May 8, 2019
4 Min. Read

The Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Solar Water Pumps

Solar-powered systems have been growing in popularity in Tanzania recently and we’re not surprised!

There has been a growing push toward renewable energy. The cost of installation for a solar system can be high in the beginning, but gets cheaper, in the long run, to have it in your home/business. Some people tend to be astounded that solar pumps exist and we get a lot of questions regarding the solar pump system.

We have decided to make an FAQ guide about solar pump systems. Let’s have a look:

Some of the frequently asked questions regarding Solar Water Pumps

What are solar water pumps?

A solar water pump is also known as a solar photovoltaic water pumping system. This system is similar to the old pumping system you know, except it’s powered by solar panels instead of electricity. A whole solar water pump system will comprise one or more solar panels, a motor pump set, and a controller device to operate the pump. An inverter and batteries might be required depending on the situation.

The way it works (without going into too much detail) is that the solar panel when hit by light produces DC (Direct current) that is then used to power the pumps. In some cases, the pump/motor might require an AC (Alternative Current), in these scenarios an inverter is used to convert DC to AC.

You can visit our offices to see the components of a water pump system. You can also visit our projects page for a quick look at a solar water pump system.  Solar water pumps are great to use when you need to extract water from rivers, boreholes or other water sources for irrigation, livestock, and other purposes.

What is a submersible Vs Surface solar water pump?

The difference between these two types of pumps is in the names (among many other things). A submersible water pump is one that needs to be underwater at all times to function. These are best used in boreholes and wells. They tend to be more expensive to install and maintain.

On the other hand, a surface solar water pump is one that stays above water. It’s best used where the water table is within a depth of 10 meters. These pumps are easier to install and maintain compared to the submersible types. Pipes are attached to the pump to bring water from the water source and take it to where it needs to go.  

What is the difference between AC and DC solar pumps?

A DC Pump is a pump with a motor that runs on DC current. An inverter is not needed with these types of pumps as the solar panel already produces DC currents. The same can’t be said for AC Pumps that have a motor that runs on AC current and so needs an inverter installed to function.

Does it work during cloudy/foggy days?

The pump uses solar power to run the motor, so cloudy/foggy days can impact the normal operation of a solar water pump unless it’s hooked to a hybrid power supply. It’s not advised to hook your pump up to an alternative power supply without consulting your solar water pump experts.

Additionally, we anticipate cloudy/foggy days that’s why we include a tank(s) in the design of a solar water system for your project. You can see an example of this here.

The tank acts as a “battery” of sorts as it stores water for you during sunny days and you can later use it during cloudy or foggy days.  

Why Should I use a solar water pump?

There are many reasons why you should use a solar water pump. For starters, it has lower recurring/maintenance costs. Once installed, a solar pump doesn’t need electricity or gas in order to run. This saves you on the cost of fuel and electricity.

What are the different types of solar water pumps?

There are 4 types of solar water pumps; submersible, surface, AC, and DC water pumps. They have been looked into in the previous questions. Please feel free to contact us to get a more in-depth explanation of these types of solar water pumps.

Do I have to use batteries with a solar water pump?

Generally, you don’t need batteries when setting up a solar water pump system especially if you have somewhere to store the water you pump. With that said, if you have a high water consumption and need water pumped all around, you should have batteries integrated with your system.

Can I hook it up to my existing solar installation?

This can be possible to a certain extent. We can’t fully answer this question here until we have had the chance to evaluate your previous solar installation. We can have our solar technicians come inspect your installation and provide you with the appropriate advice. Simply contact us here.

What Maintenance is required for a solar water pump?

There is a reason we state that solar pumps are cheaper in the long run. They require little to no maintenance when compared to their diesel and even electric counterparts. They have a longer life expectancy (they can still produce electricity for 25 years). The most maintenance needed on a panel is the cleaning of the solar panels. Cleaning allows the panels to operate efficiently as dust and dirt can affect their efficiency.  

Where can I get solar pumps in Tanzania?

There are many suppliers of solar water pumps in Tanzania, but lucky for you, we know one of the best renewable energy companies in Tanzania. We, Gadgetronix,  are a leader as far as renewable energy is considered. We have a team of experts that can advise you on the best equipment and systems to use for your project. You can view some of the projects that we have completed here.

Can you show me similar projects that you have done?

Yes, we can. You can view all of the solar-powered projects (and other related projects) that we have done here. Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experts.

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