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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

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Solar photovoltaic water pumping system - A comprehensive review

Vimal Chand Sontake a,n, Vilas R. Kalamkar b
Department of Mechanical Engineering, St. Vincent Pallotti College of Engineering & Technology, Nagpur 441108, India
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur 440010, India

art ic l e i nf o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Solar photovoltaic water pumping system (SPVWPS) has been a promising area of research for more than
Received 7 August 2014 50 years. In the early 70s, efforts and studies were undertaken to explore the possibility of SPVWPS as
Received in revised form feasible, viable and economical mean of water pumping. SPVWPS consists of different components and
1 January 2016
parts associated with different elds of engineering like mechanical, electrical, electronics, computer,
Accepted 7 January 2016
control and civil engineering. The interdisciplinary nature of the system attracted the researchers, in the
past, from all these elds of engineering and has been contributed by them to make the system more
Keywords: efcient and cost-effective to meet water-pumping needs of human, livestock and irrigation. The detailed
Solar photovoltaic literature available suggests that the research work on SPVWPS is not conned to any particular eld of
Water pumping system
engineering. This review paper is an attempt to give a comprehensive review of the literature available
on SPVWPS from the year 1975 to the year 2014. The review work discusses the general classication of
Performance of solar pumps
DC motors SPVWPS, historical background of solar pumping systems, various efforts undertaken by researchers
Testing of solar pumps working on the different aspects of SPVWPS and the present status of research on the topic. The lit-
erature review of the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) system, different types of pumps and
motors and rating of photovoltaic (PV) panel, which affect the performance, efciency and economy of
the SPVWPS system, has been incorporated in detail.
& 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1039
2. Historical background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1039
3. Classication, conguration and working of SPVWPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1039
3.1. On the basis of energy storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1041
3.1.1. Battery-coupled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1041
3.1.2. Direct driven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1041
3.2. On the basis of form of electric power input . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1042
3.2.1. DC SPVWPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1042
3.2.2. AC SPVWPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1042
3.3. Basis of types of pumps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1042
3.3.1. Surface mounted pump set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1042
3.3.2. Deep well pump set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1043
3.4. Basis of tracking of power source [15] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1043
3.4.1. Fixed SPV panels/arrays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1043
3.4.2. Tracking SPV panels/arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1043
4. Classication of literature on solar photovoltaic water pumping system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1043
4.1. Studies and investigations of effectiveness and performance parameters of site specic design of SPVWPS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1043
4.2. Comparative studies of performance parameters of different types of solar pumps at a particular site. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1047
4.3. Performance assessment studies of solar pump with different types of motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1048
4.4. Performance assessment of solar pump with different ratings of PV panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1052
4.5. Optimization of overall solar PV water pumping system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1054

Corresponding author. Tel.: 91 9637582119.
E-mail addresses: (V.C. Sontake), (V.R. Kalamkar).
1364-0321/& 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1039

4.6. Performance assessment studies with MPPT and different algorithms for MPPT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1059
4.7. New concepts and design ideas to enhance the effectiveness and to reduce cost and complexity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1059
5. Low cost, low capacity solar PV water pumps status of technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1063
6. Performance evaluation basis, longevity and reliability of SPVWPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1064
7. Scope for further research. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1065
8. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1065
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1065
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1065

1. Introduction around 15th19th century. Pytlinski [7], reviewed the work of

some researchers to use of solar energy to pump water. The rst
Nowadays, the utilization of PV conversion of solar energy to case of solar PV water pump reported in 1964 in the Soviet Union.
power the water pumps is an emerging technology with great However, the ow rate and working head of the water-pumping
challenges. The PV technology can be applied on a larger scale and systems were small, but these studies nally proved milestones in
it also presents an environmentally favorable alternative to fossil the development of future solar operated water pumping system.
fuel (diesel and electricity) powered conventional water pumps The rst large scale PV operated pumping system was constructed
[1,2]. Moreover, the importance of solar PV energy to power the on an experimental basis in 1977 in Mead, Nebraska. The water
water pumps increases due to the continuous depletion of oil pumping capacity of this system was 3.8 m3 per min and could run
reserves, uneven distribution and ever-increasing cost of elec- for 12 h a day. In a similar work, Bahadori [8] reviewed the dif-
tricity, which is a major area of concern for developing countries ferent methods of conversions of solar energy into mechanical or
like India [3,4]. SPVWPS providing domestic, livestock and irriga- electrical energy to power the water pumps. He classied these
tion water supplies in remote areas have gained enormously in methods in 02 broad categories solar thermal or thermodynamic
acceptance, reliability and performance. Installing SPVWPS has and direct conversion schemes. The detail classication is given in
many advantages to the pumping sites, where the national elec- Fig. 1.The direct conversion methods convert solar energy directly
tricity grid connection is not available, solar energy is available into the electrical energy, which powers the DC/AC motor that in
abundantly, and the transport facilities are not good enough. In turn runs a pump. The author reported that the methods
addition to the above stated advantages, SPVWPS can withstand employing thermodynamic conversion were less efcient and
severe weather conditions including snow and ice [5]. Further- required high maintenance, though they were cheaper than direct
more, the use of solar photovoltaic power to operate the water conversion methods.
pumping system is the most appropriate choice because there is a Ward and Dunford [9], investigated the technological and
natural relationship between requirement of water and the avail- economical feasibility and performance of solar PV water pumps
ability of solar power [6]. under the meteorological conditions of Zimbabwe. They reported
SPVWPS comprises of different components, which can be
that for borehole, the progressive cavity pumps were most ef-
grouped as mechanical, electrical and electronic components.
cient and economical. In a similar work reported by Mankbadi and
These components have different constructions, working and
Ayad [10], investigations were done on the technological viability
performance characteristics. Integration and synchronization of
of various types of SPWPS under the meteorological conditions of
this variety of components to form a system like SPVWPS poses
Egypt. Depending upon its working principle, the authors cate-
difculty in operation and leads to overall poor performance.
gorized these SPWPS as solar PV, solar thermal and other solar
Furthermore, involvement of interdisciplinary and sophisticated
water pumping methods. The detail of their study is presented in
technology in the system requires a variety of technical expertize
Table 1. Chowdhury et al. [11] discussed the detail design guide-
for its operation and maintenance. While dealing with such inte-
lines for SPVWPS. In their study, they designed ve different
grated and complex system of SPVWPS, its overall cost, is another
SPVWPS of different capacities, for ve different locations of
constrain in selecting it as water pumping method. The above-
Wyoming USA. The detailed performance and reliability study
mentioned factors challenged and motivated the researchers
were carried out for 2 yrs. They reported that PV power was a cost-
around the world from all elds of engineering, in the past, to
effective alternative for remote water pumping. They also con-
contribute and make SPVWPS an efcient, technically simple and
cost-effective water pumping system. This area of research has cluded that the reliability of PV systems in terms of working was
large scope and opportunity for doing the novel work to make very good. Any system failure could be attributed to well collapse
SPVWPS a popular and efcient water pumping method. Many and high wind gust and these parameters were unrelated to the PV
research investigations have been reported on the SPVWPS during system.
the last ve decades. However, there is no specic review on The above-mentioned studies are not elaborative but only
SPVWPS exists so far. Following the previous cited investigations, indicative. It can be concluded that in the decades of 7080, the
the main objectives of this review work can be formulated as research/investigations were mainly focussed on thermodynamic
follows: (i) a summary of the studies reported on various aspects conversion principle to use the solar energy for water pumping.
of SPVWPS, (ii) a summary of conclusions regarding previous During this period, in direct conversion category, very few studies/
investigations, and (iii) identication of the future research area in investigations were reported on PV technology as water pumping
SPVWPS. energy source.

2. Historical background 3. Classication, conguration and working of SPVWPS

The history of efforts made to convert solar energy into Any SPVWPS, in general, consists of the following minimum
mechanical energy/electrical energy to pump water dates back to components:
1040 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Nomenclature Symbols used

A Incremental array step
Bc Battery-type coefcient
AC Alternating current
d Discount rate
ASM Asynchronous motor
e0 Escalation rate for operation and maintenance
BDC Brushless Direct Current
F Frequency
CP Centrifugal pump
g General ination rate
DC Direct current
H Monthly average daily isolation on a horizontal
DOD Depth of discharge
DSP Divided shaft pump
I Current
EAC Equivalent annualized cost
IL Light current
EU European Union
Io Dark current
FEMM Finite Element Method Magnetics
L i Monthly average hourly load
GI Galvanized iron
NA Average battery life
HP Horse power
P Ground reectance
IM Induction motor
Rs Series resistance
IRR Internal rate of return
Rsh Shunt resistance
kWp Peak kilowatt
T Monthly average ambient temperature
LLP Loss of Load Probability
U Uncovered energy load fraction
LCC Life cycle cost
V Thermal voltage
LWC Levelised cost of water pumping
W Watt
MHP Moderate head pump
Wp Peak Watt
MLPT Minimum losses point tracking
Y Economic evaluation period
MPPT Maximum power point tracking
NO Nitric oxide
Greek symbols
NOCT Nominal operating cell temperature
NPV Net present value
NSP New solar pump Latitude
PDP Positive displacement pump R Efciency at reference conditions of insolation and
PMBLDC Permanent Magnet Brushless Direct Current temperature
PMDC Permanent Magnet Direct Current Temperature coefcient for cell efciency
PMSM Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor d degradation factor
PTS Passive tracking system B Average energy efciency
PV Photovoltaic w PV-array wiring efciency
PVPS Photovoltaic water pumping system T maximum power point tracking efciency
PWM Pulse width modulation VR voltage regulator efciency
RFCP Radial ow centrifugal pump c cabling efciency
RMS Root mean square
SAPS Stand alone photovoltaic system Subscripts
SPVS Solar photovoltaic system
SPWS Solar powered water pumps p Parallel
SPVWPS Solar photovoltaic water pumping system s Series
TDH Total dynamic head
WEWPS Wind energy/electric water pumping system
WPS Water pumping system

1. Solar PV array Depending on the components in the system, SPVWPS can broadly
2. Charge controller be classied into following types [12]:-
3. Pump controller
4. Batteries
3.1.On the basis of energy storage
5. Inverter
3.1.1. Battery-coupled.
6. Pump/Motor
3.1.2. Direct driven.
7. Mounting structure xed or tracking system, and
3.2. On the basis of form of electric power input.
8. Other equipments
3.2.1. DC SPVWPS.
(i) Float switch to turn a pump on/off 3.2.2. AC SPVWPS.
(ii) Low water cut-off electrode to protect the pump from low 3.3. Basis of types of pumps.
water conditions 3.3.1. Surface mounted pump set.
3.3.2. Deep well pump set.
9. Wiring, discharge tubing or piping 3.4. Basis of tracking of power source.
10. Storage tank 3.4.1. Fixed SPV panels/arrays.
11. Security fencing 3.4.2. Tracking SPV panels/arrays.
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1041

All the congurations of SPVWPS have its relative advantages power to pump for pumping the water when needed. These
and disadvantages. Selection of optimum system for a particular charged batteries in SPVWPS can prolong the water pumping
application depends upon a variety of factors considered. duration. The use of the batteries in SPVWPS ensures water
pumping even during low light periods, cloudy days and during
3.1. On the basis of energy storage the night also. However, its use increases the cost, complexity and
can reduce the overall efciency of the system as the batteries
This classication of SPVWPS is based on, whether the elec- dictate the operating voltage rather than the PV panels. Hence, its
tricity generated is stored in the battery/battery bank or directly use in SPVWPS is not recommended. Depending on the tempera-
utilized to drive the pump. On this basis, SPVWPS is further clas- ture and charging of the batteries, the voltage supplied by them,
sied and described as follows:- can be one to four volts lower than that produced by the PV panels
during the maximum sunlight conditions. Both, surface and sub-
3.1.1. Battery-coupled mersible pump can be used in this type of SPVWPS.
Battery-coupled SPVWPS as depicted in Figs. 2 and 3 consists of
a solar panel, charge controller, batteries, pump controller, pres- 3.1.2. Direct driven
sure switch, storage tank and a DC water pump. During the day- Direct driven solar PV water pumping system is shown in Fig. 4.
time, the solar panels convert the solar energy into electrical In this system, electricity generated by PV modules is directly
current that charges the batteries. These batteries, then supply supplied to the pump. The pump uses this electric power to pump

Fig. 1. The solar water pumping chart [8]. Fig. 2. Battery coupled solar PV water pumping system using a submersible pump.

