How Should I Choose a Solar Water Pump?

About Solar Water Pumps & their Applications

Solar water pumps are a cost-effective and dependable means of pumping water in the regions where the water resource are at a long distance from the end-point of applications. These are especially effective when the region is remotely located and where grid power comes at expensive rates.

While solar pumps are sometimes used for residential purposes, they find wider applications for agricultural needs. Solar pumps can work during times when needed most, during sunny days and during daytime. Hence they find numerous applications as listed below:

  • Livestock watering
  • Crop irrigation
  • Aquaculture
  • Water supplies for off-grid homes

As compared to conventional AC water pumps, solar water pumps are able to pump smaller volumes of water over a longer period of time. They directly run of the DC power produced by the Solar Arrays.

Types of Solar Water Pumps

Let’s look at the types of solar pumps before going into what to select.

Solar water pumps can be broadly classified into Submersible pumps and Surface Pumps.

Submersible water pumps are generally used to draw water from well or any deep water body. Submersible pumps usually come in the rating between ¼ to 3 H.P. The pumping system cost depends on the depth of the well – deeper the well, the more costly it is.

Surface water pumps are installed at ground level and are used to lift water from shallow ponds and storage tanks. They can also be used to provide pressurized water for irrigation purposes.

Choosing Solar Water Pumps

Submersible pumps can be chosen if water needs to be pumped from deep wells. Submersible pumps can lift water vertically up to 700 feet. On the other hand surface pumps have a suction capacity of around 20 feet vertically. Hence they are more suited for shallow water resources and highly desirable where water needs to be transferred horizontally over long distances (200 feet or more).

Solar panels for these pumps come separately. Manufacturers of solar water pumps suggest what rating of solar panels one needs to match with their pumps. It would be advisable to go with the manufacturers’ inputs on this.

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India Renewable Energy Expert