Suitability, sizing, economics, environmental impacts and limitations of solar photovoltaic water pumping system for groundwater irrigation—a brief review

Abstract

Irrigation is an essential part of agriculture which helps to sustain crop growth and increase food productivity. Most of the nations around the globe have adopted diesel fuel-based pumping units to irrigate their farm lands. However, increased fuel cost and strict emission laws have made these nations to look for alternate and clean energy powered pumping units. Solar water pumping units are more promising alternate to address these concerns. In this review work, types and concepts of available solar thermal and electric energy-based water pumping units are discussed. Suitability of solar PV pumping units in comparison to thermal energy-based units has been listed out. Detailed procedure for sizing solar PV pumping units by considering crop water requirement, head of pump, and local climatic conditions like solar radiation intensity and rainfall have been provided based on inputs from available literatures. In addition, step by step procedure to estimate economics and environmental impacts associated with solar PV water pumping units along with results of latest studies in these areas have also been presented. Solar PV water pumping units are highly recommended for regions with at least 300 to 400 mm rainfall per year and 2 km away from local grid power supply. Moreover, operation of solar PV water pumping units in on-grid mode can reduce its payback period significantly. Pumping cost associated with diesel units are 300.0% higher than solar PV units. Hence, solar PV water pumping units can be considered as an effective and sustainable option to irrigate farmlands. Advantages, limitations of solar PV water pumping, and strategies to improve its acceptability among farmers have also been provided.

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Data availability

No data is available.

Abbreviations

A G :

Area of vegetation (m2)

A p :

Area of p type element (m2)

A n :

Area of n type element (m2)

B l :

Battery losses (%)

BC:

Battery capacity (Ah)

B-C:

Benefit-cost ratio

C :

Total initial cost of the project (USD)

C PV :

Cost of PV panels (USD)

C Aux :

Cost of auxiliary equipments (USD)

C cwc :

Cost associated with civil work (USD)

C ener :

Annual energy savings or income (USD/year)

C capa :

Annual income (USD/Year)

C RE :

Annual renewable energy production credit income (USD/year)

C GHG :

Annual GHG reduction income (USD/Year)

C O&M :

Annual operation and maintenance cost (USD/year)

C fuel :

Annual cost of fuel (USD/year)

d s :

Soil depth (m)

D c :

Discharge of charge percentage (%)

ET o :

Reference evapotranspiration (m/d)

ET c :

Evapotranspiration under standard cultural conditions (m/d)

EUP:

Effective rainfall (m/month)

Eprop :

Proposed case annual electricity produced

e s :

Saturation vapor pressure (kPa)

e a :

Daily average actual vapor pressure (kPa)

e base :

Base case GHG emission factor

e prop :

Proposed case GHG emission factor

e cr :

GHG emission reduction credit transaction fee

e CO2 :

Emission factor of CO2

e CH4 :

Emission factor of CH4

e N20 :

Emission factor of N2O

FPBT:

Finance payback time (year)

f :

Inflation rate (%)

f d :

Debt ratio

f PV :

Derating factor of PV panel (%)

g:

Acceleration due to gravity (m/s2)

G:

Soil heat flux density (MJ/m2 day)

GT :

Actual solar irradiance (W/m2)

GS :

Standard solar irradiance (W/m2)

GRC:

GHG emission reduction cost (USD)

GWP CO2 :

Global warming potential of CO2

GWP CH4 :

Global warming potential of CH4

GWP N2O :

Global warming potential of N2O

H:

Total head of pump (m)

Had :

Annual operating hours (h)

I:

Thermoelectric current (A)

IR:

Interest rate (%)

IG:

Incentives and grants (USD)

K c :

Cultural coefficient

Ln :

Contact length of n type thermoelectric material (m)

Lp :

Contact length of p type thermoelectric material (m)

LCE:

Levelized cost of energy (USD/kWh)

LR:

Leaching requirement

LT:

Life time (year)

m CO2 :

Annual mass of CO2 produced (kg/year)

MW CO2 :

Molecular weight of carbon-di-oxide (kg/kmol)

MW C :

Molecular weight of carbon (kg/kmol)

N ad :

Number of days of autonomy (days)

N m :

Number of PV modules

N h :

Number of hours of battery usage/day (h)

N TE :

Number of thermoelectric couples

P module :

PV power output per module (W)

P m :

Power required by motor (W)

PAE:

Potential application efficiency

P H :

Required pumping power (Kw)

P pv :

Required power output from PV array (W)

PVTC:

Present value of total cost (USD)

P TEG :

Power output of thermoelectric module (W)

Q :

Volumetric flow of water (m3/h)

r :

Discount rate (%)

R n :

Daily net radiation at crop surface (MJ/m2 day)

R tot :

Total rainfall (mm/month)

R tot :

Total rainfall (mm/month)

R TEG :

Resistance of thermoelectric module (Ohm)

SV:

Salvage value(USD)

T a :

Ambient temperature (°C)

T c :

Actual PV module temperature (°C)

T c,ref :

Reference temperature (°C)

TC :

Cold surface temperature (K)

T H :

Hot surface temperature (K)

U 2 :

Average monthly daily wind speed (m/s)

V D :

Volume of water demand per day (m3/day)

V b :

Voltage of battery (V)

V hour :

Amount of fuel consumed by engine per hour (L/h)

w c :

Mass fraction of carbon in fuel

Z :

Figure of merit of thermoelectric material (1/K)

(ZT)pn :

Non dimensional figure of merit of thermoelectric couple

Δ:

Slope of vapor pressure curve (kPa/°C)

ΔGHG :

Annual GHG emission reduction

γ:

Psychometric constant (0.66 kPa/°C)

ρ:

Density of water (kg/m3); Electric resistivity of thermoelectric material (Ohm m)

ρ fuel :

Density of fuel (kg/L)

ρ n :

Electric resistivity of n type thermoelectric material (Ohm m)

ρ p :

Electric resistivity of p type thermoelectric material (Ohm m)

ρ s :

Soil density (kg/m3)

ε s :

Coefficient of soil water content (%)

λ prop :

Fraction of electricity lost in transmission and distribution in proposed case

λ :

Fraction of electricity lost in transmission and distribution

λ s :

Thermal conductivity of thermoelectric material (W/mK)

λ n :

Thermal conductivity of n type thermoelectric material (W/mK)

λ p :

Thermal conductivity of p type thermoelectric material (W/mK)

η m :

Efficiency of motor (%)

η max :

Maximum efficiency of thermoelectric module (%)

η PV :

Efficiency of PV panel (%)

α:

Temperature coefficient of power

α s :

Seebeck coefficient (V/K)

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Conceptualization: Sharon Hilarydoss. Methodology: Sharon Hilarydoss. Formal analysis and investigation: Sharon Hilarydoss. Writing—manuscript preparation, reviewing and editing: Sharon Hilarydoss.

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Correspondence to Sharon Hilarydoss.

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Hilarydoss, S. Suitability, sizing, economics, environmental impacts and limitations of solar photovoltaic water pumping system for groundwater irrigation—a brief review. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12402-1

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Keywords

  • Solar energy
  • Groundwater pumping
  • Economics
  • Environmental impact
  • Irrigation
  • Agriculture