Solar powered irrigation pumps

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

Description of the innovative solution

Solar energy Water availability Renewable energy Irrigation

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...

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.

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

Contacts

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

No contacts yet.

Pathways to uptake

Engage with our “backcasting tool” to imagine and design “pathways to uptake” for this solution in your setting.

This process involves defining a future vision of this solution being used in your context, and then working “backwards” to identify necessary steps to achieve this vision by 2030. Going through this exercise as an individual or with a team can help to clarify the WHAT/WHEN/HOW of moving a solution (or package of solutions) towards having major impact. We hope these pathways will inspire outside-of-the-box thinking, creative approaches, and actionable concrete steps to move ideas into action.

Pathway builder
image