As the use of environmentally friendly solar water pumps for irrigation in Africa grows, so does agriculture development in remote locations of the continent. Solar powered irrigation is the easiest way to produce power in Africa's vast off-grid locations. The nature of irrigation in arid regions requires scattered water pumping stations, hence small solar pumps. Diesel-powered pumps are widely employed in farming and grassland irrigation. However, their main problem is high maintenance cost, and short life expectancy. These and recent concerns for the environment associated with the diesel engines call for a viable alternative source of power for irrigational water pumping. Renewable energy sources have gained a lot of attention as a replacement for fossil fuels or as a supplement in hybrid systems.
However, with the continued rise of electricity and fuel costs, so has solar powered irrigation adoption grown exponentially in existing commercial farming enterprises. Solar powered irrigation feeds the crop during sunny weather- when the crop water needs are at their highest. This high amount of energy is therefore released at the right time, when it is needed most.
Our submersible DC solar pumps work with photo-voltaic cells solar panels for both deep well, and shallow well irrigation water evacuation. Each solar cell has two or more specially prepared layers of semiconductor material that produce direct current (DC) electricity when exposed to light. This DC current is collected by the wiring in the panel. It is then supplied either to a DC pump, which in turn pumps water whenever the sun shines. Although photovoltaic (PV) systems have a high input cost, it has many features which make it attractive as an alternative source of power for water pumping. It is clean, as it produces no carbon emission, it generates no noise, and it has low operational and maintenance cost.
A solar water pump's efficiency is based on key 3 variables; pressure, flow-rate, and input power. This wire to water efficiency is a ratio of the hydraulic energy that comes out of the pipe, and the energy coming over the electrical wires through the solar panels. Knowing that 40% of the global population relies on agriculture as its main source of income, access to water remains an ongoing struggle for many farmers. This is what solar aims to change and introduce a cost-effective future for around 500 million small-scale farmers all around the world
Back to Africa.....we have the most dominant 'sunny days' of the year, and 9% of the world's fresh water resources estimated at a staggering 4,000kms cubic annually! This is why at Grekkon Limited we have purposed to deploy solar powered water pumps as the perfect alternative to any other fuel-based resource.
Types of solar water pumps for irrigation
For stand-alone solar pumping systems, the main types are; rotating and positive displacement pumps. Centrifugal pumps are the common choice for rotation because they are designed for fixed head applications. Their output increases in proportion to their speed of rotation.
Solar water pumps for irrigation are also categorised as submersible and surface pumps, based on their placement.