Table 1
Summary of various types of water pumping systems [9]. Pumping system Details of study

1 Solar PV system Cost-competitive with diesel pump for o 25 gm/day at 25 m head. Pump operated at 60% efciency.
2 Solar Thermal Pumping systems Essentially consists of solar collector, heat engine, Transmission and a pump, and delivery pipe work.
2.1 The Battelle Rankine-cycle 37 kW irrigation Solar powered irrigation pump employed concentrating collector. Designed and built by Battelle (BMI).
2.2 The Wrede Ky system 300 W solar pump. Design and tested by Wrede Ky Finland. Employed parabolic trough collector. Operated with 4 m
total head. Under 970 W/m2hydraulic output of 90 W and efciency of 0.84 could be achieved.
2.3 The Maccracken Thermo pump R-11 as working medium. Works on the principle of create a suction to lift water from certain depth.
2.4 The Minto wheel It consists of series of sealed containers fastened around the wheel drum. Use R-11 as working uid. Speed is low
and has low efciency.
2.5 Boldt' s thermo pump Consists of 7 parts. Works on the principle of lifting of water by evaporation of water in the pump using solar
2.6 The Brown Boveri system Rankine cycle system under development in India by Brown Boveri and IIT Kanpur. Use at plat collector. A volatile
uid immiscible with water is used.
2.7 The camel system Freon is used as working uid. Flat plate collector to absorb solar energy.
This pump is simple, robust and low cost-device which makes it attractive for farmers of developing country.
2.8 The uidyne system Overall efciency of 3% reported.
2.9 The Beale engine Free piston type Stirling engine. Under development by Sunpower Inc.
Helium is used as working uid and uses focussing parabolic collector.
2.10 The solar pump R-11 is made to boil using glazed at plate collector. Whole pumping system is compact and of size 2.7 m wide by
2.0 m from front to back and 1.8 m high.
3 Other solar pumping options
3.1 Thermo-electric generators This system works on Seeback effect. Using Propane as working uid. efciency was found to be 46%. Available in
the power output of 10300 W.
3.2 Thermionic generators High temperature (1000 C) is required for their operation and hence potentially unsuitable for low scale water
3.3 Photochemical systems Working principle is of photosynthesis process. Practically could not be realized
3.4 Improved efciency Incident light is separated into wavelength range and efciency of 50% can be achieved.
Photovoltaic technology
3.5 Memory metal and other Solid-state heat Some alloys like Nitinol (Ti Ni) have the property of easily deformation at low temperature and return to original
engines shape with force if heated. Technology is at early stage.
3.6 Osmotic pressure engines This engine uses the principle of conversion of thermal energy into mechanical work by Osmotic principle.
1042 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Fig. 3. Battery coupled solar PV water pumping system using surface pump [13].

Fig. 5. Schematic of a solar PV water pumping system.

be changed frequently. This increases operation and maintenance

cost of the motor. A brushless DC motor is a self-synchronous
machine with an electronic commutator. BLDC utilizes the mag-
netic induction principle to transfer PV power to motor shaft.
Permanent brushless DC motor (PMBLDC) with submersible pump
is the most popular choice in SPVWPS, due to the absence of
brushes, high efciency, silent operation, compact size, high
reliability, and low maintenance requirements. DC water pumping
Fig. 4. Schematic of direct-coupled solar PV water pumping system. system can also be set up either in battery coupled or directly
coupled conguration as discussed in Sections 3.1.1 and 3.2.2.
the water. As no backup power is available, the system pumps
water during the daytime only when the solar energy is available. 3.2.2. AC SPVWPS
The intensity of the solar irradiation incident on the solar panel AC water pumping system consists of an AC motor driven pump
decides the amount of water pumped during that time. The set as shown in Fig. 5. Since the PV panel generates DC electricity,
advantage of this system is that, it is battery free, simple and low in such pumping system, a suitable inverter is required to convert
in cost as compared to battery coupled SPVWPS. However, it DC to AC electrical power. However, use of inverter reduces the
cannot be used to pump water during the night. The intensity and overall efciency of SPVWPS. The advantage of the AC water
angle of the solar radiation falling on the PV panel, keep on pumping system is that it can run even on grid power in case of
changing throughout the day. Due to this, the amount of water non-availability of PV power during night hours or during cloudy
pumped also changes throughout the day. The maximum amount days. Induction and synchronous AC motors are used to run
of water is pumped by the SPVWPS during optimum sunlight the pump.
duration (late morning to early afternoon on clear sky days) during
which pumping system operates at or near 100% efciency.
3.3. Basis of types of pumps
However, during early morning (7.309.30 a.m.) and late afternoon
(45.30 p.m.) the efciency of the pump is poor resulting into a
According to the need of the location of installation with
very low volume of water delivered. During cloudy days, the
respect to the water level, the pumps are classied as surface
efciency will drop off even more. Proper matching of the pump
mounted and deep well. Accordingly, the SPVWPS is further clas-
and the solar module is required to compensate these variations in
sied on the basis of the type of pump used.
ow rates of water and to run the SPVWPS efciently, under dif-
ferent sunlight conditions. Less or no water is pumped during
3.3.1. Surface mounted pump set
cloudy days and in night hours, which can be compensated by
Surface mounted DC/AC motor pump sets are located near the
designing larger than the required size of SPVWPS. Extra quantity
water surface and are used primarily for moving water through a
of water pumped during sunny days can be stored in larger water
pipeline. Some surface mounted pumps can develop high heads
tanks from which it can be gravity fed to the small water tank
and are suitable for moving water to long distances or to higher
when required. However, the size of water storage tank can be
elevations. These pumps are generally discouraged because of
optimized to check the cost of storage. Two or ve days of water,
storage is sufcient. their suction limitations when used in deep wells compared to the
achievable lift of a submersible pump. Based on the specications
3.2. On the basis of form of electric power input from several manufactures such as Shurow, Gaiam, and Dankoff
[14], the typical suction abilities for surface solar pumps are
The current generated by solar PV panel is DC. This can be between 10 and 20 ft. Surface pumps also have greater exposure to
converted into AC by an inverter. Accordingly, SPVWPS is classied the extreme climate, making them more vulnerable to freezing
as DC or AC driven. and harsh weather. These pumps have a higher rate of mechanical
problems and failure because of the dynamics of pulling water up
3.2.1. DC SPVWPS from a well. The loss of priming uid (water) in surface pumps can
In this type of SPVWPS, DC motor driven pump set is used. The cause the burning of motor, requiring replacement. Cavitation is a
DC motor is of two types conventional DC motor with brushes common problem with surface mounted pumps. The lower ef-
and brushless DC motor (BLDC). Conventional DC motor utilizes ciency due to power losses in the shaft bearings and the high cost
carbon brushes to transfer electric power from PV array to the of installation is the major disadvantages. In Fig. 6 layout of
motor shaft. These brushes wear out with the usage and need to SPVWPS using a surface mounted pump is shown.
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1043

3.4. Basis of tracking of power source [15]

This classication of SPVWPS is based on, whether the SPV

panel follows or not the path of the power source i.e. sun, during
the entire day of its operation.

3.4.1. Fixed SPV panels/arrays

In the SPVWPS with xed mounting system, the PV arrays are
mounted on metallic structures inclined at a xed tilt angle. The
value of the tilt angle is generally taken equal to the latitude angle
of the pumping site. The cost of the xed mounting system is low
as compared to tracking mounting system, but the performance of
the water pumping system with xed mounting is also low.
Fig. 6. Layout of SPVWPS with surface mounted pump.
3.4.2. Tracking SPV panels/arrays
To enhance the performance of SPVWPS it is desirable to use a
tracking system. Three modes of tracking system, namely manual,
passive and auto can be implemented. The PV modules are
mounted on metallic structures of adequate strength and appro-
priate design, with the capacity to withstand the load of the
modules and higher wind velocities up to 150 km per hour. The
support structure used in the pumping system is generally hot dip
galvanized iron (GI). Facilities provided with the structure are:

Seasonal tilt angle adjustment and

Three times manual tracking in a day

The GI structures for mounting the solar panels could be so

designed that these can be manually/auto adjusted for optimal tilt
Fig. 7. Schematic of SPVWPS with oating pump. throughout the year. A simple provision is also provided so that
the panel can be manually adjusted three times a day (East-South
The versatility of the surface oating unit sets as shown in West) to face the sun optimally. This adjustment is done in the
Fig. 7, makes it ideal for irrigation pumping from canals and open early morning, at noon and in the afternoon to increase the total
wells. They draw the water from the reservoirs by adjusting height incident solar radiation on the solar panel surface substantially.
ability. In this SPVWPS, the pump set is easily portable and there is This provision helps the motor pump set to start early in the
a negligible chance of the irrigation pump running dry. Most of morning and function efciently until late in the afternoon,
these types use a single stage submersed centrifugal irrigation thereby increasing the total output of the pumping system nearly
pump. The most common type utilizes a brushless (electronically by 2550%.
commutated) DC motor. Often the solar PV panel array support
incorporates a handle or 'wheel barrow' type trolley to enable
4. Classication of literature on solar photovoltaic water
pumping system

3.3.2. Deep well pump set The basic components used in SPVWPS belong to different
Deep well pump is designed to operate beneath the earth elds of engineering. The water pump and the tracking system
used belong to mechanical, PV panel, DCAC inverter, pump con-
surface. The deep well submersible pump will not work unless it is
troller, charge controller and batteries belong to Electrical and
completely submerged in liquid. Unlike the surface mounted
Electronics; different algorithms used in maximum power point
pumping system, which sucks water out of the ground, a deep well tracking (MPPT) come under computer science engineering. Due
pump is designed to push water to the surface. A typical deep well to the interdisciplinary nature of the SPVWPS, researchers from all
pump is 24 ft long and 35 in in diameter. It consists of herme- the elds of engineering have contributed to make the system
tically sealed motor that is closed-coupled to the body of the water more efcient, cost-effective and maintenance free. Considering
pump. The motor drive impeller mounted on a single shaft. The these facts, the detailed literature available on SPVWPS has been
rest of the unit consists of a cable connected to the motor and a broadly classied and discussed in the subsequent subsections.
pipe that transports the water to the surface and into the storage
tank. This is the most common type of motor pump set used in 4.1. Studies and investigations of effectiveness and performance
solar pumping system for town and city water supply. The parameters of site specic design of SPVWPS
advantages of this conguration are easy installation, often with
Table 2 consolidates the investigations on site-specic appli-
exible pipe work and is submerged deep in the water thus pre-
cation and performance of SPVWPS. Chaurey et al. [16] investi-
venting away from potential damage. Both AC and DC motors can
gated the performance of seven PV pumping systems under the
be used along with the irrigation pump set and an inverter is meteorological conditions of India. They used 0.102 m diameter
needed for AC systems. Deep well submersible pumps are more submersible multistage centrifugal pump (CP) driven by three
protected from the climate and use the groundwater as a natural phase AC motor. The pumping systems were installed at seven
priming uid. Most submersible pumps, which are designed, different locations in Haryana, Tripura, Northern Rajasthan, Aru-
specically for solar power have an overall efciency of 4070%. nachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Western Rajasthan and Karnataka.
1044 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Table 2
Summary of investigations on performance of SPVWPS.

