The traditional hand pump is perhaps one of the oldest technologies for water pumping still in use with the principals of its reciprocal design dating back centuries. Given the absence of suitable alternatives these pumps have very wide applications throughout Africa being ubiquitous for small scale supplies usually where electric mains power is unavailable. They are the only source of water for many thousands of people though suffer the drawbacks of being hard work to operate, especially from deeper boreholes, of low output and require frequent maintenance.

Up until recently the only viable alternatives has been engine driven either powering a generator or a pump directly. These installations are expensive to purchase, run and maintain and are not viable for poorer rural requirements. However, with the extraordinary development of solar technology over the past decade in terms of both cost reduction and technology a much better alternative is now available – solar powered pumping systems. Davis & Shirtliff have been pioneers in this now well-established solution since its very early and expensive beginnings in the early 1980s and are now the leading industry player with a range of solutions for all solar pumping requirements. Using the benefits of this experience and appreciating the great limitations of hand pumps the company has now developed an ideal alternative in the Dayliff range of solar pumps and accessories.

At the heart of the systems is the wide range of the economical and efficient Dayliff Sunflo solar pumps that are supplied in complete kits that include the PV modules, pump and all accessories for a complete installation, power requirement being as low as 150W. The standard range provides outputs from 1 to 12 m3 per day at heads up to 70 metres with other options being available. However, for the majority of hand pump installations lower heads are more common.

Also required in a solar pumping installation is a tank and small tower for continuous 24-hour water availability that provides the option of direct supply to points of use. Dayliff has also designed a special tank and tower solution with capacities up to 3000 litres that are very cost effective, light and easy to install with the option of the PV modules mounted on the tower for smaller installations. The benefits of this new solution are huge with capital costs of the pumps being lower than traditional hand pumps and providing totally cost and maintenance free operation – systems simply start with the sun and pump all day!

These Dayliff water supply solution are certainly game changing in so many ways and will totally transform lives providing much greater reliable water availability for rural communities. No doubt this will become hugely popular in the future.  

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