Module Aim and Orientation
Due to significant advances in technology and drops in prices for solar panels, solar pumps have become an economical, technically and environmentally viable alternative to conventional pumping systems.
Nevertheless, few people are aware of the potential and risks associated with solar pumping for irrigation. Often the solar pump is not optimally integrated into the irrigation system, which results in inefficiencies. Consequently demand amongst producers is low and the reluctance of financial institutions to finance them is high.
The GET INFORMED module provides essential information for agricultural advisors and financial service providers to understand the operating principle of SPIS and to differentiate between the individual system components. Moreover, it starts to describe how the different configurations of the components can influence the performance of the entire system. The GET INFORMED module will allow agricultural and financial service providers to support potential users of SPIS with up-to-date information on the pros and cons of the technology and its individual components.
Brief Description of the Module
Compared to conventional energy systems, the use of solar energy has some specific characteristics, which must be considered when planning a Solar Powered Irrigation System (see DESIGN module).
The following steps describe in detail the available configurations and individual system components of an SPIS operating under constantly varying conditions due to daily and seasonal fluctuations.
The description of the individual components of an SPIS and the relations between them are preceded by information on the basics of solar energy and irrigation. When solar energy and irrigation are combined in one production system we call this a Solar Powered Irrigation System. Typical configurations of SPIS are presented in this module and in the DESIGN module.
1. An overview to solar and irrigation
2. Solar generator
3. Mounting structure
4. Controller and inverter
5. Water pump
6. Monitoring system
8. Irrigation head
9. Fertigation system
10. Irrigation system
- Burney, J., Woltering, L., Burke, M., Naylor, R. & Pasternak, D. (2009): Solar-powered drip irrigation enhances food security in the Sudano–Sahel. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (5), 1848–1853. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0909678107. Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1848.abstract
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sonnenenergie (DGS) (2008): Planning and Installing Photovoltaic Systems: A Guide for Installers, Architects and Engineers: Earthscan (Planning and Installing Series). Retrieved from https://books.google.de/books?id=fMo3jJZDkpUC&printsec=frontcover&hl=de&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Hahn, A., Sass, J. & Fröhlich, C. (2015): Manual and tools for promoting SPIS. Multicountry - Stocktaking and Analysis Report. GFA Consulting Group. Retrieved from https://energypedia.info/wiki/Solar_Powered_Irrigation_Systems_-_Technology,_Economy,_Impacts
- KPMG (2011): The Rising Sun. A point of View on the Solar Energy Sector in India. India. Retrieved from https://www.kpmg.de/docs/The-Rising-Sun.pdf
- NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2012): Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Solar Photovoltaics. Retrieved from https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56487.pdf
- Raghavan, S. V., Bharadwaj, A., Thatte, A. A., Harisch S., Iychettira, K.K., Perumal, R. & Nayak, G. (2010): Harnessing solar energy: Options for India. Center for Study of Science, technology and Policy (CSTEP). High Grounds, Bangalore. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/abyshares24/harnessing-solar-energyoptionsforindiafull-report
- Schmidt, R. (2012): Aplicaciones de Energía Solar Fotovoltaica; Diseño, Implementación, Experiencias.
- Woltering, L., Pasternak, D. & Ndjeunga, J. (2011): The African Market Garden: The Development of an Integrated Horticultural Production System for Smallholder Producers in West Africa. In: Irrigation and Drainage 60 (5), 613-621. doi: 10.1002/ird.610.
- European Commission, Joint Research Centre (2012): Photovoltaic Geographical Information System (PVGIS). Geographical Assessment of Solar Resource and Performance of Photovoltaic Technology. Retrieved from http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis.
- Irrigation Association (2017): Irrigation Glossary. Retrieved on http://www.irrigation.org/IAGlossary.
- Meteonorm: Meteonorm Software. Irradiation data for every place on Earth. Retrieved on http://www.meteonorm.com/en/.
- NASA (2016): Surface meteorology and Solar Energy. With the collaboration of Atmospheric Science Data Centre. Retrieved on [http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/sse http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/
Some mounting / tracking system manufacturers provide product-specific design tools, which can usually be found on the relevant manufacturer’s website.