ABB’s latest solar inverter technology helps Indian pump supplier Shakti Pumps to spread awareness about solar energy’s benefits. The supplier’s low-maintenance solar-powered water pump comes with minimal environmental impact and operating costs.
Renewable energy has been a hot topic of discussion over the years due to depleting fossil fuels. Solar energy can play an important role in the irrigation sector for Indian agriculture due to its extent of applicability and cost efficiency. Solar pumping solutions are becoming increasingly popular among Indian farmers. Recognizing the market needs, Shakti decided to develop an entirely new Shakti Solar Pumps series based on its own OEM technology and the new ABB Solar pump drive, explains Mr. Ankit Patidar, VP of Sales & Marketing at the company.
The new series fills a market niche for solar pumping systems, which are rapidly becoming more popular for numerous practical uses such as agricultural irrigation, forestry, desert control; cattle farming, water supply for islands, wastewater treatment engineering, and many others. Solar pumping systems are now also more frequently being used for municipal engineering, city parks, tourist sites, resorts, and even landscapes and fountains in residential areas.
“By using ABB’s ACS355 solar pump drive we have designed our new Shakti Solar Pump technology to be totally independent from the electricity grid and diesel fuel. People in remote-access locations can enhance their farming area with a dependable water supply. The solution is also free of other restrictions that can impact productivity such as load shedding, electricity supply cuts and increased energy prices, as well as burnt motors often caused by voltage fluctuations,” continues Mr. Patidar.
Load shedding is designed to distribute the available power to consumers by turning off one area and supplying another in an attempt to serve all the customers.
“The biggest advantage is that the Shakti Solar Pump can be run easily and effectively on both solar (DC power) and the grid (conventional AC power), giving very high discharge for maximum time. Shakti solar pumps automatically score over other DC pumps which only run for 8 hours, being of no use at night when AC power is available.”
“The system is composed of a solar PV module array, a solar pump drive/ inverter, a motor and a pump. Once it is installed, there are no fuel costs, no emissions, and no CO2 generation. Instead, we have a quiet, non-polluting, dependable water pumping system with low maintenance and a lifetime of up to 25 years. These key benefits have attracted lots of market interest from the accessibility, environmental and cost points of view.”
Numerous installations have been made in many Indian states such as Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The solar pump has also been successfully exported to African countries like Sudan.
Shakti chose the ACS355 solar pump drive mainly due to its built-in MPPT (maximum power point tracking) technology. This ensures the most power output possible from solar panel, maximizing the performance of the pump throughout the day.
The ABB drives provide uninterrupted flow, even during drastic changes in irradiation, thanks to the MPPT algorithm. Built-in MPPT functionality is also important for reliability when the equipment is installed at remote sites where maintenance is close to zero.
Other benefits include long pump life, no need for restarting during DC voltage variations, and automatic fault-reset and auto-start, which make life easier for the farmer or user.