hybrid solar pump. Centrifugal pumps are the common choice for rotation and are designed for fixed head applications. Their output increases in proportion to their speed of rotation.
Additionally, pumps are also classified as submersible and surface pumps, based on their placement (underwater and above the waterline).
All in all, the main aspect related to the efficiency of a solar water pump is based on three variables including pressure, flow and input power to the pump. Wire-to-water efficiency is the commonly used metric that determines the overall efficiency of a solar water pump (as the ratio between the hydraulic energy that comes out of the pipe and the energy coming over the electrical wires through solar panels).
Why solar-powered water pumps are the ideal way to boost agriculture in remote areas (And Africa)
A solar-powered water pump is a concept that is environmentally-friendly. More importantly, it is a concept that gets rid of any power grids or fossil fuels used to pump water out of the ground. Below, we are listing the advantages and disadvantages of their use.
Advantages of solar water pumps
The first advantage of solar pumps is that they are reliable in regional and remote areas. A perfect example of this is Africa, which is one of the poorest remote regions in the world with an abundance of water—but also the most dominant region when it comes to most days of sun in the year. On the flip side, Africa is thought to possess 9% of the world’s freshwater resources which translates to around 4,000 km3 of water per year. Deploying solar water pumps in Africa is, therefore, the perfect alternative to any other fuel-based sources—and an alternative which can stimulate life in every part of this continent.
What Is the DC Submersible Pump?
The DC submersible pump as well as other types of submersible pumps look like a metal tube and their goal is to push the water to the surface. This type of pipe-look water pumps conceals the motor within the tube so that the liquid outside the pump does not get access to the electrical parts inside the pump.
The DC submersible pumps are versatile and can better accommodate with different working environments because they can be powered from a variety of independent DC power sources. The most common power sources for the DC submersible pumps are the solar modules, batteries, or generators. The DC submersible pumps with solar power supplies sometimes have a controller in order to enhance the current when the sunlight is low.
More Information on the Power Supply
Typically, the DC submersible pumps can operate on multiple volts of DC power such as 6V, 12V, 24V or 32V. There are some advantages of applying the direct current instead of the alternating current (AC). The first advantage is that the DC power system allows the submersible pumps to adapt to more power supply options such as batteries. It makes the machines portable and is more convenient to apply.
Also, the AC power system needs a controller to control the speed while the AC power system does not need such device. In most cases, the controller of the power system is only needed when the solar power modules are applied.
The DC submersible pumps are more energy efficient too; it takes less power to run a DC submersible pump than an Ac Dc submersible pump. However, there are limits to the DC machines as well. The DC submersible pumps have a shorter lifespan than the AC counterparts. Besides, though the DC machines are more energy efficient and easier to operate without a current controller, they tend to work in a rather lower speed and they are less powerful in pumping.
The Application of Submersible Pumps
The submersible pumps are applicable in multiple areas. For example, they can be used to pump sewage from the septic tanks and it is convenient because the pump deliver the sewage directly to tanks so that they can be transferred to treatment facilities and handled later on.
Secondly, they can be used both industrially and in buildings. Wherever there is too much unwanted water in a work site or when the basement of a building is flooded, the submersible pump can be applied to extract all the water out of the place easily.
The other common use of a submersible pump is for the oil wells. Whether it is an inland oil well or an offshore oil well, the submersible pump can pump out the oil from the ground and transfer it to the factory for further process. Some types of submersible pumps can also be used for drilling wells to a certain depth.
They are called the drilling pumps or borehole pumps. In addition to the industrial use, the submersible pumps can be used agriculturally as a part of the irrigation systems.
What Are the Advantages of a Submersible Pump?
The main goal of asubmersible pumpis to pump out liquids from the ground or from places under the surface level. The submersible pumps are best for job because of several reasons. For one thing, the submersible pump keeps almost all the components within the pipe-like body; therefore, it does not take up much space.
In other words, the submersible pumps can work best in a confined environment comparing to other types of pumps. The submersible pumps connect directly to the storage tanks with pipes or hoses which also take up very limited space as well. As a result, they accommodate with most working environments possible.