A high-capacity solar panel is not all that defines the best solar water pumps. Factors like flow rate, head lift, pump efficiency, and power source flexibility add to the total quality a solar-powered water pump for irrigation will offer. Then the ease of maintenance and resistance to corrosion will determine how long you get to use your solar pump.
Obviously, a solar water pump will run on energy from a solar panel. And the higher the capacity of the panel, the more power the pump has to function. So, getting a solar water pump with a high-capacity solar panel is a no-brainer.
The flow rate of solar pumps is perhaps the primary marker of their quality. A solar-powered pump for irrigation with a low flow rate will frustrate you because it will produce water slowly and with less force. But one with a high flow rate will pump high volumes of water per unit time, which is desirable.
You could say the efficiency of your solar water pump is a definition of how much power it needs to pump water. Generally, a high-efficiency pump will produce large volumes of water while consuming relatively less power than a low-efficiency pump.
The maximum head lift of a pump defines the total height between the water source and the destination of the water. The higher the maximum head lift of your solar pump, the farther the water it pumps can travel from the water source.
The sun will not always shine. So, if your solar pump relies only on solar energy to function, the absence of the sun means no operation. To avoid this, you should opt for a water pump that offers the flexibility to use other power sources besides solar panels.
Then, of course, a water pump will be exposed to water, sun, a host of various elements. But if it offers no resistance to corrosion and cannot be maintained easily, it may go bad sooner than you expect.
DC HOUSE Solar Water Pump Kit
It has a remarkable maximum lift, the flow rate is decent, the solar panel is efficient & powerful, and the pump is fairly efficient. Beyond those features, this water pump offers significant resistance against corrosion.
This solar water pump kit is made with various anti-corrosion materials. For one, the stainless steel strainer and the copper core power cable will leave no room for corrosion. So, you can have the pump around for very long. Beyond that, the stainless steel strainer prevents clogging and adds some aesthetic appeal to the appearance of your pump.
It comes with a controller that operates in 4 modes. Each one of these modes prevents the pump from overworking, and therefore, prolongs its lifespan. So, coupled with the corrosion-resistant parts, the controller contributes to the durability of your pump.
The controller is pretty flexible; it is compatible with 12 volts and 24 volts battery to handle 360 watts or 720 watts.
Maximum Lift: 230 feet
Of course, with a lift of 230 feet, it makes it possible to pump water from lower depths to higher surfaces. This means you get some flexibility in setting up your solar water pump kit – you can have a very high discharge point, which is good if you are getting a storage tank for irrigation. Plus, since the maximum submersion is 100 feet, you can have a very deep water source.
The flow rate is capped at 1.6 gallons per minute (6 liters per minute). This falls short of the flow rate of the Amarine Made DC 12V Farm & Ranch Solar Water Pump, the BACOENG 12V DC Farm & Ranch Solar Water Pump, and the other two products. Yet, it should be enough to offer you decent irrigation.
The solar water pump kit comes with 2 solar panels made up of monocrystalline cells. So, the efficiency is not in doubt. Each solar panel has a power rating of 100 watts, making a total of 200 watts. Since the pump consumes a maximum of 96 watts, the solar panels definitely offer enough power to run it. Then compared to its rate of water flow and lift, the estimated maximum power consumption of this pump shows that it is fairly efficient.
It has the highest maximum lift on the list.
The rate of water flow is decent.
The solar panel has a high capacity.
It offers power source flexibility since it can run on solar power and the DC output of a battery.
DC HOUSE 12V DC Submersible Deep Well Pump
This potent water pump offers high maximum lift, durability, and power source flexibility. But beyond the said features, it also offers a remarkable flow rate.
You can push water through a height of 230 feet. Every other product in this review offers a maximum lift that is at least 7 times less than the lift of these 2 products.
On durability, most parts are made from 304 stainless steel. So, the pump is unlikely to get corroded or dented easily. Plus, it has a 50 mesh made of stainless steel, which does enough to prevent clogging.
This deep well pump is efficient to an extent. However, the combination of a precision bearing and a pure copper motor sees that this pump uses most of the power it gets to drive the flow of water.
This deep well pump can pump out a maximum of 3.2 gallons per minute (12 liters per minute). This is decent.
While solar power primarily drives the operation, it can also run on electrical energy on batteries, and it can be corded electric. Although, the other pumps in this review run on solar power and batteries too. They cannot be corded electric.
With the power source flexibility this pump offers, you have two ways to keep your pump running even without direct sunlight. First, however, you have to get the solar panel and battery to power the pump because none of these is included in the package.
The lift is impressive – the highest alongside the DC HOUSE Solar Water Pump Kit.
The pump can be powered by solar panels and batteries, and it can be corded electric.
It is relatively durable.
Buying Guide for a Solar Powered Water Pump
Features to Look out for in a Solar Water Pumps for Irrigation
The flow rate of a water pump is a measure of the volume of water it can push out per unit time (usually per minute), and it differs from one pump to another.
For each type of irrigation, there is a desired flow rate. In other words, some pumps may not push water out at the rate you need it for your irrigation. Therefore, confirm the desired flow rate for your type of irrigation, then check that the product you choose meets this requirement or exceeds it.
The maximum lift of your pump tells you the maximum vertical distance your pump can push water from the water source to the drainage source. This value is vital if the drainage source or destination of the water stands at a spot way above the ground.
Your pump must be able to push water through the height between the water source and the water destination.
Solar Panel Capacity
Understandably, solar pumps need PV panels to function. But the pumps can only function if the solar panel generates enough power to get them running. If your pump comes with a PV panel, you will not have to worry about the panel capacity.
However, if you have to buy the panel separately, you must pay attention to the PV panel capacity.
To ensure you get things right, verify the wattage of your pump before getting the solar panel. Ensure that the panel produces at least the same power as the rating of the pump. You can do one better by getting a panel that produces more power than the power rating of the pump. This way, you will not have to worry about power loss.
Solar Water Pump Efficiency
With all types of machines, efficiency is crucial. Efficiency defines the extent to which a machine uses the power it gets.
A low-efficiency machine will waste most of the power it gets and produce little output in simpler terms. On the other hand, a high-efficiency machine will use most of the power it gets to generate output.
In the same way, a solar water pump with high efficiency will maximize the energy it gets from the sun and channel most of it into pumping water for irrigation. In other words, with an efficient pump, within the short period sunlight hits the PV panel, you would get a high level of water circulation.
Resistance To Corrosion
With the constant exposure to water and air irrigation, the metallic parts of a solar-powered water pump are at risk of corrosion. Luckily, some metal alloys like stainless steel are plated to resist corrosion.
When getting a pump, be on the lookout for one with parts built to resist corrosion. In many cases, pumps made with stainless steel are your best bet.
Power Source Flexibility
Powering your pump with the energy from the sun is eco-friendly and all. However, the sun will not always be around. When the sun does not shine, you might be unable to power the pump, except it can run on other power sources.
Thankfully, various solar water pumps can run on more than just energy from the sun. Some use batteries, while some can be corded electric.
Are Solar Powered Water Pumps Any Good?
Solar-powered pumps are pretty effective for various types of irrigation: small garden irrigation, farm irrigation, and much more.
Beyond being an effective means of irrigation, solar pumps have a low operating cost compared to their alternatives. This is because they run on solar energy, and you do not have to pay for that. The operating costs you will incur while using solar pumps will most likely come from maintenance and repairs.
Besides, since these pumps rely on the power generated when sunlight hits a solar panel, you never have to worry about a rise in your electricity bills. At the same time, they are eco-friendly since the sun is a renewable source of energy.
How Many Solar Panels Does It Take Power a Water Pump?
The number of PV panels needed to power a water pump depends on the wattage of the pump.
For instance, if you have a 100-watt pump, you need at least a 100-watt solar panel. However, it is advisable to get a solar panel with a slightly higher power output to make up for any power loss.
Going by the instance above, if your pump is rated 100 watts and your solar panel is rated 50 watts, it will take at least 2 of such solar panels to power the pump.
How Much Solar Energy Does My Solar Water Pump Consume?
The amount of solar energy your water pump consumes is a function of its power rating and how long you keep it running.
For instance, if your pump is rated 100 watts, and you leave it running for 2 hours, the maximum solar energy it can consume within that period is 200 Wh or 0.2 kWh.
Beyond being eco-friendly, a solar-powered water pump for irrigation is certainly effective at what it does. But to ensure what you get works for you, ensure you opt for a product with a flow rate that suits your needs. Then, be sure to verify the product’s capacity, durability, flexibility, ease of maintenance, ease of installation, lift, and efficiency.