A solar pump or PV pump is a pump that runs on electricity which is generated by photo-voltaic panels. The difference between a normal electric pump and a solar pump is that the solar pump operates on Direct Current (DC) while a normal electric pump works on Alternative current (AC). The DC current produced from the PV panels is delivered to the controller and then directly to the pump. When the sun’s irradiation is high, more current is transferred to the pump and the pump works on higher speed pumping greater volume of liquid. Further, if an AC pump is used, an inverter is necessary to convert the DC generated from PV panels to AC. However the panel and inverters must be sized accordingly to accommodate the inrush characteristic of an AC motor. Since DC systems tend to have overall higher efficiency levels than AC pumps of a similar size, the costs are reduced as smaller solar panels can be used.
The operation of a DC solar pump is more economical due to low maintenance costs and zero operation costs. This product is very useful where the electricity is expensive or it is unavailable.
Solar powered water pumps are used for many applications, mostly in countries that have water transportation problems such as Africa and India. This technology is used to deliver drinking water as well as for irrigation purposes and swimming pool filtration. It has been known in Cyprus for the past few years and is used much in the hotel sector for swimming pool filtration and submersible applications.