Renewable pumping systems on the rise

Renewable pumping systems on the rise
Published: 10 September 2017 - 12:26 p.m.
By: Rajiv Ravindran Pillai

In recent years, the cost of generating clean energy from renewable sources has decreased sharply. At the same time, governments around the world are insisting that a greater proportion of energy is generated from renewable sources. The drive to increase motor efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions has led to increasing regulation as to how energy is generated. This is a trend that is set to continue.

Renewable energy systems are increasingly common in irrigation systems. In particular, renewable energy systems have proved ideal for drip irrigation systems, supplying a steady supply of water through an extensive network of hosing directly to the roots. This minimises evaporation and reduces water consumption.

Solar and wind-powered pumping systems present a cost effective, flexible and secure water supply solution using clean energy. Utilising solar and wind power reduces energy costs to zero and saves on the costs of energy infrastructure, wherever the application is installed. Solar and wind-powered pumping systems offer tangible benefits such as easy installation, as they are typically supplied as a plug-and-go solution. It is a relatively simple matter to tailor the pumping solution to the specific application and local conditions. Built-in protection features for the pump motor ensure a low maintenance pumping solution.

Designed for continuous as well as intermittent operation, solar and wind-powered pumping systems are especially suitable where cost is all-important. Once the initial investment in the system is made, operating costs are reduced to simple maintenance, for example, the cleaning of the solar panels.

Renewables: a solid investment

Pumping systems using renewable energy sources provide a sustainable, reliable and cost-efficient alternative to grid-based systems, with substantial benefits for the irrigator’s investment. The lifecycle costs will be considerably lower than with other water supply systems, because substantial sums are saved on maintenance costs. 

For a renewable energy-based system, the initial purchase price is the greatest investment. Once the pump system is installed, the irrigator no longer gets energy bills, meaning a rapid pay-back time on the initial investment. If the pump system is sized, configured or packaged to fit the application right from the start, the costs for installation, commissioning and service are also reduced.

Renewable energy-based pump systems are a good investment. Governments increasingly encourage investors to choose renewable energy in irrigation, and there is a growing awareness of the low risk of such investments. This is because the installation is not dependent on energy prices staying low to ensure a payback on the investment.

The efficiency of solar and wind energy generation has been increasing over many years, and as global manufacturing capacity increases, costs are also falling for building solar panels and windmills. This has opened up the market for a larger power size off-grid system, as the initial investment for a large system has become more acceptable, and the return-on-investment is increasing. 

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