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Solar Photovoltaic Water Pumping to Alleviate Drought in Remote Locations

[+] Author Affiliations
Kala Meah, Steven Fletcher, Yu Wan, Sadrul Ula

University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

Paper No. POWER2006-88215, pp. 661-665; 5 pages
  • ASME 2006 Power Conference
  • ASME 2006 Power Conference
  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA, May 2–4, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4205-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3776-9
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Many parts of the western US is rural in nature and consequently do not have electrical distribution lines in many parts of farms and ranches. Distribution line extension costs can run from $15,000 to $25,000 per mile, thereby making availability of electricity to small water pumping projects economically unattractive. Solar photo-voltaic (PV) powered water pumping is more cost effective in these small scale applications. Many western states including Wyoming are passing through fifth year of drought with the consequent shortages of water for many applications. Wyoming State Climatologist is predicting a possible 5–10 years of drought. Drought impacts the surface water right away, while it takes much longer to impact the underground aquifers. To mitigate the effect on the livestock and wildlife, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal initiated a solar water pumping initiative in cooperation with the University of Wyoming, County Conservation Districts, Rural Electric Cooperatives, and ranching organizations. Solar water pumping has several advantages over traditional systems; for example, diesel or propane engines require not only expensive fuels, they also create noise and air pollution in many remote pristine areas. Solar systems are environment friendly, low maintenance and have no fuel cost. In this paper the design, installation and performance monitoring of the solar system for small scale remote water pumping will be presented.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Solar energy , Water



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