Solar water pumps are a great alternative to the more traditional electric water pump. Many people throughout the world today are converting over to solar energy and solar water pumping applications have been around for a while now.
Solar Water Pumps have proven to be the perfect piece of equipment
They can operate in some of the most remote areas where water may not be so easily accessible. This type of pump is also perfect for solar water heaters, fountains, ponds, livestock watering, irrigation and all types of commercial and residential pumping. They come in a wide range of sizes covering different fluid, flow and pressure. Not only solar water pumps are cost-effective, they are also a clean and simple substitute to windmills and generators using fuel to run. They can easily be set-up in any remote locations where electricity is not available.
Solar energy for water pumping works with the use of solar panels. When placing the solar panels, in order for you to receive the most output from your pumps, you want to make sure that they are placed where the sunlight will directly be set on them. It is always a good idea to keep any obstacles out of the way. For optimal performance, keep your solar panels free from tree limbs, dust and other residues.
Another way of getting the most from your solar water pumps is by using solar panels that are set-up on an automatic tracking system. This kind of installation allows the panels to follow the path of the sun as it rotates around the earth. With this tracking feature your pumps will work more efficiently and for longer periods.
Fixed solar panels always face south and do not work at maximum potential as the sun moves away from the panels. Although stationary panels do not work at their best all the time, they are less expensive than those using the tracking system. Which type you need is dependent on your requirements, purposes and budget for the solar water pump.
Also do keep in mind that fixed panel will generally handle more physical abuse from the wind.
Simple solar water pumps without batteries will only work when the sun is out. This means that if there is a heavy cloud that is blocking out the sun or that it is night time, your water pump will stop working. The prime months that will allow your pump to work at maximum output are the fall, spring and summer months. These are the months when the sun sits in the sky longer during the day.
Solar pumps can work during the night
If you want your water pump to work in all weather conditions even during the night, a battery back-up source is needed. The solar energy coming from the sun is gathered by the solar panel and converted to DC electricity (12-24 volts). This electricity is used to charge the batteries thanks to a solar charger /controller. The role of the solar charger is to make sure that the batteries are charged at the right voltage and are protected from over or under charging. This ensures a longer life-span to the batteries. Using such systems is naturally a good way to go, as water moved during the day can still be drawn upon when it’s dark. It should be mentioned that aside from replacing the batteries every 2 years or so, solar water pumps require very little to no maintenance. The life expectancy of a solar pump can exceed 20 years if you choose the adequate product and right brand.
If for any reason the pump has to run from an AC source (110 or 220 volts) then a device called inverter must be connected to the battery output. The inverter task is to convert the DC voltage coming out from the battery to an AC voltage suitable to feed the pump.
But the most common setup use solar pumps running on 12 or 24 volts designed for solar applications. Such low voltage pumps remove the need of an inverter.
The most cost-effective DC solar water pumps are called surface pumps. On this type of pumps energy consumption can easily be reduced by half when compared with pumps operating on AC electricity.
Another type of solar pump is the submersible one. Submersible pumps are mainly used for pumping deep wells. They are suitable for livestock, irrigation and residential purposes.
Which ever type you wish to install, using solar energy and solar water pumps is the best decision you can make. Not only you’ll make substantial savings but you’ll also be making your contribution for a cleaner environment.