SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION SYSTEMS: A LIFE-CHANGING TECHNOLOGY
Farmers working in the farmlands rely entirely on rain and bore wells for irrigation.Even if there is a water pump on the farm, the farmers must manually turn it on and off. The project's goal is to create an autonomous irrigation system that turns the pump motor on and off based on soil moisture levels. In the agricultural industry, using the proper irrigation technique is critical. This method has the advantage of reducing human involvement while still ensuring proper irrigation.
Furthermore, the Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that agriculture provides a living for more than 60% of the world's population. What does this all mean if it doesn't rain and there's no reliable irrigation system? It means that crops will fail and people will suffer.
Fortunately, solar-powered irrigation systems provide a solution that improves food security, community wellness, and poverty reduction.
What are Solar powered irrigation systems?
It makes perfect sense to irrigate with solar energy. For starters, irrigation is commonly used in rural communities with limited access to dependable electrical or fossil fuel supplies. Second, due to a lack of rainwater, solar radiation is a plentiful resource, particularly in areas where irrigation is critical to food security and global trade.
Finally, solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) passively self-regulate by pumping more water on clear, hot days when plants need it the most, and vice versa. It's important to remember that a solar-powered irrigation system is more than just a system with solar pumps. When designing panels, pumps, and irrigation systems, water availability and local agricultural water requirements are taken into account. There are two main types of solar water pumps: Submersible solar water pumping systems and surface solar water pumping systems
There are 2 main types of solar water pumps: Submersible Solar Water Pumping Systems and Surface Solar Water Pumping Systems.
The main goal is to design a time- and cost-based irrigation system using a microcontroller. Temperature, humidity, and soil moisture are among the variables measured by the irrigation scheduler.
- to easily manage water application in order to provide light and frequent irrigation as well as increased water application efficiency
- to create a smart irrigation system in order to save a significant amount of water used to irrigate crops
- Making use of commercial fertilizer and chemicals
- Increase capacity to meet demand in order to provide enough irrigation.
- Conducting both fundamental and applied water management research will aid in addressing the widespread problem of soil erosion caused by surface irrigation systems.
Why are solar panels used in irrigation systems?
Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce environmental impact, balance energy costs, and enjoy a variety of other benefits, such as supporting local businesses and promoting energy independence.
Solar power has become increasingly important to farmers as a dependable, clean-energy alternative for agricultural water management, particularly in areas with high levels of solar radiation. A freely available resource made possible by solar irrigation technology enables local farmers to better plan and improve their stock levels for marketing in a dependable and highly efficient manner. a more dependable, cleaner approach that significantly reduces farming costs.
How does it work?
In solar-powered water pumps, light from the sun is converted into electricity to power the water pump. It generates direct current (DC), which powers the motor that pumps water away from its source, while solar panels harvest sunlight. An inverter is used if the pump motor requires AC (alternating current) rather than DC.
Diesel pumps are slightly more efficient than AC-driven pumps due to their greater flexibility. However, one of this system's major limitations is its reliance on fuel availability, as well as its greater environmental impact.
Although diesel-powered pumps are less expensive than solar-powered pumps, their operational costs are extremely high and highly correlated with diesel prices. It is the opposite in solar-powered systems; even though the system is relatively expensive, the energy source is free, so there are no ongoing operational costs after the amortization period (only the maintenance costs must be considered).
This model depicts how a solar-powered irrigation system in agriculture works.
Because embedded solar pond pumps require sunlight to generate power, they cannot operate at night. Some models can operate at night; however, they usually have batteries or energy storage. Because of the energy it saves, such a device will be able to operate at night.
Despite the presence of batteries or other forms of energy storage, solar pumps frequently experience a decrease in work output at night. The battery may not be able to store enough energy to keep the pump running all night in some cases.
Four types of irrigation systems for agriculture
As a result of technological advancement, various irrigation techniques have been developed to meet the specific needs of crops and soil.
The most common application of surface irrigation is in fields and orchards. Gravity is used in this method to supply water from the irrigation source to the crop via canals, pipes, and so on. Water losses are higher in this method than in any other irrigation method, making it the least efficient.
Surface irrigation is
- Furrow irrigation
- Basin irrigation
- Border irrigation
The field is irrigated with water via furrows separated by 0.1 and 0.3 meters.
While drip and sprinkler methods require technical knowledge to operate, this one does not.
Furthermore, the furrow method requires less financial investment. Controlling the flow of water is difficult. It is suitable for row-planted crops such as millet and corn.
This entails making a basin that is proportional to the size of the tree. It is most commonly used in orchards. Irrigation channels are used to connect basins after they have been built. Water is transferred from one basin to the next by irrigating the previous basin. Pests and illnesses may spread from one tree to another via irrigation water if this irrigation technique is used.
It is an old-fashioned irrigation method. This technique divides the field into blocks, and the soil is used to create borders. Water flows between dike-separated rectangular sections with open drainage at one end of the sloping field using this technique. This method is superior to the basin method for fields with slopes.
It is a type of irrigation in which water is sprayed or sprinkled through the air in the form of raindrop-like drops. Spraying and sprinkling equipment can be fixed permanently (solid set), moved mechanically after a certain volume of water has been applied (portable set), or installed on moving booms and pipelines.
Systems are micro irrigation techniques that deliver water to the soil surface in the form of drops or small streams via emitters. Because of the low discharge rate of the emitters, this irrigation method is suitable for all soil types.
Systems are microirrigation techniques that deliver water to the soil surface in the form of drops or small streams via emitters. Because of the low discharge rate of the emitters, this irrigation method is suitable for all soil types.
Advantages of solar-powered irrigation system
1.20% higher yield
2. Solar irrigation has the potential to significantly increase profits, particularly for remote farmers with infrequent access to fuel or energy.
3. An automatic watering system decreases the amount of labor required to provide water, resulting in a 20% decrease in operational costs.
4.Drip irrigation, by directing water to the roots of a crop, can reduce weed and disease pressure while increasing the effectiveness of chemical treatment.
5. Drip irrigation significantly improves water use efficiency - hence, using 40% less water
7. Solar-powered irrigation pumps can be a cost-effective and energy-efficient option.
The global solar water pump market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.2% between 2021 and 2028, from $2.86 billion in 2021 to $5.64 billion in 2028.
The market for solar water pumps has expanded significantly in recent years. Solar water pumping has gained popularity as a result of various national and local laws encouraging the generation of energy from renewable sources in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels and the release of pollutants. The market has benefited from the rapid advancement of technology by seeing solar water pumps become more affordable.
Please see https://youtu.be/zw4-JI9m6bQ -SenzAgro's irrigation schedule for more information.