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Solar-Wind Water Pumping Energy Self Assessment

Solar photovoltaic modules and American style windmills can be used for pumping water and are particularly useful in remote locations where access to electrical utilities would be costly. Pumping water for livestock is a good application for this but it could also be for a cabin in a remote location or for drip irrigation. The NRCS has been working to protect stream and pond banks from livestock but for farmers surface water is an inexpensive water source. Using a solar PV water pumping system or a water pumping windmill to move the water from the stream or pond to a water tough and fencing off the water body is one method to supply water while protecting the habitat. This tool will calculated the minimum size of solar PV system or windmill needed to pump water based on your needs. In some cases a hybrid system using a solar PV system and a small electrical producing wind turbine or windmill can be used to increase the reliability of the system. When the sun shines, the wind doesn’t blow and when the wind blows the sun don’t shine. Below is information on how solar photovoltaic (PV) or American style windmills can be used to pump water and some information about the components needed. The next page will ask you for inputs on water needs and well depths.

Solar Water Pumps FAQ

1.   Can solar photovoltaic (PV) modules be used for water pumping applications?
2.   Can solar water pumps be used to for irrigation projects?
3.   How does a solar water pump work?
4.   Where does the solar module get installed?

Water Pumping Windmills FAQ

1.   Can windmills be used for non-electrical applications?
2.   Can these windmills also be used to create electricity?
3.   How do these systems work?
4.   Can I use batteries to store extra electricity from my wind-electric water pump?
5.   How do I know that my site has enough wind to run a wind water pump?

General water pumping FAQ

1.   How much water will I need to store?
2.   Can I use solar or wind power to keep my stock tank from freezing?
3.   What types of pumps are used and what type should be used where?
4.   Some things to consider before choosing a system:
5.   Diagram of a solar powered water pump.
6.   Diagram of a wind water pump.