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Irrigation Made Easy Using Solar Pumps

Solar Powered Water Pumps use generated electricity to pump water. Common applications are water for livestock, crop irrigation, drinking and cooking water supply.

Solar Powered Water Pump Applications

During hot months and in hot areas the requirement for water is high. Many farms in Kenya need stable and consistent water for irrigation.

Solar water pumps are electrically driven pumping systems, powered by photovoltaic panels (Solar Panels).

Solar water pumps use the generated electricity to pump water. According to each individual need, a farmer in Kenya could use the solar water pumps  for following purposes:

  • Water for livestock
  • Water for crop irrigation
  • Fish Pond Aeration
  • The pumps can also be used for drinking and cooking water supply.

Solar Powered Water Pump systems are fairly basic installations:

Pump Size

Correct sizing of the pump and controlling devices is important, as the water supply or harvest may rely on constant water supply.

The sizing of the Solar Powered Water Pump needs to be done according to location and usage of the system.

What components are used for Solar Powered Water Pump installations?

A solar water pump installation is a fairly basic system and can be installed by anyone in Kenya. It typically consists of a water pump (submersible or surface pump), solar panels and tubes.

Most solar water pump systems don’t use batteries.

Selecting the solar water pump

You should be aware that different water pumps are used for different applications:

Usually the water level will determine which pump to use. Different types of water pumps can be selected to be used in streams, wells or in ponds.

We can divide water pumps into two types:

  1. Submersible water pumpscan be used to lift water from great depths of up to 700 feet deep.
  2. Surface water pumps can be used to pump surface water of 10-20 feet deep.

Selecting the solar panels

The best way to select the right components is to review the amount of water required per day.

Based on the number of liters required per day, the farmer can select the right water pump and then see the total power required that needs to be produced by the solar panels.

It’s usually indicated on the solar pumps the number of watts that are required to produce the desired water flow.

After selecting the size and type of the solar pump, use the available information to calculate the watts of the solar panels.

Here a complete overview of components for a typical Solar Powered Water Pump system:

Should I use Batteries?

A water pump does not necessarily require batteries.

To save costs, the majority of solar powered water pumps can run directly from the solar panels.

Electricity aimed at running the water pump is not stored in batteries, but the water is instead stored in a water tank or pond. This way the water is stored and can be used anytime required.

Benefits of Solar Powered Water Pumps

Solar water pump installations are versatile and can be used for various applications-:

It enables people to manage their livestock watering, irrigation, drinking water supply, and other residential applications.

Usually the need for water is greatest during the hot sunny days. During these peak times the solar panels also produce most power and most water will be pumped into the storage tank.

Due to the simplicity of solar powered water pump systems, this technology is reliable, and requires little maintenance. A solar pump system can save farmers in Kenya a lot of fuel money that is usually incurred from diesel and petrol pumps.