Does Solar Powered Irrigation Work?

September 30, 2021

Climate change has forced many industries to rethink how they operate—including the agricultural industry. With a focus on clean, renewable energy these days, more farmers are considering solar for watering wildlife and cattle. Does it work? Is it as effective as other irrigation power sources?

Solar powered watering is a great proposition on several fronts. First, it helps water livestock with a renewable energy source. Second, the solar panels themselves may produce an excess of energy, which can be used to power other agricultural equipment or be sold back to the electrical company. Finally, it’s ideal for farming, since sun is usually abundant during the growing months.

Read on to learn more about this new direction in agriculture.

How it works

Irrigation systems require pumps, which are usually hooked up to electrical or gas power sources. With solar powered irrigation, the pumps each have their own solar cells. The cells absorb solar energy and convert it to electricity through a generator, which is connected to the pump. The electricity powers the pump and moves water throughout the irrigation system as needed.

Depending on the system you choose, solar powered irrigation offers many of the same advanced features that traditional systems do. For example, there are already systems in development and commercially available that allow smartphone access and control.

Why solar powered irrigation is so promising

Solar may actually be a superior power source, compared to power grids and diesel engines. Solar energy is clean and renewable, which means it won’t affect the environment like relying on fossil fuels does. It’s also ideal for particularly rural areas, where the power grid might not be as readily available. Rather than pumping diesel exhaust into the environment, farmers can harness the power of the sun to move water where it needs to go.

In developing nations, solar powered irrigation is especially promising. Farmers who were unable to power irrigation systems previously can now use them—and increase their yield up to 300 percent. That’s a far cry from going to a river with buckets in tow.

Another reason solar crop irrigation looks promising is that it may actually save water. One company in Austria has designed a solar powered drip irrigation system, which not only reduces carbon dioxide emissions, but saves water compared to traditional sprinkler irrigation.

For farmers in rural regions where water is scarce, solar irrigation could be downright transformative. For the U.S. agricultural industry, it’s a great opportunity to cut down on emissions, save water and still produce plenty of yield.

Ultimately, as the cost of solar panels and cells goes down, we will likely see more solar powered irrigation in the U.S. agricultural industry, as well as around the world. It’s a smart way to use renewable energy to benefit everyone.

When you’re interested in purchasing crop irrigation supplies, M Pump Irrigation Sales Service, Inc. offers a wide range of products. Reach out to us today to learn more about our selection and find the right tools for your job.

Categorised in:

B&M Pump Irrigation Sales & Service, Inc.