Authors [Ref.] Country Purview of work Conclusion

Chaurey et al. [16] India Studied performance of 7 solar PV pumps installed at 7 differ- Solar PV pumps can replace hand pumps to meet water demand
ent locations. at all Installation site.
Hamza and Taha [17] Sudan Conducted long term and short-term test on SPVWPS to check Solar pumps found suitable and reliable for meeting water
their suitability to meet water demand for drinking and demands in the village of Sudan.
Reshef et al. [18] Australia Investigation of efciency and performance of SPVWPS For optimal performance of the system, quality of load and PV
experimentally and numerically. array size should be properly matched.
Yahya and Sambo [19] Nigeria Conventional AC water pump was replaced by solar PV pump Solar PV pump's performance was found satisfactory to meet
and it is suitability evaluated. water demand of 20 m3/day.
Posorski [20] Germany Pilot project by GTZ Germany to demonstrate capability and Solar PVP system can suitably replace diesel engine based water
technical maturity of PVP systems and to increase their cost- pumping systems for Community drinking water supply system.
Clark and Vick [21,22] U.S.A Performance study of 02 identical solar PVP systems with and Cost of tracking system did not justify increase in quantity of
without tracking system. water pumped at given head.
Bione et al. [23] Brazil Investigation of performance of SPVWPS with xed, tracking Cost of water pumped (m3/day) by tracking system reduced by
and tracking with concentrating by V trough generator 19% and with that concentrating system by 48% compared to
xed system.
Arab et al. [26] Algeria Comparison of performance of single stage and multistage Single stage PV pumps showed high efciency for low head
centrifugal solar PV pumps. application whereas multistage pump had high efciency for
high head application.
Jafar [27] Fiji Development and testing of model to predict daily volume ow 8% deviation found between ow rate predicted by this model
rate from PV pump. and experimentally measured value.
Fraidenraich and Vilela Brazil Application of utilizability method to predict daily volume ow Maximum deviation of only 1.7% observed between pumped
[28] by solar PV pump. volume ow and that from long simulated 10-year solar radia-
tion time series.
Abdeen [30] Sudan investigation of the technical and economic feasibility of solar SPVWPS was the most feasible solution to meet water
PV water pumping system to meet the water requirements for requirements considering meteorological conditions of the
drinking, livestock feeding and irrigation purpose. Sudan.
Narvatre et al. [31] Spain Investigation of effect of installing SPV pumps in the 18 villages Solar PV water pumping system is most effective and sustain-
of south Morocco. able mean to meet water requirements.
Pande et al. [32] India Design and testing of SPVWPS to supply water to an orchard. Excellent performance of the system reported. Payback period
of 6 years reported.
Hamrouni et al. [25] Tunisia Investigation of the effect of solar radiation on the performance Under constant solar radiation condition, pump performance
of standalone SPVWPS, both theoretically and experimentally. dependence was more on radiation.
Mahjoubi et al. [34] Tunisia. Studied the economic viability of SPVWPS to fulll water Nomadic could get water at one place and settled.
requirement of nomadic of deserts of Tunisia.
Padmavathi and Daniel India Investigation of impact of employing SPVWPS in every house- use of solar water pumps in domestic applications lead to
[35] hold of city. energy savings, reduced peak power, reduced losses and hence
improved efciency of transmission and Distribution of elec-
trical energy.
Mandal andNaskar [36] India Study to establish the relation between the discharge rate and discharge increases with radiation and vice versa in same pat-
radiation and the relation between efciency and the output of tern. Furthermore, with the increase of output the efciency
SPVWPS also increases but does not follow any regular pattern.
Maurya et al. [37] Nigeria Development of an empirical model for SPVWPS. This model reduced the data acquisition and computation per-
iod and could be used to estimate the cost of owning SPVWPS in
poor developing countries like India, Bhutan and Nepal.
Mahmoud and Nather Egypt Feasibility and economic study of SPVWPS for remote areas of SPVWPS used efciently for water pumping in agricultural
[38] Egypt. sectors. Their operating cost is also low compared to like diesel
engine water pumping system.
Hamidat et al. [39] Algeria Suitability for irrigation of crops like wheat potatoes etc. SPVWPS could easily pump sufcient water for small-scale
irrigation with an area smaller than 2 ha

They reported that the efciency of all the PV pumping systems other parameters. The actual performances of all the pumps were
reduced at off design head conditions. All the multistage sub- 1025% lesser than the claim of the manufacturer. Furthermore,
mersible CPs achieved maximum efciency at designed para- Grundfos solar pumps were found suitable and reliable for sup-
meters. The average daily water output was sufcient to meet the plying water for the Sudan. Reshef et al. [18] investigated the
water demand of a typical Indian village. However, regular mon- SPVWPS through experiments and computer modeling for ef-
itoring of subsystems was essential for it's reliability. ciency and performance, at James Cook University of North
Hamza and Taha [17] performed the eld-testing of SPVWPS for Queensland Australia. They used PV array, an MPPT and a three-
drinking and irrigation purpose in remote areas of Sudan. They stage Grundfos CR2-30 CP driven by PMDC motor. They reported
installed three Grundfos SP4-8 submersible pumps at three dif- that the MPPT in the DC pumping system optimized the solar array
ferent locations. They analyzed the performance under local cli- size and improved the system efciency. Furthermore, for opti-
matic and working conditions from short and long term tests. mum performance, load quality and the PV array size should
Short-term tests were conducted to nd out the characteristics properly match.
curve of each pump during the daytime. The efciency of the Yahya and Sambo [19] designed and tested the SPVWPS to
pumping system at various solar irradiance and the minimum replace the conventional AC water pump at Usmanu Danfodiyo
irradiance to start the pump were estimated. The long-term tests University, Nigeria. They used a submersible pump coupled to
measured the daily volume ow rate of the pump for the total 3 phase 1.5 HP induction motor and 28 number of 60 WP solar
daily solar radiation. The study reported that the incident solar modules connected in series. They reported the satisfactory per-
radiation strongly affected the performance of the pumps than the formance of SPVWPS to fulll the daily water requirement of
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1045

Fig. 8. Fixed and tracking irradiance on a calm day (March 3,1996, Bushland, TX)
[21]. Fig. 9. Daily insolation at Bushland [21].

20 m3/day. Posorski [20] and GTZ Germany undertook a pilot

project named An International Programme for Field Testing of
Photovoltaic Water Pumps (PVP Programme) in Argentina, Brazil,
Indonesia, Jordan, Philippines, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. They
installed 90 PVPS of 180 kWp at selected sites to provide potable
water to the people and their livestock. This aimed to demonstrate
the capability, technical maturity and effective cost-utilization of
PVPS under the working conditions. They concluded that PVPS
were cost-effective when compared to diesel pumps for higher
kWp capacity. Furthermore, PVPS could replace diesel pumps for
community drinking water, if they participate in the installation,
commissioning and maintenance of the systems. However, the
uninterrupted operation of PVPS depended on after sales service
and the easy availability of spare parts.
The performance of SPVWPS depends upon the solar irradiance
on the solar panel. The intensity and the direction of solar irra-
Fig. 10. Daily water volume pumped at Bushland, TX (1996) with a Solarjack
diance change during day time. To capture the maximum solar submersible pump [21].
irradiance, the solar panel should follow/track the path of the sun.
However, the tracking system is a costly affair and it should justify
the increase in the quantity of water supplied by the pump. A few
investigations [21,22] have been reported regarding these efforts.
Clark and Vick [21] investigated the performance of two iden-
tical 100 W solar PV powered diaphragm pumps (model: SDS
D-228) at 30 m depth in Bushland, Texas. The rst set of pump
used PV panel mounted on a xed position. In the second set, the
PV panel was mounted on a passive tracking system (PTS). They
analyzed the generated data of both the pump sets observed over
a period of one year. They concluded that the tracking system
provided more solar energy during the year and it increased the
irradiance intensity level above 800 W/m2. However, the pump
could not utilize the increased intensity of radiation for producing
the additional amount of water. Also, the cost of the tracking
system was too high to justify the increase in the pumped water
quantity. Figs. 811 illustrate the behavior of SPVWPS with and Fig. 11. Fixed and tracking Solarjack pump efciency at Bushland, TX (1996) [21].
without tracking systems.The same authors [22] studied the per-
formance of SPVWPS using PTS and the xed panel. The PTS pumped) obtained for the tracking system was 1.41 compared to
involved heating of Freon with solar energy to move PV panel from 1.23 for xed conguration. For concentrating collectors, benet
east to west direction. They reported that the PTS increased 19% of ratio obtained was 2.49 compared to 1.74 for xed conguration.
solar power during spring and summer, but could pump only 15% The performance of directly coupled SPVWPS is difcult to
more water. The small increase in pumped water quantity com- predict due to radiation threshold (intensity at which pumping
pared to power was due to the controller, which restricted the starts) and non-linear dependence of ow rate on radiation
power going to the pump above 700 W/m2. intensity levels. Many investigators [24,25] have proposed math-
Bione et al. [23] investigated the SPVWPS under the meteor- ematical/simulation model to predict the radiation threshold and
ological conditions of Recife (PE-Brazil) with xed, tracking and ow rate dependence on the radiation intensity level. Kou et al.
tracking with V trough concentrating generator arrangements. [24] developed a simulation method to predict the performance of
They reported that the water pumping cost by the tracking system directly coupled PVPS. The PV array conguration for optimum
and the concentrating system reduced by 19% and 48% respectively operating point, effects of PV panel temperature and monthly and
than xed system.The benet ratio (in terms of volume of water yearly pumped water quantity were also determined. The
1046 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

simulated results on an hourly basis using the parameters IL, Io, Rs, rate is below the maximum capacity of the bore well. This leads to
Rsh and V were obtained. These parameters depended on the solar under usage of water extraction capability of an SPV pump [29].
irradiance and panel temperature. The results of the simulation Narvarte et al. [29] proposed a simple procedure to use PV pump
were compared with that from TRNSYS model and reported to be manufacture's graphic tools to calculate the maximum ow rate
in good agreement. from the pump, causing small variation in the water level in the
Hamrouni et al. [25] performed theoretical and experimental borewell. The obtained results were validated with results of
investigation on the performance of stand alone SPVWPS under DASTPVPS software and manufacturer's graphic tool. It was
the meteorological conditions of Tunisia. The system consisted of reported that the results of the proposed procedure and that from
PV generator, DCDC converter, DCAC inverter, submersible the software tool were in good agreement.
pump, ASM and a storage tank. They used SIMULINK to model PV Abdeen [30] investigated the technical and economic feasibility
generator, buck converter, inverter, ASM and pump. The model of SPVWPS in Sudan to meet the water requirements for drinking,
consisted of the entire previously developed model along with livestock feeding and irrigation purpose. He found the SPVWPS to
MPPT law and variable. They used solar radiation and ambient be the most feasible pumping solution to meet the water
temperature as input to simulate the results. They reported that demands. This can be attributed to the factors of a booming
under constant solar irradiance, PV generator output and pump economy, high population, vast area, remote rural areas, excellent
ow rate depended signicantly on radiation. Moreover, the sunshine, water scarcity, large-scale cattle farming and low
pumping performance characteristics degraded with the change in maintenance. He emphasized to encourage the involvement of
meteorological conditions. The experimental study showed the local manufacturers for low cost solar devices and make SPVWPS
best performance of the water pump during mid day. Also, the more economical and sustainable. Narvatre et al. [31] studied the
theoretical and experimental results were in good agreement. SPVWPS in the 18 villages of South Morocco from 1997 to 2003.
Arab et al. [26] compared the performance of two CPs. The rst The European company installed and commissioned these pumps
CP was a single stage pump with brushless DC motor (450 W) and under the supervision of a local NGO. An external agency was
second was the multi-cavity submersible pump directly coupled hired for the operation and maintenance of the system. The
with DC motor (400 W). Four different sites, namely Algiers, authors suggested that a local governing body was needed to take
Bechar, Oran and Tamanrasset were selected in Algeria. They used care of operation and maintenance issues. They also emphasized
a simulation model for both the CPs. The simulation model used that the society should be willing to pay the water charges for the
different load proles, tank capacities, two PV modules of different sustainability of the system.
ratings and array congurations and pumping heads as input. It Pande et al. [32] designed, developed and tested the SPVWPS
was reported that the single stage pump gave the best efciency for a drip irrigation system to irrigate an orchard. They conducted
for low pumping head application. The multi-cavity multistage eld-testing on 900 Wp PV arrays, an 800 W DC mono block pump
pump was the most efcient and suitable for high head applica- and three openable low-pressure compensating drippers.They
tion. Moreover, performance of the pump was inuenced by studied the effect of irradiance and pressure compensation in the
geographic location and the entire conguration. drippers on the pump size, water requirements, and the diurnal
The user has to choose the pump capacity judiciously to meet variation of the pump pressure. It was reported that SPVWPS
his/her daily water requirement from the knowledge of the solar delivered water at 70100 kPa pressure with the discharge rate of
pumping system output. However, it is impractical for system 3.43.8 l/h through each dripper. This quantity of water could
manufacturers to provide output data for a large number of irrigate one-hectare area within two hours. Furthermore, the
combinations of irradiance and pumping head. A few researchers payback period of installed SPVWPS was reported to be approxi-
[27,28] have used this combination in their investigations to pre- mately six years.
dict pumping system output. Jafar [27] developed the model to Durusun and Yilmaz [33] designed and developed internet
predict the volume ow rate from the SPWS for any combination based software program for data acquisition, monitoring system
of irradiance and pumping head under the meteorological condi- and to monitor overall performance of SPVWPS. Mahjoubi et al.
tion of Fiji. He compared the results obtained from the model and [34] studied the economic viability of SPVWPS over diesel gen-
the experiment. It was concluded that the results of the model erator (DG) in the deserts of Tunisia. They calculated the life cycle
were close to the experimental values (8% variation). The variation cost (LCC) of both the water-pumping systems. They reported that
in results occurred due uctuation in the solar radiation and the LCC for SPVWPS was 50% lesser than the diesel genset. Fur-
unsteady PV module temperature. thermore, the use of SPVWPS helped nomads of deserts of Tunisia
Fraidenraich and Vilela [28] proposed utilizability method to to get water and helped them to settle at one place. This brought
predict the performance of the SPVWPS. Utilizability method cal- social and economic changes in their lives. Padmavathi and Daniel
culates the maximum water volume, which the pumping system is [35] investigated the impact of employing SPWS in every house-
able to pump. The volume ow rate of SPVWPS depended non- hold in Bangalore city. They installed a small SPWS in place of grid
linearly on the solar irradiance on the PV surface. The authors electricity run water pumps. These pumps run throughout the day
derived an analytic expression to calculate the long-term average to ll the overhead tank. The impact of installing SPWS was stu-
of the volume ow of SPVWPS. The results obtained by this died by power ow analysis. They reported that SPWS were sim-
method were validated with the calculated maximum water ple, reliable, easy to operate, and pollution free during their
volume pumped by PVPS. These PVPS were located in four dif- operation. Furthermore, SPWS in domestic applications lead to
ferent Brazilian cities with well-dened and distinct climatic energy savings, reduced peak power and losses and improved
regions. It was concluded that the results obtained from both the transmission and distribution efciency of the of electricity.
methods were in good agreement with maximum deviation of Mandal andNaskar [36] assessed the performance of SPVWPS
only 1.7%. consisting of diaphragm pump coupled with DC motor and 35 Wp
The performance of the SPWS depends not only on the solar solar modules. They recorded the daily solar radiation from
irradiance, ambient temperature but also on the water level in a November to April, covering all the seasonal solar radiation. They
bore well. If the water level in the bore well is maintained, then also measured input (radiation*area of the solar panel) to the
constant head occurs only when friction losses are negligible. In system and output in terms of voltage and current. They for-
order to keep the friction losses minimum, large diameter pipe is mulated mathematical relation between the discharge rate and
used. The water level inside the well is constant if the pumping radiation and between efciency and the output. They concluded
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1047

