Clean Power

Published on November 20th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


SunEdison Builds Solar Water Pumps For India

November 20th, 2013 by  

SunEdison, a world-leading provider of solar solutions based in the US, has designed and developed a PV solar-powered water pumping technology for irrigation. It has just been launched in India.

The technology comes in 3HP, 5HP, 7.5HP, and 10HP variants powered by highly efficient 3-phase AC electric motors. These pumps can actually increase irrigation reliability in India, as they power the pumps without the electricity grid, which provides electricity intermittently in India. The pumps also increase grid reliability by replacing grid-powered irrigation systems, reducing strain on the grid.

Crop yield may also be increased, resulting in greater food security.

Image Credit: PR Newswire.

SunEdison water pump.
Image Credit: PR Newswire.

Mr. Pashupathy Gopalan, President, SunEdison, Asia Pacific, GCC and South Africa, said that these pumps provide predictable irrigation. The sun is predictable. Clouds are of course a bit less predictable, but there is always some amount of sunlight available during the daytime hours, and these hours are known.

“SunEdison is committed to transforming lives through innovation. Our solar water pumps empower farmers to grow cash crops that require predictable irrigation and enables them to utilize land that they previously could not irrigate,” Gopalan said.

“SunEdison’s solar water pump solution addresses and enables a large and growing market,” said Ahmad Chatila, President and CEO of SunEdison. “It is a tremendous opportunity for us to grow our business and help people transform their lives.”

Water pumping is another effective use of solar power — with little to no energy storage, excess water can be stored in a tank which can drain it out whenever there are shortages due to either cloudy weather or water disruptions.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Marc

    Nice development, possibly helping to decarbonize farm equipment. Now the only thing to consider that in India, soon the limiting factor in farming will be what those will be pumping up, as the sub-soil water table in many places is dropping very fast…..can´t pump and use what is not/no longer there…..

  • Others

    Many farms have Diesel pumps to pump the water and the price of the fuel is going to increase by 30% in the next 30 month with an increase of 1% every month.

    This solar powered Electric pump should be lot more cheaper especially with unreliable grid which has power cuts during the summer months.

  • Marion Meads

    I like this solar-powered water pump much better. This is more appropriate for small farmers and it costs a lot less, also reported here by CleanTechnica:

  • JamesWimberley

    Sad to say, I feel better about this knowing that it’s a commercial, money-making venture by a large capitalist company than the selfless project of a Western NGO. (See Adam Smith on the reliable self-interest of butchers and bakers.) SunEdison is an American company, but the man in charge, Mr. Pashupathy Gopalan, has a South Indian name, so presumably has access to real local knowledge.
    Irrigation is the perfect application for solar. The pumps don’t have to run all the time, and occasional interruptions for cloud are fine. During the heavy cloud cover of the monsoon, you don’t need irrigation anyway.

    • A Real Libertarian

      “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and
      diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public,
      or in some contrivance to raise prices”

      Yes Adam Smith really did understand capitalist motivation. Anyway, this is good news.

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