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Solar Water Pumping: An Overview

Environmental Carbon Solutions Pvt. Ltd,

R-8, Nehru Enclave, Nehru Place, New Delhi-110019

As a result. a number of technologies and devices have been developed and have become commercially available. As a result of efforts made during the past quarter century. i. and domestic needs inputs of energy.e. This growing consumption of energy has also resulted in the country becoming increasingly dependent on fossil fuels such as coal and oil and gas. Promotion of energy conservation and increased use of renewable energy sources are the twin planks of a sustainable energy supply. biogas. Advantages of renewable energy are that it is  perennial  available locally and does not need elaborate arrangements for transport  usually modular in nature. the main ones being biomass. Rising prices of oil and gas and potential shortages in future lead to concerns about the security of energy supply needed to sustain our economic growth. consumption of energy in all forms has been steadily rising all over the country.) Municipal and industrial wastes can also be useful sources of energy.Importance of Energy Energy is a basic requirement for economic development. and is generally not included in the term new and renewable sources of energy . Fortunately. industry. The economic development plans implemented since independence have necessarily required increasing amounts of energy. wind. but has been utilized all over the world for many decades. Every sector of Indian economy agriculture. small-scale units and systems can be almost as economical as large-scale ones  environment-friendly  well suited for decentralized applications and use in remote areas. commercial. transport. Increased use of fossil fuels also causes environmental problems both locally and globally. the sun. The Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources has been implementing comprehensive programmes for the development and utilization of various renewable energy sources in the country. India is blessed with a variety of renewable energy sources. and small hydro power. but are basically different forms of biomass. the country urgently needs to develop a sustainable path of energy development. Against this background. (Large hydro power is also renewable in nature. THE GREEN MANTRA 2 .

The water can be stored in tanks for use during non-sunny hours. which make it an attractive and sustainable option: global distribution. pollution free nature. A typical SPV water-pumping system consists of an SPV array of 200 3000 Wp capacity. communications. Most parts of India receive 4 7 kWh (kilowatt-hour) of solar radiation per square metre per day with 250 300 sunny days in a year. the photovoltaic route converts the light in solar energy into electricity. and power supply in unelectrified areas. thereby enabling the systems to operate at maximum power output. An SPV water pump is a DC or AC. pumping. experienced by us as heat and light. SPV Pumping System Water pumping is one of the most important applications of PV in India. and 30 m for drinking water. It is possible to use pumps with even greater head. Energy from the sun has many features. Interconnecting cables and electronics make up the rest of the system. mounted on a tracking/non-tracking type of structure. power generation. if necessary. Electronic devices are used to do this in some models. For maximum power output from the SPV array. the structure on which it is mounted should track the sun. and the virtually inexhaustible supply. The SPV array converts sunlight into electricity and delivers it to run the motor and pump up water. The array is connected to a DC or AC pump of matching capacity that can be of surface mounted. surface-mounted or submersible or floating pump that runs on power from an SPV array. especially for drinking water supply. SPV water pumps are used to draw water for irrigation as well as for drinking. water purification. The THE GREEN MANTRA 3 . which can then be used for a number of purposes such as lighting. or floating type. submersible. Solar energy. cooking. and other applications. The array is mounted on a suitable structure and placed in a shadow free open space with its modules facing south and inclined at local latitude.Solar Energy India lies in the sunny regions of the world. can be used through two routes: the thermal route uses the heat for water heating. The highest annual radiation energy is received in western Rajasthan while the north-eastern region of the country receives the lowest annual radiation. The normal pumping heads are in the range of 10 metres (m) for irrigation. drying.

power from the SPV array is directly delivered to the pump in the case of DC pumps. THE GREEN MANTRA 4 . it is possible to irrigate up to 6 hectares of land for certain crops.5 hectares of land under a variety of crops except paddy and sugar cane (assuming a 10-m water table). A two-horsepower SPV pump could irrigate about 2 3 hectares of land under many crops except paddy and sugar cane (again assuming a 10-m water table). Using the same pump along with drip irrigation. No storage batteries are used in an SPV pump. however. an inverter is used to convert the DC output of the array into AC. The cost of an SPV pump depends on the capacity and type of pump. An SPV pump based on a one-horsepower motor can irrigate about 1 1. In the case of AC pumps.