Table 3
Summary of reported investigations on performance comparison of different types of solar pumps.

Authors [Ref.] Country Aim of work Outcome of work

Vick and Nolan Texas, USA Water pumping performance comparison of WEWPS and Efciency of WEWPS found more than the efciency of SPVWPS at
[54] SPVWPS pumping head of 30 m.
Vick and Nolan Texas, USA Investigation of performance of SPVWPS using helical rotor Cost of SPVWPS using helical rotor pump found more economical. Most
[55] pump at 03 different pumping head and 02 different solar suitable for small farmers and ranchers in developing country.
panel ratings.
Odeh et al. [56] Jordon Investigation and comparison of the economic viability of SPVWPS was more efcient and cost-effective to fulll water require-
SPVWPS and diesel water pumping system. ment as compared to diesel water pumping system.
Vick and Clark USA Investigation of the performance of four solar PV powered The pump performance curve graph obtained could help to select right
[57,58] diaphragm pumps at different simulated pumping heads. diaphragm pump for a certain application (daily water volume required
& pumping heads).
Vick and Clark USA Investigation of the diaphragm, helical and centrifugal Pump curve could be used to select appropriate pump for application.
[58] pumps
Parajuli et al. [60] Nepal Investigation of the techno economic feasibility of SPWPS SPVWPS found technically and economically most feasible energy source
Nepal for pumping water.
Vick and Clark USA Comparison of performance of diaphragm and helical rotor helical rotor pump was more reliable and efcient than diaphragm
[59] pump pump.

Table 4
Detail of the WEWPS and SPVWPS.


Rating of the 1.0 kW and 1.5 kW at 0.1 kW and 0.9 kW at a solar

system wind speed of 12 m/s radiation of 1000 W/m2
Rotor diameters 2.75 m and 3.05 m Solar panel area 1 m2 and 17 m2
Motor and 3phase 230 V AC induc- Smaller capacity pump with D.C.
Pump type tion motors with cen- motor with diaphragm pump, lar-
trifugal pumps phase ger capacity pump with induction
230 V AC motor with centrifugal pump

that increase and decrease of the discharge with the radiation

followed the same pattern. However, the efciency increased with
output without any regular pattern. Maurya et al. [37] developed
an empirical model for SPVWPS under the meteorological condi-
tions in Nigeria. This model established mathematical relation-
ships between array power and borehole depth, per capita water
use and rainfall and between borehole depth and capital cost of
SPWPS. They reported that the model reduced the data acquisition Fig. 12. System efciency at 50, 75 and 100 m, pumping depths for two PV array
and computation period and was very much useful to estimate the power ratings [55].
cost of SPVWPS in developing countries like India, Bhutan and
Nepal. Similar studies on the performance and effectiveness of
SPVWPS for particular site, application and climatic conditions are
reported in the literatures from [3853].

4.2. Comparative studies of performance parameters of different

types of solar pumps at a particular site

Table 3 consolidates the reported investigations on perfor-

mance of different types of solar pumps. Vick and Nolan [54]
compared the pumping performance of two wind electric water
pumping systems (WEWPS) and two SPVWPS (Table 4). The sys-
tems were tested at USDA-Agriculture Research Service, Con-
servation and Production Research Laboratory, Bushland, Texas. It
was reported that the efciency of the both WEWPS was higher
than the SPVWPS for a pumping depth of 30 m. The same authors
[55] tested a helical solar pump of 480 and 640 Wp PV panel rating
at 03 different heads of 50 m, 75 m and 100 m. It was reported that Fig. 13. Measured ow rate at 03 pumping depths for two PV array power ratings
solar PV powered helical pump performed well at all the pumping
depths. The SPVWPS with helical pump was economical and
studied. The three SPVWPS consisting of three CPs, IM and DC/AC
benecial for small farmers and ranchers in developing countries.
Figs. 1215 illustrate the performance of the solar PV powered converters with actual study data available, were installed. The
helical pump. remaining two were larger simulated notional systems. These two
Odeh et al. [56] investigated the economic viability of SPVWPS notional systems used data, extrapolated from the data obtained
and a diesel WPS under the meteorological conditions of Jordon. from the three SPVWPS. A set of ve diesel engine WPS of com-
Five SPVWPS of different sizes in the range of 2.815 kWp were parable capacity was located in the remote regions. The
1048 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Fig. 17. Net present values as a function of selling prices for ve different PV
pumping systems [56].

Fig. 14. Daily water volume at three pumping depths for a 480 W PV array power
rating (Bushland TX) [55].

Fig. 15. Daily water volume at three pumping depths for a 640 W PV array power
rating (Bushland TX) [55].
Fig. 18. Calculated pump efciency at 30 m head [57].

pumping heads. Two pumps, namely MHP1 and MHP2, were used
for low ow rates (28 l/min) and low to moderate pumping heads
(370 m). These were tested with 100 W of PV panel at pumping
heads of 20, 30, 50, and 70 m and with 160 W of PV power at 50
and 70 m pumping heads. Other two pumps, namely Quad1 and
Quad 2, were used for moderate ow (915 l/min) and shallow
pumping heads (1030 m). The pumps were tested at 20 and 30 m
pumping heads with 160 W of PV power. The performance and
pump curves for all the pumps are depicted in Figs. 1820. They
concluded that the diaphragm pumps supplied 1650 and 3650 l/
day at the pumping heads of 70 m and 30 m respectively. Same
authors [58,59] investigated the performance of the diaphragm,
helical rotor and CP. The details and conclusion of testing of these
pumps are given in Table 5.
Fig. 16. Cost of water per unit volume and daily water output as a function of Parajuli et al. [60] studied the techno economical feasibility of
pumping head for PV and diesel water pumping systems for a sample case of
SPVWPS in Nepal. They compared three energy alternatives:
system 2 [56].
Petro-diesel, Jatropha-based biodiesel and SPWS in the remote
village at Barchen VDC of the Doti district, Nepal. The investigation
comparative study of the economic viability was performed for
was on the economic parameters namely NPV, EAC and LWC and is
equivalent hydraulic energy (m4), interest rate, life of PV and diesel
depicted in Fig. 21. It was reported that without any subsidy, the
system components, salvage value, insolation level and fuel oil
LWC per unit litre of pumping water using 100% diesel and 50%
price. Following conclusions were drawn:
biodiesel were, 27% and 23% respectively. This cost was reported to
[1] SPVWPS was more economical for equivalent hydraulic
be higher than that of the SPWS. Furthermore, SPVWPS was most
energy, but diesel-pumping systems were more economical for
attractive and economical energy alternative under the meteor-
larger applications. [2] for a particular head, SPVWPS had a lower ological conditions of the village.
pumping cost. [3] uneven water demand and supply pattern
reduced economic viability of SPVWPS. Figs.16 and 17 illustrate the 4.3. Performance assessment studies of solar pump with different
cost-parameters affecting economic viability of ve SPVWPS. types of motors
Vick and Clark [57] investigated the performance of four solar
PV powered diaphragm pumps at the USDA-ARS research labora- SPWS are driven by different types of electric motors. Which
tory, Bushland, TX. These pumps were tested at different simulated type of electric motorpump combination will deliver best
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1049

performance has been the area of research. Table 6 consolidates consisted of a submersible BDC motor (600 W) driving an eccen-
the reported investigations on different types of motors used in tric screw pump at 30 m head. The eld test data were validated
SPVWPS. Some studies and their outcomes are discussed in this with computer simulation model INSEL (Integrated Simulation and
section. Environment Language). They reported that based on the energy
Lawrance et al. [61] investigated the performance of SPVWPS consumption and the losses at the individual component level,
with helical rotor pump driven by BDC motor and PV array for system B was superior and efcient than system A. The perfor-
livestock watering and irrigation applications. They simulated the mance of system A and system B in terms of pumped volume ow

performance of BDC motor and pump model using the software rate during one specic day is depicted in Fig. 22. Q meas and Q sim
PSI/e and validated with experimental results. They reported represent the measured and simulated volume ow rate during
good agreement between the simulated and the test results. Fur- the specic day. Fig. 23 illustrates the measured and simulated
thermore, signicant improvement in the efciency value of ow rate at the constant geodetic head plotted as a function of the
SPVWPS with BDC motor over brushed DC motor was reported. DC power (PDC) for both the systems.
Hans et al. [62] eld-tested the efciency and performance para- Swamy et al. [63] performed theoretical and experimental
meters of two different types of PV pumping subsystems (A and B) study on a PMBLDC motor drive coupled to the SPVWPS. They
in Oldenburg. System A consisted of a submersible asynchronous developed computer algorithms to analyze the dynamic perfor-
AC motor (1100 W) driving a three stage CP at 15 m head. System B mance of WPS under the conditions of varying solar insolation.
They reported that the efcient and low cost PMBLDC motor
reduced the overall cost of the drive system of SPVWPS even at
low insolation level. Chandrasekaran et al. [64] investigated the
performance of solar PV powered CP driven by a conventional DC
motor and PMDC motor. They reported that the PMDC motor-
based pumping system was more efcient than the conventional
DC motor-based system. Furthermore, the PMDC motor pumping
system had higher volume ow rate and was operated in more
speed range than the DC motor pump. Zaki and Eskander [65] used
a mathematical model to analyze the performance of a SPVWPS
using two different drive systems for the maximum power from
the PV array. A separately excited DC motor and IM were used to
drive CP of the SPVWPS. They reported that power extracted by
excited DC motor was more than the IM at all insolation level. In
case of excited DC motor, directly connected to the PV array,
controlling of motor excitation resulted in the increase of power.
Fig. 19. Measured ow rate at 70 m head [57]. The IM delivered maximum power by controlling the frequency of
voltage source inverter connected to the PV array.
Singh et al. [66] analyzed theoretically and experimentally, the
dynamic performance of the PMBLDC motor coupled to a pump
powered by a PV array. They reported that PMBLDC motor which
was simple in construction and easy to maintain, reduced the cost
of the drive signicantly. The results were in good agreement.
Lujara et al. [67] investigated the performance of PVPS with and
without MPPT using two different types of DC motor drive sys-
tems. The rst system consisted of a PMDC motor, PV array and a
progressive cavity pump. The DCDC converter as MPPT, was
interfaced between the PV array and the motor. The second sys-
tem, in addition to the PV array and pump, consisted of 2 pole IM
and PWM inverter. The investigation also aimed to select a suitable
drive system to match the pumping load and to model the losses
occurring in the components of PVPS. Proper matching of drive
system and load ensured maximum efciency of PV pumps at a
specic head. Modeling the losses ensured efcient utilization of
Fig. 20. Pump curves of diaphragm pumps [57]. pump power. They reported that SPVWPS based on PMDC motor

Table 5
Detail of different types of pumps tested for performance comparison [58].

