What components are used for solar water pump system?
A solar water pump system is a fairly simple structure and typically consists of a water pump (submersible or surface pump), control electronics, solar panels and tubes. Most solar water pump systems do not use batteries.
Selecting the solar water pump
Different water pump types 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.
There are basically two types of solar water pumps:
1. Submersible water pumps can be used to lift water from great depths of up to 700feet deep
2. Surface water pumps can be used to pump surface water of 10-20 feet deep.
Standard solar water pump
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 gallons or liters required per day, one can select the right water pump and then calculate the total power required that needs to be produced by the solar panels.
The pump manufacturer will provide information on the number of watts that are required to produce the desired water flow. After selecting the size and type of the solar pump, the available information can be used to calculate the watts of the solar panels.
To increase the pumping volume and time, the solar panels can be installed on tracking system. With the use of solar trackers the system output can increase by up to 30%.
Solar water pump systems typically also come with control electronics, or simply: solar water pump contolers, that allow for various automatic operational settings without the system operator actually being present, which is particularly important in off-grid and fountain applications or where the user cannot attend to the system every day.
The control electronics are not simply start and stop switches, but also allow to set water pumping schedules, speed of flow and pressure of water supply. Advanced controlers have integrated online functions, enabling users to monitor from distance the status and condition of the system and the related applications.
Two solar water pump controlers being tested
Are batteries necessary to operate a solar water pump system?
A solar water pump does not necessarily require batteries. To save costs, the majority of solar water pumps can run directly from the solar panels during the day. 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. For off-grid water pumping requirements during night, batteries will however be useful to power the water pump system with the electricity produced by the solar panels during the day.
Benefits of solar water pumps
Solar water pump installations are versatile and can be used for various applications:
It enables people to manage their drinking water supply, livestock watering, irrigation, and other residential applications. Usually the need for water is greatest during the hot sunny days. During these peak times the PV panels also produce most power and most water will be pumped into the storage tank. Due to the simplicity of pv powered water pump systems, this technology is reliable, and requires little maintenance.