Is a Solar Powered Pump right for You?
Solar Powered Pumping: Choosing the Pump you Need
Solar pumping in wells, ponds, or irrigation is an ideal solution in isolated areas where there is no connection to the electricity grid, when you are looking to replace expensive gas/diesel pumps, or when creating a beautiful water feature. Depending on the depth of the well and the flow of water required, a submersible solar powered pump may be best suited to meet your needs while saving you money.
Solar pumping has multiple applications in rural or urban areas. It is common in mountain houses without connection to the grid for pumping domestic consumption, on farms, acreages and animal troughs far from grid connection points, as well as water ponds for the prevention of forest fires in remote areas. Solar pumps are also ideally suited for urban areas, being relatively quiet compared to any gas pump/generator.
There are different types of solar pump technologies, but undoubtedly the pumps that offer the best performance are submersible pumps that work with direct current. With direct current solar pumping, we can take advantage of the flow generated in the solar panels directly without the need for converters.
Besides, these types of pumps can work with voltages much lower than the normal, so that we can take advantage of the first rays of sunlight for pumping, even at a small flow.
However, if you want to install a solar pump, how do you choose the solar pump you need? Next, we will take a look at some of the details:
The head is the vertical distance between the pump and the upper water level (tank) plus the head losses of the pipe.
The vertical distance between the pump and the upper water level can be obtained from the depth of the well plus the vertical height at which the tank is situated concerning the starting point of the well.
Finally, it is necessary to consider the pressure losses that can occur in the pipes due to friction and turbulence generated when water circulates. Above all, if there is a long stretch of pipeline between the well and the tank.
What daily amount of water will we need?
To choose the pump, we also must establish the amount of water we will need to pump daily.
To carry out this calculation, we must carry out a small analysis of the possible estimated water consumption; the consumption necessary for domestic use per person, the expenditure for animals, the consumption for irrigation.
As an example, we estimate the following quantities: people 30 liters/day, cows 40 liters/day, sheep 10 liters/day. By contrasting these values with the type of pump, you can get a good idea of the need flow rate.
Choose the type of pump that adapts to your needs
Once we know the head that the pump should have and the amount of water needed per day, we can establish according to the flow curves of each manufacturer the type of pump to choose.