Awareness created among people for using clean energy has given rise to the utilization of solar power. Solar energy is a pure form of energy that can be harvested, stored and utilized in a number of ways. For capturing this energy and generating the power we need solar panels.
Electricity and heat can be generated from solar energy in more than one way. Solar photovoltaic cells, solar thermal collectors, natural photosynthesis (in the form of biofuels) and artificial photosynthesis are four major ways to harvest solar energy.
Power generation from solar has led to the manufacturing of various devices such as solar cookers, solar water pump, solar watches, solar calculators, dryers, chimney, inverter, and keyboard.
What is a solar water pump?
A Solar pump is one that runs on the electricity that is generated and from solar energy. Solar powered water pumps are used in remote areas where regular water lines cannot be reached. The PV panel is utilized in harvesting solar energy.
Solar powered pumps are cost-effective and environment-friendly. The solar water pumping system is similar to electric pumps; the only difference is that they are powered by solar energy. Installing solar water pumps is beneficial in summer when the need for water is high.
Solar water pumping system can cater to the irrigation needs of a agricultural land. Depending on the ground water level and type of irrigation solar pump HP varies.
Components of solar water pump
A solar water pump is a simple structure made up of three key components.
Solar Photovoltaic panel
And a Pump
Solar PV panels: the first important component of solar pumps is PV panels. These panels help in generating the power required to run a pump. Photovoltaic cells or panels absorb sun photons and convert them into energy. The number of solar panels determines the cost of a solar pump.
Controllers: The main function of a controller is to maintain and control a water pumping system. The controller senses the water level before pumping it, in case of low water level it automatically turns off. A controller can be used to set a schedule and helps your pump perform better. Further, a controller provides protection against low voltage and thereby increasing the life span of a water pump.
Pump: The last and most important components of a solar pump is the pump itself. Pumps draw water from different water sources like lakes, ponds, wells and bore wells
In addition to the above mentioned three components, a solar water pump comes with an inverter. An inverter is a device that is used to convert direct current from solar panels into alternating current. DC motor pumps are used for supplying drinking water to livestock or gardening. Whereas AC motor pumps are used for powering up electrical grids.
To buy a solar water pump it is essential to understand the working of each component and check them thoroughly.
How does the solar water pump work?
Solar energy water pumps mainly depend on sunlight to generate power. The power so generated is necessary for the functioning of the pump. Photovoltaic panels are called as building cells of a solar pump. PV panels are made up of semiconducting material like silicon which absorbs energy from the sunlight and converts it into electricity.
Current so generated flows to a control box that manages it, in fact, the controller can regulate the speed of the water pump. The electricity generated by solar panels feeds the pump with the required energy to circulate the water. However, if you wish to store the solar energy then you need a battery.
Installation of a solar panel pump is simple and easy. However, solar pumps need to be kept in a shady and dust free area. They should be installed on a even ground and in way that be easily cleaned as and when required. Further, PV panels must be installed closer to solar panels.
What are the types of solar pump?
Solar water pumps in India are generally available in two type’s submersible water pump and surface water pump. Submersible water pumps are the ones that can be placed deep into the ground. To install a submersible water pump you need to dig a bore well, these pumps remain under water. They can pump water from up to 50 meters deep, preferably in a dry area.
One other type of water pump that is available in the market is a surface water pump. This type of water pump stays on the surface making it easy to install. Also, a surface water pump can is not suitable for deep water pumping as the maximum depth they can circulate the water is 10 meters.
Hence based on the water level one can easily decide on which type of solar motor to purchase, open water sources like lakes and ponds need surface water pumps. Most of the solar water pump manufacturers offer free installation service.
Few leading solar water pump manufacturers in India are Tata power solar, Vimal electronics, Waaree group, JJ PV Solar and VRG Energy.
Advantages of Solar water pumps
The most important advantage of solar water is that it uses renewable energy in producing electricity that is safe for the environment. Also using such devices has no effect on climate change making it a bio-friendly alternative to regular diesel operated devices.
Solar water pumps use the sun’s energy directly to generate power thus lowering operating cost related to it.
Solar energy water pumps are easy to transport and shift. You need to require huge trucks and machinery to install a solar pump system.
The need for water in summer is at its peak. Installing a solar water pump will easily move water in sunny weather and also store extra energy in the battery that can be used later.
Finally, the maintenance cost of a solar water pump is relatively low compared to generators. PV panels present in solar pumps can be replaced separately.
Sizing of a solar water pumping system
Solar pumps come in various sizes, the two things you need to consider before selecting a solar water pump size is 1. How much water needs to be pumped? And 2.how high this water needs to be pumped?
Mini solar water pumps are a new addition to solar-powered pumps. A small solar water pump can function on less than 150 watts of photovoltaic panels. The performance of mini solar pumps is efficient and economically. On a sunny day, they can pump 3400 liters of water, sufficient to supply water for several families.
Cost of Solar Water Pumps
Solar water pump suppliers in India offer pumps under various HP category. The price of a water pump depends on HP capacity and type of motor. Solar pumps traditionally come in 5HP, 1HP, 10 HP, 2HP and 3HP. The approximate solar water pump price list in India is as follows: