Solar Irrigation

Solar PV offers an ideal source of energy for pumping on irrigation farms of all sizes, ranging from broad acre cropping to protected horticulture.

Traditionally diesel and grid connected electric pumps are used to lift water from rivers and ground water, and to pressurise distribution systems. While electricity is more efficient than diesel for pumping, high network charges and connection costs in rural areas have inhibited growth in the electrification of irrigation pumping. A well designed solar pumping asset can directly offset the high costs of pumping water using mains electricity or diesel generators.

Increasingly, irrigators across all farming systems are looking to solar power for solutions. Technically, there is no limit to the volume of water that can be pumped using solar power, as a solar array can be sized to meet any scale of power demand. The business case for solar powered irrigation on a given farm depends on factors including the number of months pumping per year, water storage capacity, the time of day that irrigation occurs and the potential to utilise or export and sell excess energy. The scalability of solar power and its ability to be integrated with mains electricity are among its greatest strengths. Many different configurations are possible, including full replacement of mains electricity or diesel, hybrid solutions that combine mains and solar power, and installations that provide power for only part of an irrigation system, such as a transfer pump that is used year round.

Genevo has extensive experience with solar pumping design and installation and will ensure that your solar pumping asset is optimally designed for your requirements.

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Getting started

Prior to recommending any investment in solar PV asset, Genevo strongly suggests an overall assessment of your sites irrigation needs/ requirements be undertaken at the outset. Genevo can assist with the following;

  • Baseline energy assessment of your farm. Including accurate documentation of the quantity, cost and timing of energy used by your current irrigation system.

  • Identify energy efficiency savings first. Poor layouts, pipe diameters, incorrect pump size and maintenance are all typical energy wastage points.

  • Determine the capacity of your water storage infrastructure and minimise leakage and evaporation.

  • Irrigation engineer to clarify priorities and technical requirements (e.g. dynamic pumping head, pressure, control systems).