Pump that water, Sun

Solar pump drive uses solar power to pump water throughout a sunny day saving water, energy and the environment

Half of the energy produced around the world is used to operate pumps. Compared to diesel generator pumps, the solar pumps are environmentally friendly, with a long lifetime and low maintenance costs. When enough radiation is available, the ABB solar pump drive starts automatically and the motor connected to it begins to run the pump to draw water. At sunset, the drive turns off the motor and the water flow ceases.

The complete system consists of four components: PV cell, ABB drive, motor and pump. The built-in maximum power point tracking functionality enables the pump to run at maximum power using available solar power. It is independent from the grid and produces no pollution or noise. The ABB solar pump drive can also be equipped to operate from the grid when there is not enough sunlight to run the pump. Embedded, pump-specific features such as dry run detection and sensorless flow calculation are used to protect and monitor the pumping station.

The ability to operate on both solar (DC power) and the grid (conventional AC power) is the greatest advantage of ABB’s solar pump drive according to Indian pump supplier Shakti Pumps. The company recognized the market needs as solar pumping solutions are becoming increasingly popular among Indian farmers. Shakti designed an entirely new Shakti Solar Pumps series based on its own technology and the new ABB Solar pump drive. Various reasons impacting productivity such as load shedding, electricity supply cuts and increased energy prices, as well as burnt motors often caused by voltage fluctuations can be avoided with the solution. The Shakti Solar Pumps have also been successfully exported to African countries like Sudan.

Solar pumping systems are rapidly becoming more popular for uses in applications such as agricultural irrigation, forestry, fish farming, desert control, water supply for islands, wastewater treatment and municipal engineering. City parks, tourist sites, resorts, and even landscapes and fountains in residential areas can be run with solar power.

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About the author

Jussi Rantanen

Jussi Rantanen, Marketing Manager for Global Product Line (GPL) Machinery and Micro is currently responsible for machinery and micro drives marketing and product management globally. He is also product manager for ACS355 machinery drive. Jussi joined ABB in 1998 and has worked in various positions in drives product development ranging from 1 kW up to 27 MW drives prior to joining the global product management team in 2008. During the product development time he has gained wide experience from control algorithm development to power electronics, from product testing to project management. He has passion for customer satisfaction and he enjoys working with all parties to make things work smooth. Outside work this family man enjoys life’s little miracles; family, music, books, movies and downhill skiing. He lives in Vantaa, Finland and works at ABB Drives Factory in Helsinki.
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