Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy - Renewable Source of Energy for Water Pumping Systems
An increase in energy consumption is one of the critical issues faced globally majorly due to energy wastage. The term “energy wastage” is directly linked with an inefficient use of energy in our day-to-day life and is one of the topmost reasons for the energy crisis. The energy efficiency is only 42% in the US, which means 58% of the energy is either wasted or inefficiently used. To deal with this issue, Renewable energy-based sources like solar, wind, biomass, etc. which are easily available and are abundant in nature are the best alternate solution. In the year 2020, 12.6% of the energy consumed in the US was from renewable sources. Thus, these resources are very well employed for various energy-consuming areas/tasks like water pumping systems, etc. For a long period of time, “water pumping” has played a significant role in various applications like irrigation, drinking, cooking, etc. At a higher level, the other water pumping application is linked with sewage and drainage of wells, pools, etc.
Notably, like all other areas where renewable energy-based solutions are being deployed for energy conservation, the water pumping system is one similar area. Individually or in a group of pumps deployed for some application consumes a lot of energy. But, with the high potential of renewable energy sources, especially solar, this will be replaced in the future considering energy conservation and maximum energy extraction from renewables. The other core area of energy conservation on the same page is water pumping systems installed in rural and remote locations. At present, the transmission, as well as maintenance cost of the electrical lines along with the amount of energy consumed in rural areas for irrigation and like applications, are at the top-most priority. This will all be replaced with the solar photovoltaic-based renewable energy source, such that the quantity and quality of the electrical supply remain the same. With this change, the objective of energy conservation, maximum renewable extraction, and continuous/reliable energy supply for the water pumping system can be achieved.
Photovoltaic Water Pumping System
Conversion of solar radiation into electricity using the photovoltaic system to generate power for the water pumping system. The power produced by the PV system is supplied to the DC motor/AC motor to pump water out from the ground.
AC Pumping System
DC Pumping System
Flowchart - PV Pumping System
Step 1 – Receiving Solar Radiation: Initially, the solar PV panels are placed at the location site where there is maximum availability of sun for maximum hours of the day. Further, these PV panels receive the solar radiation/solar irradiance coming from the sun and convert the solar energy into its useable form.
Step 2 – System Controller: This multitasking device is used for a number of tasks, including maintaining the PV panels as per MPPT (maximum power point tracking), setting up the system voltage, pump on/off control, switching from PV to battery storage action, etc.