Type of pump Diaphragm pump Helical rotor pump Centrifugal pump

1.Sun pump high head pump 1.Grundfos 6SQF-2 pump 1.CP with 1-phase 230 V motor
2. Shurow high head pump 2.Lorentz HR07-2 pump 2.CP with 3-phase 230 V motor
3.Sun pump Quad (moderate) ow pump
Conclusion 1. Sund pump demonstrated good reliability than 1. Grundfos pump performed for three years 1. CP are best suited for low head and high daily
Shurow pump as it pumped water f 2 yrs than with no loss than the Lorentz pump for volume ow rate.
1.5 yrs by later. one year with 50% losses. 2. A three phase motor is preferred over single
2. The Surow high head pump showed better 2. helical rotor pumps are suitable for high phase morot since performance of CP was higher
performance than the Sun pump high head pump head (50 to 150 m) application. and cost of the motor was same.
at lower pumping depth
1050 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Technical Investment Total Annual Cost of

System Design Analysis Operation

Investment Shares; Estimation of Annual

Equity ;loan:Subsidy Installments and


EAC Viability


Fig. 21. Approach followed in techno economic analysis of Solar PV pump [60].

Table 6
Study of SPVWPS with different types of motors.

Authors [Ref.] Country Types of motor used Conclusion

Lawrance et al. [61] Australia Brushless DC motor. Improvement in efciency of SPVWPS reported.
Hans et al. [62] Oldenburg Asynchronous AC motor and Brushless DC SPVWPS using brushless DC motor was superior and more efcient than the
motor system using conventional ASM.
Swamy et al. [63] India Permanent Magnet Brushless DC Cost of drive system to drive SPV pump has reduced using PMBLDC. Efciency of
(PMBLDC) SPVWPS was more even at low value of solar radiation.
Chandrasekaran et al. [64] India DC motor and permanent magnet DC PMDC motor base SPVWPS was more efcient than the conventional DC motor
motor. based water pumping system.
Zaki and Eskander [65] Egypt DC motor and induction motor. Induction motor gave more mechanical power by drawing more power from PV
array and hence efcient compare to DC motor.
Singh et al. [66] India Permanent Magnet Brushless DC PMBLDC motor is more efcient and less costly.
Lujara et al. [67] Tanzania Permanent magnet DC induction motor Pumping system using permanent magnet DC (PMDC) motor had more efciency
and AC induction motor. than the system using induction motor (IM).
Hamidat [68] Algeria ASM SPVWPS using asynchronous motor found suitable to fulll drinking water
demand and irrigation water requirement of small crops in Sahara region.
Kolhe et al. [69] India Permanent magnet DC motor PMDC motors performance is affected by variation in solar intensity and cell
Daud and Mahmoud [70] Jordan Induction motor Overall efciency of SPVWPS found to increase more than 3% by using induction
Chenni et al. [71] Algeria Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor ASM machine drive and speed controller had shown good transient and steady
(PMSM) and ASM state performance.

was more efcient than IM. Furthermore, to maximize the ef- reported that the short-circuit current was linear and open-circuit
ciency of the PV array and system, PMDC driven WPS was needed voltage was a logarithmic function of solar intensity.The short-
to be tted with a maximum power tracker (MPT). However, IM circuit current increased slightly with an increase in the cell
driven WPS did not require MPT, if proper matching of array, drive temperature. The PV array open-circuit voltage decreased with an
and load existed. Figs. 24 and 25 illustrate these characteristics. increase in cell temperature. The PV module reverse saturation
Hamidat [68] used mathematical modeling and experiment to current increased sharply with the increase in cell temperature,
measure the electrical and hydraulic performance of a surface CP causing open-circuit voltage drop. The overall effect of these var-
under the meteorological conditions of El-Golea (Algeria). The iations reduced the PV array efciency. Furthermore, manual
ASM (1.1 kW) was directly coupled to a CP. Three different PV tracking of PV arrays increased the pump output by 20% than the
arrays of 1050 Wp, 1400 Wp and 1750 Wp and array congurations xed tilted array.
of 7s  3p, 7s  4p and 7s  5p were tested for several TDH. He Daud and Mahmoud [70] designed, simulated and eld-tested
reported, for TDH values o13.5 m, array 7s  3p gave better ef- the performance of SPVWPS employing an IM for the desert well
ciencies than 7s  4p and 7s  5p. For TDH value 414.5 m, array in Jordan for one year. The system was designed to pump 50 m3/
7s  5p gave better efciencies. The surface pump was suitable for day of water at 37 m head. A mathematical model was used to
supply of drinking water and irrigation of small crops in the simulate the performance results. The simulated and the eld-
remote Sahara regions. Fig. 26 illustrates that the measured and testing results well matched. The authors suggested to operate the
simulated pump efciency values were almost identical. Figs. 27 pump at the ow rate and head corresponding to the maximum
and 28 illustrate the average monthly subsystem and system efciency given by the manufacturer. The overall efciency of
efciencies obtained between 13.5 m and 14.5 m of the TDH. Kolhe SPVWPS increased by more than 3% by using IM. This was com-
et al. [69] investigated the performance of PMDC motor coupled to parable to the highest efciencies reported elsewhere. Chenni
CP for different solar intensities and cell temperatures. They et al. [71] analyzed the dynamic performances of a PMSM and ASM
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1051

Fig. 22. Volume ow rate Q [m/h] during one day [62].

Fig. 23. Volume ow rate Q [m/h] versus DC power (PDC) [62].

Fig. 25. Efciency of the IM drive system With MPPT [67].

Fig. 24. Efciency of the PMDC motor drive system with MPPT [67].

in SPVWPS to drive a CP connected to PV array through an

inverter. The mathematical model of the PV array, inverter/motor
and controller was developed to analyze the performance under
varying solar insolation and pumping head. The model was also
used to analyze the performance of the motors under uctuating
voltage. It was reported that ASM machine drives and speed
controller delivered good transient and steady state performance. Fig. 26. Measured and simulated pumping efciency of the subsystem system [68].
1052 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

4.4. Performance assessment of solar pump with different ratings of proposed a mathematical model to relate M, array and battery size.
PV panel An optimization algorithm provided an optimum value of the
balancing parameter Mopt to reduce the LCC of the SAPS with
Solar PV arrays are the most important and the costliest com- desired reliability level. The Loss of Load Probability (LLP) was
ponents of SPVWPS. They share almost 80% of the total cost [68]. used as the reliability criterion. They concluded that the selection
In order to make the SPVWPS cost-effective, the solar array size of array size using the algorithm resulted in 22% cost-savings.
should always be optimized. Over sizing of the solar array will Soras and Mokias [73] developed a novel method to optimize the
increase the total cost of the system and undersizing will affect the size of SAPS using monthly average meteorological data. It used
desired output (i.e. Volume ow rate). Table 7 consolidates the Loss of Energy Probability (LOEP) criterion. Table 8 gives the
investigations on SPVWPS performance with different panel rat- details of these parameters. The optimal size of the SAPS ensured
minimum LCC and the desired reliability level. Cuadros et al. [74]
ings, sizes and other panel parameters.
proposed a design procedure to estimate the optimum size of solar
Groumpos and Papageorgiou [72] addressed the problem of
panels. The procedure estimated the solar panel dimensions
optimal sizing and cost-optimization of standalone PV system
before nal installations. These panels were used to power a WPS
(SAPS). They dened a term balancing parameter (M) and
for the drip irrigation of an Olive tree orchard situated in Badajoz,
Spain. The main stages of the procedure are shown in Fig. 29. They
reported that, the procedure could estimate the panel size for
irrigation of any crops in any country, provided soil characteristics
and specic crop parameters were well known.
Odeh et al. [75] developed a TRNSYS based simulation model to
investigate AC SPVWPS performance under different climatic
conditions in Jordan. The model determined instantaneous and
average efciencies of the system, subsystem and the PV array for
any specied period. Fig. 30 shows results generated from the
simulation model, laboratory and eld test. The simulation result
was validated by laboratory and eld test data. They reported that
the ow rate results obtained were in excellent agreement with
that of laboratory test and within 2.6% of the eld results. The
deviation was due to 5.7% variation between simulated and mea-
Fig. 27. Average monthly subsystem efciencies versus heads [68]. sured PV power values. Furthermore, the model could investigate
the performance of the entire SPVWPS as a function of pumping
head, solar insolation and PV array size. Fig. 31 illustrates that
increasing the PV array size resulted in a decrease in its annual
efciency. Large array sizes resulted in sharp reduction in ef-
ciency. Fig. 32 illustrates that the increasing PV array size from the
optimum, slightly increased the water unit cost whereas
decreasing PV size resulted sharp increase in unit cost.
Merino et al. [76] evaluated the performance of direct-coupled
PVPS under the meteorological conditions of Chile. They assessed
the energy losses due to mismatch between the PV array and the
pump motor. The losses were used to identify the associated errors
with existing traditional methods of PV system sizing. These
methods used monthly average of daily solar radiation to estimate
generated energy and water pumped. In the study, the authors,
estimated PV energy actually converted to mechanical work. It was
Fig. 28. Average monthly system efciencies versus heads [68]. compared with the hypothetical energy at the maximum power

Table 7
Summary of reported investigation on performance assessment of solar pump with different ratings of PV panel.

Authors [Ref.] Aim of work Outcome

Groumpos and Papa- Development of algorithm showing relation between balancing Using this algorithm 22%, cost-saving of SAPS has been reported.
georgiou [72] parameter, array size and battery size
Soras and Mokias [73] Development of novel method for optimization of SAPS using LOEP The optimum sizes of the SAPS, selected by this method ensured
criterion. minimum life cycle cost and desired reliability level.
Cuadros et al. [74] Design procedure to estimate most optimum size of solar panels Procedure can be adopted for drip irrigation system for any crop in
required to power a water pumping system for the drip irrigation any county's geographical location, provided soil characteristics and
system of an Olive tree orchard. specic crop parameters are well known.
Odeh et al. [75] TRNSYS based simulation model to investigate SPVWPS perfor- Selection of optimum array size ensures better efciency and econ-
mance under different operating conditions and PV array size. omy of SPVWPS.
Merino et al. [76] Study to assess the energy losses due to mismatching between the Because of losses actual work from PV array is 84% of the work
PV array and the pump motor. potential available from PV array.
Yesilata and Firatoglu [77] Investigation of effect of solar radiation correction to the PV array Signicant difference was reported in the PV array system sizing with
sizing and power output. measured data and most appropriate correction to the solar radiation.
Abdolzadeh and Ameri [81] Investigation of the effect of water spraying over PV panel on the Overall efciency of SPVWPS improved.
performance of SPVWPS.
Kordzadeh [82] Investigation of the effect of cooling solar PV panel by a thin lm of Daily volume of water and pumping head has been reported to
water. increase.
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1053

Table 8
The input data required for the sizing methodology [73].

