Why use Solar for Water Pumping

Solar pumping technology is not new and has been in use for water pumping since the late 70’s. However in the recent past it has undergone a series of technical and cost developments resulting in advanced, robust, versatile, low maintenance equipment that could be considered as a default option for water provision in places with medium to high solar radiation, especially in off-grid locations, long term camp contexts or there where fuel is needed to provide water but its supply is too costly or erratic.’

Main Factors for Renewed interest on Solar PV Technology for water pumping use:

100% benefits

  1. Solar PV prices Crashing: the cost of a solar PV module has reduced by 80% over the last 10 years and it is 1% of what used to be in the early 80’s.
  2. High and Constant Solar Radiation: in most of the areas where relief and development organizations develop their work, the solar radiation is sufficiently high to consider the opportunity to use solar PV pumping solutions, especially in the area between 40 degrees North and South, usually referred to as the Sun Belt.
  3. Solar Private Sector booming in developing countries: Increasing number of national private sector companies with good knowledge, expertise and able to provide good quality solar PV pumping products. This presence facilitates the implementation of solar pv pumping projects, especially when organizations do not count with the necessary experience or full in-house knowledge.
  4. Robust and reliable technology: solar PV pumping technology has evolved in the last decade, especially solar panels and invertors, making it technically feasible to have schemes lasting for long years with minimum maintenance.
  5. Scalability: The simplicity of the technology, quite easy to design and install, together with the cost advancements make possible to use solar pumping solutions in a high number of contexts, situations and for a wide range of depths and water requirements.
  6. Environmentally friendly: Electricity produced from solar yields no emissions, no greenhouse gases, and no fossil fuels. The energy they produce far exceeds what it takes to manufacture them and overall, solar PV technology generate far less life-cycle air emissions than conventional fossil-fuel-based electricity generation. Over 90% of the materials in current solar panels can be recycled into the next generation after their 25-30 year lifespan.

Some Facts & Figures

  • 25 years. Warrantied working life of good quality solar modules.
  • 80%. Reduced cost of solar modules in the last 10 years.
  • Cost recovery of solar pumping investments is on average 1 to 4 yrs
  • 90%. Cost reduction over life of the systems when compared to diesel generators.
  • 10 years. Number of years that well constructed & maintained solar systems can function without any major failure.
  • 240m3/h pumping rates; solar pumping heads of +500m.
  • 1500 / USD / Year. Service agreement average cost with contractors to ensure functionality


The Solar Hub Team
The Solar Hub Team
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