Solar driven irrigation systems for remote rural farms

Wazed, Saeed Mohammed and Hughes, Ben Richard and O'Connor, Dominic and Calautit, John Kaiser (2017) Solar driven irrigation systems for remote rural farms. Energy Procedia, 142. pp. 184-191. ISSN 1876-6102 (

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Solar powered irrigation technologies have developed significantly in the past decade assisted by the development of higher efficiency, low cost solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels. The technology has come so far as to be able to elapse diesel powered irrigation systems in terms of the payback period and reduction in greenhouse gasses. However, PV technologies are still not being used extensively due to their high initial investment costs and compared to other renewable energy technologies the carbon footprint is still comparatively large. On the other hand, solar thermal technologies are seen to be much cheaper, and have a much smaller carbon footprint, but are marred by low efficiencies. This paper investigates solar powered irrigation technologies (PV and solar thermal technologies) that can be utilised by independent farmers in small-scale remote rural farms in Sub-Saharan Africa. The focus is to be able to identify affordable solar powered irrigation systems that will make use of local resources effectively for drip irrigation.