Input data

Location data Latitude , ground reectance , monthly average daily isolation on a horizontal surface H , monthly average ambient temperature T .
Load data Monthly average hourly load Li, uncovered energy load fraction U.
PV-array data Efciency at reference conditions of insolation and temperature R, temperature coefcient for cell efciency , nominal operating cell temperature
(NOCT), degradation factor d, incremental array step A.
Battery data Average energy efciency B, maximum allowed depth of discharge DODs, battery-type coefcient Bc, average battery life NA.
Power conditioning PV-array wiring efciency w, maximum power point tracking efciency T, voltage regulator efciency VR, cabling efciency c.
Economic data Component costs, structure and foundation cost, economic evaluation period Y, general ination rate g, discount rate d, escalation rate for O and M

Fig. 31. Variation of annual average PV array, subsystem and system efciencies
with PV array size [75].

Fig. 29. A method to determine PV panel size [74].

Fig. 32. Annual water volume and cost-annuity per unit water volume as a func-
tion of PV array size [75].

effect of solar radiation corrections proposed by researchers [78

80] on the PV array sizing and power output of PVPS at Sanliurfa,
Turkey. They compared the results with experimentally measured
radiation intensity over the period of 20 years (19852004). A
signicant difference was reported in the sizing system with
measured data and most appropriate correction [78].
Abdolzadeh and Ameri [81] experimentally investigated the
effect of the water spraying over the solar PV panel front of 225 W
SPVWPS. Performance evaluation was done for the pumping head
Fig. 30. Measured (eld), measured (laboratory) and simulated water ow rate as a
function of PV array power [75]. of 10 m and 16 m. Experiment setup shown in Fig. 33 consisted of
two PV panels (45 W each) with 13.5% conversion efciency, posi-
point (MPP) and to the theoretical energy predicted by the equa- tive displacement surface pump coupled to PMDC motors and other
tions commonly used to size PV systems. They concluded that the measuring instruments. They concluded that the PV conversion
traditional methods of PV array sizing estimated that only 84% of efciency and the electrical power output of the solar cell decreased
energy was potentially available from the PV array compared to with the increase of its temperature as depicted in Fig. 34. More-
operating it at MPP. Yesilata and Firatoglu [77] investigated the over, at the elevated temperature, the performance degraded. The
1054 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Fig. 33. Schematic layout of pumping system test stand with water spraying system [81].

Fig. 35. Comparison of cells efciencies with and without water spray over the
Fig. 34. Comparison of cells power with and without water spray over the cells cells front at h 16 m [81].
front at h 16 m [81].

achieved by selecting each component of SPVWPS with optimum

spraying water over the cells increased the mean PV panel, sub- operating parameters. Table 9 consolidates the review of investi-
system and total efciencies by 3.26%, 1.40% and 1.35% respectively gations on optimization of overall SPVWPS. Investigations are
at 16 m head. The effect on these efciencies with and without discussed in subsequent paragraphs.
spraying water is depicted in Figs. 35, 36 and 37. They concluded Koner [83] investigated the performance of commercially avail-
that the spraying of 50 l/h of water resulted in a gain of 165 l/h at able mono block CP connected to DC series motor to utilize PV
the pumping head of 16 m as illustrated in Fig. 38. Furthermore, energy. He tested 03 optimization techniques, namely (i) Optimum
short circuit current (Isc) slightly increased and open circuit voltage Value of Motor Constant (ii) Reconguration of photovoltaic mod-
decreased with increase in PV cell temperature. In similar work, ules and (iii) Changing the water head. He reported that none of the
Kordzadeh [82] investigated the effect of cooling solar PV panel by a optimization techniques was viable for existing pump sets. Bucher
thin lm of water. From the study, the author concluded that for the [84] studied the techno economical aspects of different compo-
same solar panel rating, the daily volume of water and pumping nents of SPVWPS in remote regions. He carried out extensive
head were increased due to thin lm water-cooling. experimentation with submerged, surface and piston pump sets run
by DC or AC motor. The pump was a critical component and had
4.5. Optimization of overall solar PV water pumping system associated losses during its operation. Also, there is limit of con-
version of solar energy by PV system. The author concluded that
The efciency of solar PV panel is usually very low (1018%), required size of PV system and pump rating should always be more
hence the PV power should be utilized very efciently. This is than the design value to get desired volume ow rate for given
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1055

pumping components and layout of energy conversion systems.

Fig. 40 represents correlation of different parameters involved in
the design and yield prediction of pumping system by computer-
assisted procedure.
Arab et al. [85] used the LLP method to optimize the PVPS for
the different sites of Algeria. The LLP was dened as the ratio of
time of water decit divided by the total time of water supply
requirement. This technique gave a generalized and practical
graphical tool for sizing of SPVWPS. They reported that the PV
array size for southern location was smaller than the northern
location due to availability of high solar radiations. Furthermore, it
was suggested that LLP method could be effectively used in any
geographical area for sizing the PVPS. Benlarbi et al. [86] presented
an optimization technique for the global efciency of SPVWPS
using a fuzzy logic controller. The WPS under study consisted of CP
driven by a separately excited DC motor (DCM), a PMSM, and an
IM. The optimization parameter was the drive speed of the motor.
The fuzzy optimization procedure maximized the global efciency,
Fig. 36. Comparison of subsystem efciencies with and without water spray over which in turn, maximized the water output rate. Firatoglu and
the cells front at h 16 m [81].
Yesilata [87] used a multi-step optimization procedure to improve
the performance of directly couple SPVWPS under the meteor-
ological conditions of Sanliurfa, Turkey. This multi-optimization
procedure utilized long-term meteorological data (19852001) for
the design-site and manufacturer's data for the system compo-
nents. They reported that the proposed method could be used for
any site in the world as long as long-term weather data was
available. The method reduced the computation time for optimi-
zation of solar PV panel conguration to the desired ow rate.
Betka and Moussi [88] proposed an optimization technique for
SPVWPS consisting of mono-cellular CP driven by IM. The method
achieved optimal performance of SPVWPS by improving the motor
efciency by minimizing the non-linear criterion. This also
improved mechanical power and pump efciency hence ow rate
by the maximization of the motor speed. Simulated result of the
optimization method was in good agreement with the results
generated by Yao et al. [89] and Duzat [90]. Ghoneim [5] devel-
oped a simulation program to predict the long-term performance
and optimization of directly coupled SPVWPS under the climatic
Fig. 37. A comparison of total system efciencies with and without water spray conditions of Kuwait. Using this program, modeling of the PV array
over the cells front at h 16 m [81]. with MPP tracker, the submersible CP and DC motor was done.
This model used the information on the PV module, pump and the
motor, supplied by the manufacturer, as input parameters. The
performance was optimized by varying the size and orientation of
the PV array and the pump motor hydraulic system characteristics.
The simulation results were validated with the measurement data
sheet of the solar pump SQFlex, provided by Grundfos Company.
Both the results were in good agreement with an RMS difference
of only 2.5% and is shown in Fig. 41. The effectiveness of the
present model and the simulated water ow rate of the pump was
compared to the ow rate from the PVCAD program and the result
was in good agreement (4.5% deviation) as shown in Fig. 42.
Gad and Safya [91], developed a MATLAB program for sizing
and performance prediction of the direct-coupled SPVWPS under
the climatic conditions of Toshka. The program used models for
solar radiation data, the PV array with different tilt angles, tracking
schemes and pump controllers. The authors reported that the
proposed simulation model was very effective and accurate in
sizing, optimizing and predicting the performance at different
Fig. 38. Comparison of pump ow rates with and without water spray over the
designs and operating parameters. Glasnovic and Margeta [92]
cells front at h 16 m [81].
developed an optimization model for sizing SPVWPS for irrigation
in two different sites in Croatia. This model considered all the
head. Author emphasized that the complete knowledge of the relevant system elements of PVPS, local climate, boreholes, soil,
energy ow and losses during the operation, helped the designer to crops and method of irrigation and their characteristics. It was
arrive at optimum size of components of SPVWPS. Fig. 39 repre- reported that electrical power obtained by the optimization for the
sents the energy ow and losses in SPVWPS. The author suggested PV generator was relatively smaller than that of the usual method
precise procedure for a yield prediction, proper selection of the of sizing. Benghanem and Arab [93] investigated the performance
1056 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Table 9
Summary of investigations on optimization of overall SPVWPS.

Authors [Ref.] Types of optimization model/aim of work Conclusion

Bucher [84] Study of technical and economical feasibility aspects of solar photo- Computer assisted design procedure required.
voltaic as the energy source for water pumping.
Arab et al. [85] Loss of Load Probability (LLP) method to estimate the optimum size of This technique gives a generalized and practical graphical tool for
SPVWPS. sizing of water pumping system.
Benlarbi et al. [86] Online fuzzy optimization of the global efciency of SPVWPS. The fuzzy optimization procedure maximizes the global efciency.
Firatoglu and Yesilata Multi-step optimization procedure to improve the performance and Proposed method can be used in any other site of the world as long as
[87] utilization of directly couple SPVWPS. long-term weather data is available.
Betka and Moussi [88] Development of optimization method to optimized performance of This optimization technique improved mechanical power and hence
SPVWPS by improving the motor efciency by the minimization of a ow rate by the maximization of the motor speed.
non-linear criterion.
Ghoneim [5] Development of computer simulation program to predict the long- This model could be extended to design SPVWPS for any other
term performance and optimization of directly coupled SPVWPS. localities/sites with different meteorological conditions, which other
models did not permit.
Gad and Safya [91] Development MATALB based computer simulation program to solve This model predicted the daily global solar radiation on 1 m2 hor-
system-governing equation for sizing and performance prediction of izontal surface.
the direct -coupled PVWPS.
Glanovic and Margeta Development of an optimization model for sizing SPVWPS used for t electrical power of the PV generator, obtained by the new optimi-
[92] irrigation. zation method, was relatively smaller than that obtained by the usual
Hamidat and Benyoucef Development of two mathematical models of the subsystems (PV For given meteorological conditions, performance (average pumping
[94,95] array, pump and motor) of SPVWPS to predict performance of cen- efciency and average total efciency) of DP pump was better as
trifugal pump (CP) and positive displacement pump (DP). compared to CP.
Kaldellis et al. [96] Development of methodology for optimal sizing of a solar PV water Using this method, properly designed and optimized PV based water
pumping system, which would meet the water requirement, and pumping system of 610 Wp capacity could meet water requirement of
additionally to meet electrical loads. 05 persons and 30% of electricity requirement.
Bakelli et al. [97] Loss of power supply probability (LPSP) and life cycle cost (LCC) Very accurate in sizing SPVWPS.
analysis based optimization sizing model.
Correa et al. [98] Development of method based on combined MPPT approach mini- With the proposed method considerable reduction of the motor losses
mum losses point tracking (MLPT) approach. was achieved,
Martire et al. [99] Prevision model Accuracy of the mathematical model for sizing of the SPVWPS is very
Odeh et al.[100] Modeling of SPVWPS with CP based on eld experience and analysis Manufacturer's performance curves for motor and pumps were used
of long-term measured performance of several installed PV-powered as input to the model. This made the model more effective.
water pumping systems.
Betka and Attali [101] Optimization of SPVWPS was done by maximizing the daily pumped Proposed method was efcient for optimization but change of panel
water quantity via the optimization of the motor efciency for every temperature affected the accuracy.
operation point, the minimization the machine losses, the eld
oriented control and the maximum power tracking of the photovoltaic

SPVWPS to predict the performance of CP and PDP in Algeria.

