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FAQ > Solar FAQ

What is solar water pumping system?

This is the water pumping system which operates through Solar Energy which is totally pollution-free and available from the sun during day time require very little maintenance as compared to the diesel operated pump sets.  It comprises of Solar Photovoltaic modules , Solar Pump, Control Switch, Interconnecting cables and MS structure to hold the modules. The solar water pumping system functions during the sunshine hours.

HOW does solar water pumping system work ?

Solar Energy in the form of light rays falls on the solar photovoltaic panels and gets converted into electrical energy through silicon wafers embeded in the solar photovoltaic panels. This electrical energy then goes to the DC based motor pumping system through the cables and operates this motor. By rotation of the shaft coupled to mono-block pump, the pump starts lifting the ground water and throws it out for use.

What is a Solar-Powered Pump?

A solar-powered pump is a normal pump with an electric motor. Electricity for the motor is generated on-site through a solar panel which converts solar energy to direct-current (DC) electricity. Because the nature of the electrical output from a solar panel is DC, a solar-powered pump requires a DC motor if it is to operate without additional electrical components. If a pump has an alternating-current (AC) motor, an inverter would be required to convert the DC electricity produced by the solar panels to AC electricity. Due to the increased complexity and cost, and the reduced efficiency of an AC system, most solar-powered pumps have DC motors.

What does a Solar-Powered Pumping Unit Consist of?

The components comprising a solar-powered pump depend on whether the pumping system is a direct-drive system or a battery-operated system. The following sketches illustrate the components comprising these two systems:

What happens when Clouds Obscure Sunlight?

Solar-powered pumps will naturally work best on sunny days, which is fortunate because more water is required on hot sunny days. Solar panels still produce some electricity when it is cloudy, but their output is diminished.

What other Considerations are there?

For the direct-drive systems, it is important to match the power output of the solar array with the power requirements of the pump to maximize efficiency. For the battery-powered systems, it is important to use good-quality deep-cycle batteries and to incorporate electrical controls such as blocking diodes and charge regulators to protect the batteries. Some solar panels incorporate the electrical control elements.

What kinds of Solar-Powered Pumps are commonly used?

Solar-powered pumps for are available in a wide variety of configurations. If the water source is a dugout, floating pumps are available. If the water source is a well, submersible centrifugal pumps are often used. For dugouts, streams and shallow wells, self-priming surface centrifugal or positive-displacement pumps can be used. Whatever kind of pump is used, it is especially important in low-voltage applications like solar energy, that care is taken to ensure that the pump is matched to head and discharge requirements of the application. ie Proper care should be taken that the solar pumping system is integrated properly.

How much Water can a Solar-Powered Pump Deliver?

Solar-powered pumping systems can be configured to meet a wide variety of demands. The amount of water a solar-powered pump can deliver is a function of how far the water has to be lifted, the distance it has to travel through a delivery pipe (and the size of pipe), the efficiency of the pump being used, and how much power is available to the system. Power can be increased by adding more solar panels. For example, a h.p. pump supplied by three 50-watt panels can deliver water at a rate of about 1½ gpm to a location 30 m higher than the source. As a comparison, a 3 h.p. low-lift irrigation pump powered by an array of 60 panels could deliver water at a rate of about 1,000 gpm.

Solar powered pumps can be easily discharge enough water to
irrigating 4-5 acre of land , by having the capacity to give discharge of 1,20,000 to 1,40,000 Ltrs. on clear sunny day (approx.) subject to variation due to solar insolation and water table condition.

What is Required to Maintain a Solar-Powered Pumping System?

One of the main advantages of a solar-powered pumping system is its simplicity and durability. The pump is the only part of the system having any moving parts, and it comprises a relatively small portion of the total system cost. Unless the system is installed in an extremely dusty area, occasional inspection of the wiring and the general appearance of the panels will be all that is necessary. Panels can be cleaned with plain water and a soft cloth. The frequency of inspection should match the amount of storage available. For example, if the system incorporates a three-day supply of water and/or energy in storage, then it should be inspected at least every three days.

What should be considered when Locating and Installing a Solar-Powered Pumping System?

One of the advantages of solar-powered pumping systems is their simplicity, and because of this, they can be easily assembled and installed even by the user with help of the set-up instructions.

The photovoltaic array (solar panels) can be mounted on a post or frame, but whatever the array is mounted on, it should be stable enough to withstand strong winds. The array should ideally be oriented toward true south, but deviations of 15 degrees east or west should not significantly affect performance. Some systems are available with tracker devices that track the sun, it adds up to the cost but reduces the human efforts and
significantly enhance the performance and efficiency of the system.

The solar panels should be tilted at an angle to horizontal to maximize power output. If the panel is to be fixed for year-round use, the tilt angle should equal the latitude of the site. If the panel mount has an adjustable tilt angle, the tilt angle should be equivalent to the site latitude minus 10 to 15 degrees in the summer, whereas in winter, the tilt angle should equal the latitude plus 10 to 15 degrees.

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