Someone says, “There is a natural relationship between the availability of solar power and the need for water.”
Solar water pumps are high efficiency pumps specifically designed to run directly from solar panels. Coupled with a Pump Controller, they continue to pump in low light conditions such as cloud cover, early morning and late afternoons.
The most common variety of solar pumps are submersible borehole pumps which are generally used for wells, boreholes, water transfer, cattle & livestock watering and irrigation where water is pumped from depths of up to 230m below ground level.
The advantage with Solar Borehole Pumps is that at most farms, this pump will be more affordable than the electric cabling and electric pump and the running cost is cheap.
The pumps are rated according to their lift & flow rates. The main pump selection criteria are the ‘total vertical lift’ and the ‘average daily water volume’ required, which can often vary from season to season.
In Kenya, Subukia and Solai arid areas have adopted this method of pumping water.”Six solar-powered boreholes and two powered by diesel have been constructed in Nakuru County with the help of World Vision.”, reports a local daily.
The use of renewable energy in rural arid and semi-arid areas is a viable solution over the non-renewable energy which is costly to maintain.
The cost of constructing a solar powered borehole system has fallen around the world in the recent years now ranging between Sh15 to Sh20 million.
The location of the system dictates the amount of sunlight available. The more sunny the installation site, the less solar panels will be required to provide the power to the pump. Kenya, whose 80 per cent of land is ASAL (Arid and Semi-Arid Lands) could consider this.