These two models directly linked up the operating electric power
to the output ow rate of the pump. They reported that the
simulated results of the performances based on the proposed
models were in good agreement with experimental results. Also,
the average pumping and total efciency of PDP pump was better
than CP, as shown in Fig. 43. Furthermore, the average energy
losses were less for PDP and for high heads, PDP pumped more
volume of water, as shown in Fig. 44. Kaldellis et al. [96] proposed
a methodology to optimize SPVWPS to meet the water require-
ment, and electrical loads using rst and second order analysis.
The system is shown in Fig. 45. The rst order analysis was used to
determine operational characteristics of solar PV panel. The sec-
ond order analysis was used to increase the reliability of the cal-
culation result for estimating the optimal dimensions of the PVPS.
They developed an algorithm named PHOTOV-IV to analyze and
Fig. 39. Energy ow diagram of a PV pumping system: losses, according to dif- investigate the energy behavior of the SAPS. It was reported that
ferent conversion steps [84]. properly designed and optimized PVPS of 610 Wp capacity could
meet water requirements of 05 persons and 30% of electricity
of SPVWPS situated in 04 different sites in Algeria at Algiers, requirement.
Bechar, Oran and Tamanrasset. During performance monitoring, Bakelli et al. [97] developed size optimization model using
load prole was assumed constant with a total daily requirement MATLAB for SPVWPS under the meteorological conditions of
of 6 m3 of water. The authors presented a procedure to design a Ghardaia, Algeria. This model was based on different congura-
universal data acquisition system for Algeria which was easily tions (number of PV modules and number of storage days) by loss
accessible with a central server. They used the data with the LLP of power supply probability (LPSP) and LCC analysis. The LPSP and
method [85] to give the optimal size of the SPVWPS. LCC concept were used to evaluate the reliability and economy of
Hamidat and Benyoucef [94,95] proposed two mathematical the system respectively. LPSP is the probability that an insufcient
models for the subsystems with PV array, pump and motor of the power supply results when the SPVWPS with water storage tank is
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1057

Irradiance Water demand Water source

conditions (consumption) (Well configuration)

Available hardware
Option: additional user
(Equipment) data:
defined parameters
Compilation PV
Selection of generator
Iteration steps (if necessary)
according to demand Design day
and local conditions
(system optimisation)
PV array configuration

Water tank Motor/ pump

Battery Yield
Pipe work (if applicable) Assessment

Electrical control


Cost benefit
analysis (options)

Presentation of results

Fig. 40. System parameters inuencing PV pumping system design [84].

Fig. 41. Comparison between solar water pump characteristics obtained using the
present motorpump model and the manufacturer's measured data [5]. Fig. 42. The water ow rate for the day 16th September 2002 predicted using the
present model and the PVCAD program [5].
unable to satisfy the load demand. They proposed optimization
procedure based on the water consumption proles, total head, PV system and water storage tank, was considered as sizing
tank capacity and PV array peak power. The model linked pump parameters for the simulation. It was reported that higher
output to the input electric power and total head. The capacity of pumping system reliability could be ensured if the system
1058 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Fig. 43. Daily average pumping efciency and total efciency versus total heads for: (a) and (b) centrifugal pump, and (c) and (d) positive displacement pump [94].

Fig. 44. The daily average water volume of the selected sites versus total heads for the PV array conguration 6s  1p (300 Wp): (a) centrifugal pump and (b) positive
displacement pump [94].

conguration was kept higher for the same tank capacity. Fur- minimum losses point tracking (MLPT) approach for the IM used
thermore, for a moderate number of PV modules and water sto- in stand-alone SPVWPS. The MLPT algorithm was based on mini-
rage tanks, the LCC value was low. Correa et al. [98] presented a mum input current. It controlled the motor stator voltage to
method to compute the results of the combined MPPT and minimize the losses and track the maximum power point of the
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1059

Fig. 45. Schematic representation of Solar PV water pumping system for meeting water requirements and electrical loads [96].

Table 10
Summary of investigation on solar pump with MPPT and its different algorithm.

Authors [Ref.] Country Aim of work Conclusion

Katan et al. [102] Australia Investigation of performance of SPVWPS with and without MPPT Performance of SPVWPS improved d with MPT and sun
and with sun tracker. tracker
Akihiro et al. [103] USA Development of 02 algorithms named as IncCond and P&O for MPPT. Increase in 35% efciency was observed with the employ-
ment of MPPT.
Lalouni and Rekioua Algeria Comparative study between perturbation and observation method Daily pumped water quantity and pumping time both
[104] (P&O), fuzzy logic controller (FLC) and Neuro-fuzzy (NF) technique of increased due to application of neuro fuzzy algorithm in
Andoulssi et al. [105] Saudi Arabia Tracking maximum power point (MPP) by using a non-linear control Nonlinear control algorithm of the PV system is currently
strategy based on feedback linearization. under experimental stage.
Mahmoud et al. [106] Palestine Design of controller which enabled matching between the loads Increase in the pumped water quantity of 7.4% reported.
(pumps) and the generated PV power according to solar radiation

solar array via the fundamental frequency of the inverter. It was irradiation data as input. The pumping system consisted of the PV
reported that considerable reduction of the motor losses and array, positive displacement diaphragm submersible pump and
power savings up to 8% was achieved. PMDC motor with a power rating of 35 W. They reported that
Similar investigations on the overall optimization of the SPVWPS without MPPT had very low efciency due to mismatch
SPVWPS for a particular site, water pumping requirement and between PV module and DC pump motor load IV characteristics.
climatic conditions, are reported in a few other literatures [99 For the same test condition, with MPPT, the efciency of SPVWPS
101] and have been consolidated in Table 9. increased by 35%. Furthermore, the system with MPPT could utilize
more than 99% of PV capacity and it could pump up to 87% more
4.6. Performance assessment studies with MPPT and different algo- water. Lalouni and Rekioua [104] carried out the comparative
rithms for MPPT study between Perturbation and Observation Method (P&O), Fuzzy
Logic Controller (FLC) and Neuro-fuzzy (NF) technique of MPPT for
Table 10 consolidates the investigations on performance the ambient conditions of Algeria using MATLAB SIMULINK. The
assessment of solar pump with MPPT and its different algorithms. PV pumping system composed of a PV generator, DCDC converter,
Katan et al. [102] analyzed the performance of SPVWPS with DCAC converter, IM and CP. It was reported that the daily
MPPT, helical rotor pump and sun tracker. Simulation results were pumped water quantity and the pumping time both increased due
veried by theoretical and eld test results. The helical rotor pump
to the application of Neuro fuzzy algorithm in MPPT. Similar such
could use the different ranges of solar energy and had good ef-
studies are reported in the literature [58,105,106].
ciency at off rated speeds. It was reported that with MPPT, at the
head of 5 m, the ow rate was increased to 31.58 l/min from
12.77 l/min, which was a signicant enhancement. Similarly, with 4.7. New concepts and design ideas to enhance the effectiveness and
the inclusion of sun tracker, solar energy received by a PV panel to reduce cost and complexity
increased by 36%.
Akihiro et al. [103] proposed two algorithms IncCond and Small SPVWPS proved ideal for water supplies for drinking,
P&O for MPPT. They investigated the performance of directly irrigation and other usage for livestock. However, even today the
coupled SPVWPS for total energy produced and volume of water capital cost is too high in developing countries. Apart from the
pumped per day with these algorithms. The modeling of two cost, other requirements of the solar pumps are sustainability,
algorithms was done for subsystems and control systems. Simu- reliability, efciency and easy maintenance at local level
lation was done using MATLAB and SIMULINK using actual [107,112,113]. Table 11 consolidates the studies on new concepts
1060 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Table 11
Summary of investigation on new ideas, concept for reducing cost and complexity of SPVWPS.

Authors [Ref.] Country Aim of work Outcome

Whiteld et al. [108] UK Investigation of the performance of 300500 Wp rated Using optical concentrators, cost of electricity produced by
solar water pumping system by concentrating the solar PV panels can be reduced to halves.
rays on panel with optical system.
Liebenberg et al. [109] Republic of Investigation of the performance of linear actuator to Two cylindrical linear actuators, t coupled by a pivoting arm
South Africa replace motor used in SPVWPS. was the most promising solution
AVICENNE project [110] UK Development of PV pumping system of less than Low capacity PV powered water pumps can meet the water
500 Wp. demand at reduced cost.
Protogeropoulos and Tselikis Greece Performance testing of newly developed submersible Piston pump was more efcient than CP of same size.
[111] Fluxinos Solaux 200 coaxial piston positive displace-
ment pump of 200 W.
Short and Thompson [112] UK Consideration on sustainability aspect of solar PV water Without considering 02 design ideologies i.e. appropriate
(SPWP) pumps with 02 design ideologies -appropriate technology and VLOM, any technology related with
technology and VLOM. SPVWPS would not be able to sustain in any socio-eco-
nomic domain.
Short and Mueller [113], Short UK Design of Variable reluctance electromagnet actuator, Linear actuator generated enough force to pump water from
and Oldach [114] with a linear actuator to run reciprocating type pump 100 mm borehole at ranges of heads and swept volume.
Short and Burton [115] UK Investigation of pumping characteristics of new type of Pump operating on induced ow principle can reduce the
solar powered water pump based on induced ow cost and complexity signicantly.
Wade and Short [121] UK Studied optimization aspect of various prototypes of the Linear actuator showed 90% of peak efciency at 4 A current
linear actuators used in solar PV pump using Finite and from the position of 24 mm.
Element Method Magnetics (FEMM) program.
Fiaschi al. [123] Italy Investigation of the possibility of improving perfor- With proposed design of pump (DSP), 910% improvement
mance of deep well solar water pump by employing in the yearly pumped water yield had been reported.
divide shaft pump concept(DSP).
Tabaei and Ameri [124] Iran Investigation of the effect of static concentrator as Power output from solar PV has reported to be increased.
booster reector on the pumping performance of

and design ideas in the SPVWPS. This section discusses the work of pumps under simulated eld conditions. Testing was done
investigators in the area stated above. according to agreed procedures [110] and its performance was
Whiteld et al. [108] investigated the performance of 300 compared with already available GRUNDFOS SP8A-5 PV run CP.
500 Wp rated SPVWPS, which could pump 40 m3/day of water at They concluded that at particular head, the efciency of piston
10 m head. The costliest component in SPVWPS was the solar PV pump increased almost linearly whereas Grundfos reached to a
panel. The authors tested SPVWPS in different ways to reduce the maximum value then decreased. Furthermore, the piston pump
cost of the panel. They increased the power output of the solar cell was more efcient than the CP of the same size.
by concentrating the solar rays on a panel with the optical system. Short and Thompson [112] discussed the sustainability of solar
They reported that by using optical concentrators like cylindrical PV water pumps (SPWP) and PVPS. They opened that merely
shaped lenses, mirrors and Fresnel lenses, the cost of the elec- reducing the cost of solar panels and mass production of pumps
tricity produced was reduced to half. Moreover, by properly would not ensure the sustainability of solar PVPS in the long run.
choosing the components like progressive cavity pumps, BDC They suggested to extend the concept of Appropriate Technology
motor, the day average efciency of the pump/motor/controller and Village Level Operation & Maintenance (VLOM) in the
system improved from 40% to 60%. Liebenberg et al. [109] inves- design, manufacturing and working. The authors, using these
tigated the performance of different designs of linear actuator concepts, developed two designs of pump one on induced ow
congurations to replace motor of the diaphragm pump. Dia- principle and second used a linear motor directly coupled to pis-
phragm pump (with MPPT) had low efciency of 15% at 70 m head ton/diaphragm arrangement. They reported that with appropriate
and 94 Wp supply. The pump during operation was subjected to technology and VLOM, SPVWPS could sustain in any socio eco-
the problems of cam losses, insufcient cooling at slow speeds and nomic domain. Short and Mueller [113] and Short and Oldach [114]
sideways forces on the rotor shaft. All these problems, reduced discussed the sustainability of SPVWPS. Authors opined that
bearing life from 6 months to one year. To overcome these pro- though SPVWPS system was introduced in 1970, it lacked its
blems they suggested to replace the motor and cam with linear popularity in developing countries due to the complexity of elec-
motor or actuator. The proper design of the plunger of the dia- tric drive system and electronic controller. Other reasons were
phragm pump resulted in better efciency and longer life. Also, the difculty in getting trained electrician and spare parts at local
two cylindrical linear actuators coupled by a pivoting arm were level, which lead to the failure of SPVWPS. The authors proposed a
the most promising. simple design of variable reluctance electromagnetic linear
To reduce the cost of SPVWPS, a project named AVICENNE was actuator to run reciprocating type pump. It generated enough
carried out [110]. The objective of the project was to coordinate force to pump water from 100 mm borehole at different heads and
the different institutions from the EU and the Mediterranean swept volume. They reported that the variable reluctance elec-
countries working in the eld of development and testing of PVPS. tromagnetic actuator was ideal design to ensure the direct cou-
The participating institutes worked to develop PVPS of less than pling of PV panel with reciprocating pump. The authors empha-
500 Wp. Such low capacity PVPS could reduce the cost signicantly sized that cost, technology, social issues, pump failure and its
and make it affordable for the people of the developing countries. maintenance by local personnel were the major hurdles for
Protogeropoulos and Tselikis [111] tested newly developed sub- designing and working of a SPVWPS.
mersible Fluxinos Solaux 200 coaxial piston PDP powered by Short and Burton [115] discussed a new type of solar PV pow-
brushed PMDC motor. The nominal PV power rating was 200 Wp. ered diaphragm pump based on induced ow principle [116,117],
The testing was carried out in the test rig designed for submersible which could behave as a hybrid pump. Hybrid means a diaphragm
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1061

