What is a solar powered automatic irrigation system?
A solar powered automatic irrigation system refers to the combination of using solar energy to operate irrigation systems automatically. The irrigation system is entirely operated from solar energy instead of commercial energy that will help in reducing electric costs while monitoring the irrigation and water levels of soil. The main objective is to advance irrigation systems using technological developments in the solar energy field.
Relation between solar energy and irrigation systems:
In summers, when the water requirement for plants is maximum, the solar energy produced is also at its peak due to the thermal energy. Hence a direct relationship is formed between the two that can be used to automate and irrigate fields. Solar powered irrigation systems basically function on two main functions namely, power and pressure. The scarcity in water and electric crisis are both dealt with creating a sustainable mode of farming.
Advantages of using a Solar powered irrigation system:
• Helps in preventing water wastage and reduces water consumption through automation
• Reduces, if not negates the use of commercial energy by replacing it with solar energy
• Reduction in water and electricity bills
• Can easily be integrated into fields regardless of the size of operations
• Reduces labor usage and costs
• Automated systems can be converted to manual systems whenever needed as per the requirement of farmers
• Creates sustainable farming techniques
• Suitable for all climatic conditions
• Can be integrated with all irrigation modes
• Chance for further advancement and technological development
Components of a Solar powered irrigation system:
- Solar Panels: Solar panels are designed to convert solar energy into electrical energy with the help of conducting and semi-conducting materials. The solar panels are strategically placed to face maximum sunlight at all possible times.
- PV Panels: Photovoltaic panel cells depend on the size of water pumps that are installed. The panel values in the power it can generate.
- Water source: The sources of water for each field is vast and varies from springs and ponds to rivers and wells.
- Battery: The battery refers to an electric device that is used to store the solar energy and transfer it to the pumps as and when it is needed. The usage of batteries also depends on load requirements.
- Inverter: The primary objective of an inverter is to convert the voltage of the battery into AC Voltage to start the loads. This helps in actually turning on and off the irrigation systems.
- Charge Controller: this is an important device that is used to maintain the exact charging voltage levels of the batteries and the current from the solar panels. It prevents a case of over-charging of the batteries in high voltage situations which can lead to serious damages if not practiced.
- Others: Water sensor module, Push buttons, cables and connectors, IC sockets, Capacitators and resistors.
Combining the use of solar energy and irrigation systems is an extremely strategic move that will profit farmers drastically if implemented properly. Its best to seek professional advice on this in order to arrive at the exact system for both aspects in solar based irrigation to get the highest return of investment.