Either ground. which is used in higher lift applications. and is captured for use. 2. THE GREEN MANTRA 5 . Pump Pumps for village water pumping are typically submersible low-volume. When solar energy hits the top layer of Silicon. Secondly. which include the higher lift helical coil (like a screw) and the less costly and lower low rate diaphragm pump. 3. the controller is an electronic switch to control when the pump goes on and off. Solar (PV) Panels Solar panels are electrical devices that generally use Silicon-an element made from sand-and most commonly used in the manufacturing of computer chips. Controller The controller has two primary functions. Some racks can passively or actively (using a motor) track the sun to maximize the efficiency of the PV panels. They often have brush-less DC motors for long life and little maintenance. it monitors the characteristics of the electricity being produced by the PV panels (volts and amps) and electronically modifies these values to enable the pump to run longer and more efficiently. it frees electrons from the Silicon atoms. Large enough to ensure backup in case low weather conditions do not allow for pumping. The flow of electrons is electricity. There are two types: positive displacement. PV panel pack Racks are used to mount the solar panels. Storage Tank A tank to store water until it is ready to be consumed. These free electrons are attracted to the bottom layer and flow towards it. The controller monitors electricity from the PV panels. 4. high-lift types. many are user-adjustable to meet the sun at a more optimal angle. 5. First. roof.Components of SPV pumping system 1. the water level in the well. and the water level in the tank to ensure efficient and safe pump operation. The other type is a centrifugal pump (spins to create suction). or top-ofpole mounted.

8. solar photovoltaic panel or concentrating solar reflector or lens toward the sun. but thinner and more flexible. 7. Solar powered equipment works best when pointed at or near the sun. at the cost of additional system complexity. If the water points are not at the tank. Electrical Wiring Power wiring in conduit is installed from the solar array to the controller. There are many types of solar trackers. Control wiring in conduit is installed from the controller to the float switch in the tank. Electrical Wiring is installed from the pump in the well up to the controller. similar to PVC. and performance.25 or 1 PE pipe. PE (Poly Ethylene) pipe is a thin plastic pipe. of varying costs. The piping from the pump to the top of the well is generally a 1. sophistication. reflector. then piping needs to be installed from the tank to the watering points.6. Water Piping A variety of water piping is needed. THE GREEN MANTRA 6 . The sun's position in the sky varies both with the seasons and time of day as the sun moves across the sky. so a solar tracker can increase the effectiveness of such equipment over any fixed position. Solar Tracking System (Optional) A solar tracker is a device for orienting a daylighting. PVC piping is then installed from the wellhead to the inlet at the top of the storage tank. This wiring is inside the well casing is generally special submersible pump wiring.

htm THE GREEN MANTRA 7 .30.celindia.Suction head Max.m/day SPV DEEPWELL WATER PUMPING SYSTEM (Model DW 1200)¹ SPV panel Type of motor pump set Max. Total Dynamic head Capacity of motor Mounting structure 1200 Wp Submersible 70. Total Dynamic head Capacity of motor Mounting structure 1800 Wp Centrifugal DC monoblock 6.000 liters per day at 70m total head on clear sunny day with three times tracking of SPV panel when solar radiation on horizontal surface is: 5.0 metres 12.000 liters per day at 30m total head and 12.000 liters per day at 10m total dynamic head on a clear sunny day with three times tracking of SPV panel when solar radiation on horizontal surface is: 5.0 metres 2 HP MS hot dipped galvanized with three times Manual tracking facility Water Output: The system would deliver 30.5 kWH/ Considerations for PV powered water systems 1. Types of Water Pumps SHALLOW WELL WATER PUMPING SYSTEM (Model SW 1800)¹ SPV panel Type of pump Max.m/day ¹Source: http://www.0 metres 2 HP MS hot dipped galvanized with three times Manual tracking facility Water Output: The system would deliver 1.5 kWH/sq.

htm THE GREEN MANTRA 8 .0 metres 2 HP MS hot dipped galvanized with three times Manual tracking facility Water Output: The system would deliver 42.m/day 2.000 liters per day at 30m total head and In India the solar radiation varies between 4-7 kWh/m²/day ¹Source: http://www.celindia. Total Dynamic head Capacity of motor Mounting structure 1800 Wp Submersible Insolations is usually measured in sun hours (1 sun hour=1 kWh/m². due to seasonal and climatic variations. Daily Insolation Levels The power produced by a PV system depends on the isolation (amount of sunlight) available.5 kWH/sq.SPV DEEPWELL WATER PUMPING SYSTEM (Model DW 1200)¹ SPV panel Type of motor pump set Max.000 liters per day at 70m total head on clear sunny day with three times tracking of SPV panel when solar radiation on horizontal surface is: 5. This insolation varies for each site and month to month. about equal in intensity to sunshine on a clear sunny day at solar noon).

3. any unobstructed. An array should not be shaded by obstructions like buildings or trees. a slightly western orientation is preferable to due south to avoid morning haze or fog. generally south facing surface is a potential array location. Although photovoltaic arrays that face within 15° of true south receive almost full sunshine. Obstructions that cause no interference in summer may cast long shadows when the winter sun is low in the sky. Orientation and Location of Photovoltaic Arrays Orientation refers to position of a surface related to true south. THE GREEN MANTRA 9 . In many areas.

