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A photovoltaic-powered system for medium-head pumping

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Sol. Energy (USA), Volume 38, Number 4, p.255 - 65 (1987)



DC motors;photovoltaic power systems;power convertors;pumps;water supply;


A prototype photovoltaic-powered pumping system capable of supplying 15 m3 of water per day in full sunlight at heads of around 35 m is developed. Design criteria are based on requirements for drinking water supplies to small villages in tropical countries. The system consists of a Mono progressive cavity pump driven by a very efficient DC motor with long brush life, which is supplied with power from a DC-DC converter. The power source is a 800 W photovoltaic array. Laboratory testing of the whole system shows that it is reliable and has an overall sunlight to pumped-water efficiency in excess of 3%. The system behaves well at heads other than the design head (35 m) and is tested over the range 25 to 55 m


medium-head pumping;photovoltaic-powered pumping system;drinking water supplies;tropical countries;Mono progressive cavity pump;DC motor;brush life;DC-DC converter;photovoltaic array;overall sunlight to pumped-water efficiency;800 W;3 percent;2 to 55 m;