What is solar irrigation?
Solar irrigation uses the sun’s energy to power a pump which supplies water to crops to help growth.
Why is irrigation important?
A unique approach to the creative process. Every project begins with an idea, but it’s what happens to that idea along the way that counts.Getting water to the field
Anyone who has lifted water up from a well or river and carried it any distance will know of the energy this takes. It is therefore not surprising that humans have looked for ways to reduce the workload and increase the efficiency of lifting water over the years. The first recorded mechanism for lifting water was in the Egyptian times (over 4000 years ago)!
More recently, pumps requiring either manual labour (treadle pumps) or fuel (petrol, diesel or electricity) have led the way in moving water for irrigation. These water pumps are designed to move more water to the field with less effort for the farmer. They have largely succeeded in this; however, they are still relatively demanding. They require a lot of maintenance, a regular supply of fuel (either human energy or fossil fuel) and someone to watch over them as they operate.
My previous treadle pump was much more labour intensive and it slows down the pace at which you can work. But as you use the solar pump, once you’ve connected it, it will just run and irrigate your farm while you concentrate on other things, it is easier.
Matthew – Spunvertek customer
Bringing solar energy into the mix
In a single hour, the amount of power from the sun that strikes the Earth is more than the entire world consumes in a year!
But it’s only in the last decade, with the price of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels plummeting, that the sun as a source of energy for running water pumps has been available to small-scale farmers. This is a huge opportunity for rural off-grid farms to expand crop production and survive the dry season in an environmentally friendly way.
For a Spunvertek Stand-alone Solar water pumps the process of solar energy to water pumped is simple. The sun strikes the solar panel which converts solar energy into electrical energy. This electrical energy powers a controller which powers and turns a motor which sucks water up and pushes water out. The simplicity of this system means fewer moving parts and less maintenance which results in less downtime and expense for the farmer.
What’s more, solar energy is free and in abundance during the dry season when crops require the most irrigation water. Farmers who harness this free energy efficiently by pumping water to the fields and into elevated tanks during the day while the sun is the strongest can reap huge benefits.
Accessing solar irrigation pumps
There are several different solar pumps available on the market. All come with different specifications and are suitable for different farm sizes and distance to water.
Spunvertek manufacture conventional surface pumps inverters suitable for irrigating up to 10 acres of land.