City-based Span Pumps has launched solar-powered pumps for community and institutional water supply.
The first of this unique pumps was launched by Pune Zilla Parishad president, Savitatai Dagde.
The first solar water pump was installed by the Gram Panchayat of Talegaon Dhamdhere in Pune District.
Speaking to reporters, Span Pumps directors Nitin Mutiyan and Ajit Bhandari said that during a normal day the pump operates for about 7-8 hours between sunrise and sunset and pumps about 9,000 litres water. The advantage of these pumps is that there are no recurring costs as the solar power is free and the systems can run without an operator, he added.
A large percentage of the rural communities depend on bore well for drinking water. While some of these wells are energised with power pumps most are provided with the manually operated pump, developed in the eighties. Since then rural communities have been using these pumps for over three decades. The hand pump is recognised as a backbone of the rural water supply programme.
On the other hand, the over-drawing of ground water coupled with lack of adequate re-charge has led to lowering of water levels in many areas. During the lean summer months, it is common to see that operating a hand pump gets laborious. With this in mind we developed the solar-powered bore well pumping system specially as an alternative to overcome the above difficulties. The system consists of a submersible pump which runs on power generated from the photovoltaic solar cells. The system is very useful for areas without access to or intermittent electric supply. The system is suitable for use on 100 mm and above diameter bore wells up to 80-90m depth. In practice a solar array (300-800W) is installed near the bore well. A submersible pump powered with DC motor is installed below the hand pump cylinder. He added that the system developed by Span Pumps operates without batteries and inverter.
The pump draws power from the solar array directly. The pump is connected to a storage tank and water is dispensed through a stand post.