Note. Water pump and motor 4.Cost and Economics of Pumping Systems To be cost effective. PV modules: Current (2010) costs from the factory are about Rs 100/Wp for quantities of 100 to 250 modules.There are four major elements in the capital costs of a PV-powered water system: 1. Cost Appraisal of a PV. control devices etc) 3. hand pumps will be the norm for village water supply. wind or other electric systems. This is because of the recommended 3 sunless days water storage for PV systems. PV array modules 2. wiring. however that a larger capital expenditure for the storage system may be required with a PV system than for other types of water pumping systems. The costs may come down for larger THE GREEN MANTRA 10 . and the costs of hand pump use will be the baseline against which other mechanical systems are compared. Water storage and distribution network Since the storage and distribution system would be the same for all power sources for water-pumping projects. Balance-of-system (BOS) components (structures. the PV option must be less expensive (over the system s life) than feasible mechanical pumping alternatives. In many remote areas. such as diesel.Powered Pumping System The following information is needed for the cost appraisal of a water pumping system: Economic: Period of analysis (Usually equal to the lifetime of the longest lived component) Discount rate Differential inflation rates for certain items (if any) Technical: Lifetime of each main component in years Costs: Capital cost for complete system Capital cost for replacement components Annual maintenance and repair cost Installation costs Capital and Installation Costs. we will disregard it for the purposes of this analysis.

procurement. The supplier provides annual maintenance contract to the beneficiary at Rs 1950 after initial guarantee period of 1 1/2 years. The cost of maintaining the pump is difficult to estimate because of variations in local repair capabilities. 10 lakh.000 for 2 HP pump and Rs 2. wiring etc.nic. The solar panel is expected to provide about 20 years of satisfactory service under normal conditions. 00. 4 lakh while a 5-HP pump costs Rs. Therefore for the replacement cost of water pump after 7 yrs will be Rs for 4 HP pump respectively. We are assuming that the cost of a solar water pump is 20% of the total cost of the system given above.² ¹ http://beta. Operations and Maintenance Costs: The operating costs of a PV pump are nil.ece ² http://planning. The motor and the pump require the usual periodic maintenance like The panel has to be protected from breakage by external agencies. The cost of 2-HP solar water submersible pump is Rs.up. The life of solar pump is taken as 7 yrs and for PV modules it can last for 20-25 yrs. Water Pumps: Costs for pumps vary depending on the type required for the application.¹ This includes the total setup cost of the system which includes PV modules. water THE GREEN MANTRA 11 . even though the cell itself may last much longer. lubrication and replacement of worn parts. The only maintenance requirement is occasional washing of the surface to maintain maximum optical transmission through the glass. Some manufacturers cover the cell/array with unbreakable glass.thehindu. It is also expected that there will be further reduction of costs of PV modules in coming days.

dirt and fume problems Financial Analysis of Solar and Diesel water pumping systems: Solar water pumping system: A pumping system will last a certain time before it needs replacement. THE GREEN MANTRA 12 .Advantages/Disadvantages of Solar powered water pumping system and Diesel powered water pumping system. with other things remaining the same as in Solar pumping system (storage system. In a PV system.000 Maintenance cost= Rs 1000/year Cost of a dc solar water pump = Rs 2. whereas the pump may have to be replaced every 7-10 years. 00. for example. Pump Type Solar (PV powered) Principal Advantages y y y y y y y Low maintenance Clean No fuel needed Easy to install Reliable Long Life Unattented operation System is modular and can be matched closely to need Moderate capital cost Can be portable Extensive experience Easy to install Disadvantages y Relatively high capital cost y Lower output in cloudy weather Diesel powered y y y y y Maintenance often inadequate.000 Diesel water pumping system: A diesel pumping system consist of a generator and a AC submersible pump. 00. Cost of a 5 HP solar water pumping system =RS 10. water distribution system etc) The generator will last for 7-10 years before it needs replacement and the pump needs to be changed after 5-7 years. reducing life y Fuel often expensive and supply intermittent y Noise. the panels should last 20-30 years.

Solar water pumping system will cost around 50% (including subsidy) of the amount spent on diesel water pumping system. THE GREEN MANTRA 13 .Cost of a 5 HP diesel generator = Rs 60.375/hr = Rs 44.000 5 HP solar water pumps.28. It is estimated that from the installation of 10. we found that solar water pumping system is far more beneficial and economic as compared to diesel water pump system.000 C= Rs (60.5 (Price of diesel/liter) = RS 44.000 (for 10.375*5*365/year (running 5 hours a day for 365 days a yr) = Rs 80984. 62600 CERs will be generated each year.000 Operation costs= 1.000) =Rs 85.000 + 25.25 litre/hr * Rs 35.97. In addition we can avail the CERs generated from the installation of solar water pumping system.000 Cost of a 5 HP AC submersible water pump = Rs 25.000 pumps). The current exchange rate for CERs is: 1 CER= 13 (approx) 1 =Rs 65 (approx) Thus the amount generated by selling the CERs in INR in a year will be Rs 5.375/year Maintenance costs =Rs 2000/year After analyzing both modes of drawing water for irrigation.