Fig. 46. The physical arrangement and conguration of the actuator and load [119].

pump could work with the characteristics of CP at low head and

high solar radiations. The same pump at high head and low solar
radiations could work with the characteristics of PDP. Hybrid
characteristic [118] emphasized to design a pump with auto set
Fig. 47. Dimensioned section view of magnetic core and armature [119].
up ability to deliver water to any site and head variations without
much modications and to act as standalone pumping units up to
500 Wp capacity. They reported that up to this power range nei-
ther CP nor PDP could work satisfactorily. Wade and Short [119]
investigated the performance of a linear actuator to serve as the
prime mover in a low technology, solar water pump. The physical
conguration and dimensions of magnetic core of linear actuator
used in the study are shown in Figs. 46 and 47. The drive system of
the solar water pump was simple, reliable, sustainable and easily
maintainable at local level [110,113,114]. The performance of the
prototype linear reluctance actuator was compared with SIMU-
LINK simulations of the system. The simulation and experimental
results were in good agreement. The authors reported that the
efciency of solar water pump using this linear actuator was very
small (only 8%).
Andrada et al. [120] proposed a design of SPVWPS to satisfy the
criteria of Appropriate Technology for rural population of devel-
oping countries. This system is depicted in Fig. 48. The system
consisted of a single acting reciprocating piston/plunger type pump,
reservoir, a two-phase variable-reluctance linear stepper motor,
linear actuator, a pulley and a counterweight. The novel component
in the design of the pumping system was linear actuator and its
cross-sectional view is shown in Fig. 49. This linear actuator con- Fig. 48. Solar PV water pumping system with linear actuator [120].
sisted of a simple electronic unit that optimally regulated the
electric power generated by a PV array and controlled the actuator new type of PV powered PDP. The pump was designed with a
pump assembly. The authors concluded that the proposed SPVWPS normal force reluctance linear actuator as the prime mover. The
could meet the water demand of rural communities in developing pump design is shown in Fig. 50. The simplicity was the main
countries. Also, it was reliable, easy to maintain and most of the consideration which made it cheaper, reliable and easy to maintain
parts could be manufactured locally in the developing countries. by the local people. It also met the prime requirements of any solar
Wade and Short in their work [121] designed, built and tested a PV powered water pump to be sustainable in villages of developing
1062 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

countries. The pump could lift 50 l of water per hour to a head of

2.4 m with 80 W well matched PV power supply. It was concluded
that the performance of the pump could be improved by increasing
the sophistication of the pump.
Wade and Short [122] extended their previous work [121] and
optimized the various prototypes of the linear actuators used in
solar PV pump using Finite Element Method Magnetics (FEMM)
program. The results of the generated program were in good
agreement with analytical model results. They reported that the
linear actuator showed 90% of peak efciency at 4 A current and
24 mm of plunger movement. Fiaschi et al. [123] investigated the
possibility of improving performance of deep well solar water
pump under the meteorological conditions of Italy. They proposed
Fig. 49. Longitudinal cross-section of the linear actuator [120]. the novel concept of the CP with variable rotational speed and
modular number of working stages i.e. divided shaft pump (DSP).
The design of the stages of the pump and related impeller is
shown in Fig. 51. The DSP, consisted of two parts in which certain
number of stages were activated or remained off depending on the
solar intensity. An automatic mechanical clutch was used to
engage and disengage the parts. The performance of the DSP and
standard centrifugal pump (SCP) with 46 stages and 3000 Wp was
compared at 100 m head. The optimum performance of DSP
achieved at low speed and full stage during early morning and late
afternoon and at high speed and less number of stages during the
mid hours of the day. It was concluded that the DSP showed 910%
improvement in the yearly pumped water yield.
Tabaei and Ameri [124] investigated the effect of booster
reector on the performance of SPVWPS under the meteorological
conditions of Kerman, Iran. The performance was evaluated for
stainless steel 304 and aluminum foil booster reectors. These
reectors increased the intensity of solar irradiance on solar PV
panels which in turn increased PV power output. The experi-
mental setup consisted of PV panels with booster reectors, MPPT,
one positive displacement surface water pump coupled to PMDC
motor, shown in Fig. 52. They concluded that the average power
output of the PV panel with and without aluminum foil reector
was 58.8 W and 51.6 W respectively, as shown in Fig. 53. The
power output of the PV panels with aluminum foil and stainless
Fig. 50. Annotated sectional drawing of cylindrical pump [121]. steel 304 booster reector, improved by 14% and 8.4% respectively.

Fig. 51. Schematic of standard single-shaft centrifugal pump (SCP) and divided shaft pump (DSP) with detailed sections of one stage and the related impeller [123].
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1063

Fig. 52. The experimental setup consisted of PV modules equipped with the booster reector (a) stainless steel 304 reector and (b) aluminum foil reector [124].

Fig. 53. Comparison of module power with and without booster reectors [124].

Also improvement of the mean ow rate of 18% and 9% was economic and LCC analysis of special duty PV powered DC oating
reported with aluminum foil and stainless steel reectors pump developed by Polyene Group Hyderabad. This pump was
respectively, as shown in Fig. 54. specially developed for small farmers owning shallow open wells
with 10 m head and three to ve acres of land with a water
requirement of 50,000 to 120,000 l per day. The pump consisted of
5. Low cost, low capacity solar PV water pumps status of single stage CP of cast iron coupled to 1.17 HP PMDC. They
technology reported that small capacity SPVWPS was a better choice for irri-
gation of small farms in a country like India. Potential of small PV
Table 12 consolidates the investigations on low cost, low pumps was counted in terms of volume application with asso-
capacity solar PV water pumps. Surendra et al. [125] presented the ciated reduction in costs, providing clean/reliable power source,
1064 V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067

Fig. 54. Comparison of pump ow rates with and without booster reectors [124].

Table 12
Summary of investigation on low technology, low cost-pump.

Authors [Ref.] Country Aim of work Outcome

Surendra et al. India Presented the economic analysis and life cycle cost-ana- Small capacity pumps are most suitable for country like India.
[125] lysis of PV pump developed for small farmers.
Dietmar Stuck Austria Development of new type of solar pump. Water pumping cost reduces signicantly by the application of this pump.
[126] Suitable for community drinking water supply in developing country.
Williams et al. Ghana Study, design and testing of the performance of low cost About 60% reduction in cost is possible, if pump is manufactured at local level.
[127] solar photovoltaic pumps.

reduction of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, creation of 6. Performance evaluation basis, longevity and reliability of
employment opportunities and bringing about a better life to the SPVWPS
small farmer community.
In his pioneer work, Dietmar Stuck, Austria [126] has developed The overall performance, reliability, longevity and testing of the
and manufactured a very new solar pump (NSP). The NSP is a well SPVWPS are very important before its prior installation to evaluate
pump, which is maintenance-free, salt-water resistant, efcient the viability of the system. These factors must be evaluated before
and can pump water out of wells easily up to a depth of more than the commencement of any project at any location. Testing of
100 m. In the NSP, the energy produced by the PV panels is SPVWPS and measuring the performance have been carried out for
transferred by a brushless electric motor (without battery). The the different geographical conditions by several authors [1653].
electric motor drives a gear, which causes a winder to rotate which Lal et al. [128] tested the eld performance of PV powered two
horsepower submersible water pump at Kota, Rajsthan, India. They
in turn is connected to the pumping lever and causes it to move
concluded that the PV pumps should be tested in real conditions
up-and-down. The water is pumped through the up-and-down
to predict the actual performance. Also, the testing of the pump
movement, to the surface. Actual site photo of the pump is shown
was necessary as the eld performance of the pump varied con-
in Fig. 55.
siderably from that claimed by the manufacturer.
Williams et al. [127] studied, designed and tested the perfor-
A technical report by Nottrott [129] proposed a design for a
mance of low cost solar PV pumps under the meteorological
deep-well, low ow PVPS for the site at the Puma Canyon Ranch in
conditions of Kumasi, Ghana. The solar PV pump was a radial ow
Goleta, California. The designed system replaced the existing sys-
centrifugal pump (RFCP) with a PMDC motor directly coupled to a
tem that pumped water from the New West well, using grid
solar PV array of 400 Wp (60 V  6.67 A). Four different RFCPs with
electricity. The report discussed the method to design piping
different impeller diameters of 165 mm, 135 mm, 125 mm and
system and other components of SPVWPS depending on available
115 mm were locally manufactured. The direct coupling of the
solar energy at the particular location, considering the physical
motor to the PV generator eliminated the use of complex elec- and environmental factors. These factors ensured energy ef-
tronic controller, which in turn reduced the cost of the pumping ciency, longevity and reliability of the system. Corrosion and its
system. The authors found that the solar pump SP115 with the long term effect on the piping materials was eliminated by
impeller diameter of 115 mm was the most efcient and cost- replacing the GI pipes with type-I PVC pipes. This increased the life
effective and needed a small solar irradiation of 600 W/m2 com- and economy of the system. Another factor was a slow recovery
pared to 700 W/m2 for SP165. A low value of radiation was rate of deep wells at the site due to more drawing water rate than
required for starting of the pump and it worked well, even early in the recovery rate of well. This halted the operation for certain
the morning and cloudy days, resulting in increased output. They duration. These problems can only be resolved by proper testing
reported that approximately 60% reduction in the overall cost of the SPVWPS in a particular environment and geographic
the pump could be achieved if it was locally manufactured. conditions.
V.C. Sontake, V.R. Kalamkar / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 59 (2016) 10381067 1065

(ii) Enhancement of SPVWPS performance by the application of

booster mirror [124].
(iii) Enhancement of SPVWPS performance by the application of
different coolants over the PV panel fronts [81,82].
(iv) Development of cheap techniques to prevent/clean formation
of dust on the PV panel front surface.

3. Research on power management/matching improvement.

(i) Development of new optimization methods for sizing solar

PV panel.
(ii) Development of cheap and simple technology MPPT/

8. Conclusion

Researchers from all the elds and various regions of the world
have carried out experimental, theoretical and mathematical
modeling on SPVWPS. In this review paper, most of the published
articles related to SPVWPS have been cited. These research articles
covered research related to different components of the SPVWPS
namely solar panel, pumps, tracking mechanism, pump controller.
From the discussion, it can be concluded that SPVWPS can be a
major pumping method in developing countries to supply water
for drinking and irrigation purposes. The research opportunities in
the eld of SPVWPS have also been presented in this review work.
This review work provides a good platform to researchers for
pursuing their research in the eld of SPVWPS.
SPVWPS has the great potential in India because of its geo-
graphical location. In spite of this, SPVWPS in India could not gain
popularity and applicability. The major reasons for this unaccept-
ability are high cost and non-sustainability of the system. The
author research work is to design and develop solar water
pumping system; taking into consideration earlier mentioned
aspects, under the meteorological conditions of Nagpur city, India.
Fig. 55. Rural water supply system: NSP solar pump [126]. The authors have developed a test facility for the testing of solar
PV operated submersible water pump at Visvesvaraya National
Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India.The authors also propose to
The new designs in pumping system support a much lower ow investigate the techno economic feasibility of low cost, low capa-
rate than the existing system, which help to prolong the service life of city solar PV operated submersible water pumps for supplying
the well and allow continuous daytime operation. These various drinking water for individual household and for irrigation of small
design considerations have enhanced SPVWPS reliability. farmlands.

7. Scope for further research

From the cited literatures in this review paper, the following The authors would like to thank The Director, Visvesvaraya
research avenues are identied in the eld of SPVWPS and can be National Institute of Technology Nagpur, Maharashtra, India, for
broadly classied in following three areas: sanctioning Grant under TEQIP for setting up Test rig for solar PV
powered submersible water pumps.
1. Research on pump improvement.

(i) Development of hybrid pump (auto setup ability) which has References
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