Solar Water Pumping: Sustainable Water Supply
Millions of people around the world live with limited access to water. In many communities, groundwater is extracted through electric water pumps, which use diesel to fuel their systems. However, these systems not only require costly, regular servicing and the purchasing of fuel, but they also emit carbon dioxide polluting the atmosphere.
Solar Water Pumping, or photovoltaic water pumping (PVP), provides an alternative
What are solar water pumps?
A solar water pump or a solar photovoltaic water pumping system is a system powered by solar energy. It is just like the traditional electric pump with the only exception that it uses solar energy instead of fossil fuel or electricity.
What is the use of solar water pumps?
A solar water pump is used for extracting water from ponds, rivers, borewells or other sources of water which are then used to meet the water requirements for irrigation, community water supply, livestock, and other purposes.
How does a solar water pump work?
As mentioned earlier, it works like any other pump set with the only difference being the solar energy used instead of non-renewable energy for its operation. When sunlight falls on the solar panels it produces direct current (DC) which then feeds the motor to pump out the water.
How are solar water pumps more useful than conventional electric pumps? The advantages of solar water pumps over conventional electric pumps are given below:
? Solar water pumps do not require any fuel or electricity to operate. Once installed, solar water pumps do not incur the recurring costs of electricity or fuel.
? It does not get affected by power cuts, low voltage, single-phase problems or the motor burning.
? It can be installed in remote areas where electricity is unavailable or diesel is difficult to procure.
? Incurs low maintenance costs as solar water pumps have fewer moving parts as compared to a diesel-powered pump and thus, fewer chances of wear and tear.
? No lubricants are required for operation and hence no chance of water/soil contamination due to the lubricants.
? Easy to operate
These factors have made Solar Water Pumping an extremely viable way to expand energy access across developing countries and communities while creating a strong resistance to shifts in rainfall caused by climate change or unreliable seasonable patterns. Some governments have opted to subsidize the cost of solar pumping, increasing the pool of shared learning for this emerging technology
Organizations working for Solar pump development:
? In 2014, the government of India made an ambitious goal to replace 26 million groundwater pumps run on costly diesel, for more efficient and environmentally-friendly options such as solar pumps.
? To address this knowledge gap, the World Bank has developed an accessible and interactive Knowledge Base on Solar Water Pumping
? MIT researchers release evaluation of solar pumps for irrigation and salt mining in India