Low Cost Solar Irrigation

“Greenpeace Innovation Challenge Winner. The only solar pump that fulfilled all the design criteria and won 5 awards in this worldwide contest. Suntrolley is a 1 hp portable solar water pumping system which can replace diesel irrigation pumps for small farmers. It can lift well water 50 meters.”

Atom Solar Suntrolley on Facebook
(The cost appears to be around $1,600 and can pump up to 70,000 liters/day.)

Photovoltaic water pumping system by Ball Aerospace can lower pumping costs by 80%.
Photovoltaic water pumping system by Ball Aerospace can lower pumping costs by 80%.

“It has been an amazing process working with the team of engineers from Ball Aerospace, who have volunteered their time to successfully lower the cost of photovoltaic solar pumping by 80%. We will start the pilot tests at 10 locations in Gujarat, India with our partner Rajesh Shah and his organization, SAVE.

It will take nine months to fully evaluate the pilot test and incorporate what we’ve learned from our participating farmers into our business plan. We plan to raise approximately 1.5 million dollars for the commercial phase rollout, starting a year from now. I think these developments will not only transform solar pumping, but also provide electricity to off-grid rural villages.”

Paul Polak’s Summer 2014 Newsletter

Low Cost Solar Pumping System (less than $1,000 do-it-yourself system made with standard components that will irrigate ½ hectare for one year)
Solar Water Pump Installations in Rajisthan, India (explains how the government is helping install tens of thousands of these systems)

4 thoughts on “Low Cost Solar Irrigation”

  1. I have two 12 volt pumps. One submersible and the other inline. The inline one puts out about 49 PSI so that’s good enough for the house. My submersible pumps 2 gallons a minute at 200 feet below surface no problems.

    I think I spent 300 for both of them.

  2. A one HP pump? Seems a bit much to me.I see, im into small aquaponics systems. I don’t think large fields needing large amounts of water is a very good idea.A lot of waste.
    A small greenhouse with Aquaponics can feed a family and you get fish out of this method.

    • Many people who would benefit from solar pumping don’t have greenhouses. They live in hot climates such as India and Africa where greenhouses aren’t needed. Fields allow them to grow large quantities of food for market. They’re farmers. Combine solar pumping with drip irrigation and this concept can greatly improve the lives of around 1 billion people. Affordable irrigation is one of the greatest needs in the world. Watch that last video and you’ll see how the government is gearing up to finance tens of thousands of these solar pumps. There are around 2-3 million diesel irrigation pumps just in India. They use expensive fuel and frequently require maintenance. If the price of solar continues to drop, solar irrigation systems will soon be used by millions.

      Interesting option to consider: The last video shows a solar water pump being used in combination with a shade cloth structure. This is another idea that can help millions of farmers and homesteaders. The shade cloth enables you to grow a wider range of crops at higher yield using less water. Some are open air. Some are enclosed to keep insects out.


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