Solar powered irrigation pumps

This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM , 14 May 2021

Print date: 13 April 2024 03:50

Description of the innovative solution

Solar energy Water availability Renewable energy Irrigation Agricultural development

Modern water pumps and agricultural irrigation systems utilize relatively high amounts of either gas or electrical energy. Solar Powered Irrigation Pumps offer an alternative that relies on a cleaner energy source and are increasingly found in rural, peri-urban, and urban areas, proving useful in a wide range of applications from residential, to commercial agricultural - depending on the size of the unit and amount of solar panels. This solution functions by attaching a solar panel, or a photovoltaic array, to a water pump, providing a renewable source of solar energy to power the pump, eliminating or greatly reducing the need for fuel-burning mechanisms by replacing them with a renewable solar source. There are different types of solar pumps including rotating and positive displacement pumps which can be both submersible or surface based. In the simpler design models, pumps powered by the sun provide crops with water when it is sunny - often making it critical to attach/include a timer mechanism to control flow and use water resources efficiently. Although solar panels are commonly used today to power lights and heaters, using solar energy as a mechanism to power irrigation pumps is highly sustainable as it is the most abundant energy source on Earth today.

Supply chain segment

Agricultural inputs and primary production practices

Maturity level

Moving to scale


Food availability Climate mitigation Water use

SDG target

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities


Urban Peri-urban Rural

Examples and additional resources

Real-world examples

See this solution in action in different contexts and settings around the world

Additional resources

Learn more about this solution through studies, articles, business cases, and other information

Solar Driven Irrigation Systems for Remote Rural Farms
Scientific paper
This paper investigates solar powered irrigation technologies (PV and solar thermal technologies) that can be utilised by independent farmers in small-scale remote rural farms in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Shared by IFSS Portal Research Team


Connect to others working on and with this solution around the world

No contacts yet.