ABB launches innovative solar drive for sustainable water pumping

ABB launches innovative solar drive for sustainable water pumping

  • The new ACQ80 variable speed drive (VSD) puts sustainable solar power to work for various water pumping needs including irrigation and water utility supplies
  • Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) logic built into the drive ensures that the most power output possible is extracted from solar panels for maximized pump performance throughout the day
  • Dual supply mode allows the drive to operate with both a DC supply from PV solar panels and an AC supply from the grid or generator for pumping 24/7

Solar photovoltaic (PV) powered water pumping systems are becoming increasingly important across the globe. They play a vital role in reducing CO2 emissions related to water pumping and can work in areas with weak power grid coverage, where reliable water supplies are essential for agricultural irrigation, livestock watering, and drinking purposes. ABB’s new generation ACQ80 solar pump VSD has been engineered to meet this demand by supporting the water pumping installations to operate efficiently with a low carbon footprint, using clean energy from the sun.

A key feature of the ACQ80 is the built-in Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) logic combined with a wide input voltage range from 225 to 800 VDC. This enables the drive to operate the pump motor even if the power output from the solar panels drops during periods of low sunlight. This operational window is much wider than in conventional drives, allowing the maximum amount of water to be pumped over a range of operating conditions.

While the ACQ80 will be deployed mainly in off-grid solutions, where it converts the direct current (DC) from the solar panels to the alternating current (AC) required by the pump, it also has the flexibility to accept an AC input. This enables the drive to be connected to a local grid or generator, ensuring continuity of pumping during the night or periods of low sunshine by blending both AC and DC input supplies.

“A solution with low CO₂ emissions is vital for irrigation, farming and water utility pumping, for a sustainable future. The ACQ80 is an ABB innovation set to play an important role across the world in enabling the solar pumping schemes to operate with maximum efficiency and reliability, even in varying levels of sunshine. We are also proud it received the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label from the Solar Impulse Foundation,” said Jugal Patnaik, Global Product Manager, Solar Pump Drives, ABB.

The ACQ80 offers built-in pumping features such as flow calculation, dry-run protection, pump cleaning and multiple smart-operating modes to optimize water pumping process and minimize human intervention, as well as fieldbus connection for integrating the VSD into control systems. It is also compatible with induction motors, as well as with highly efficient permanent magnet assisted synchronous reluctance (SynRM) motors in both submersible and surface type pumps.

The ACQ80 has received the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label from the Solar Impulse Foundation, which confirms it is a profitable product operating on clean power. The label is awarded to products, services, and/or processes that combine credible environmental and economic performance, while outperforming the mainstream options in their market. This allows political and economic decision-makers to adapt much more ambitious energy and environmental policies and set a roadmap to reach their environmental objectives.

ABB ACQ80 solar pump drives
ABB ACQ80 solar pump drives

ABB Motion, a global leader in motors and drives,is at the core of accelerating a more productive and sustainable future. We innovate and push the boundaries of technology to contribute to energy efficient, decarbonizing and circular solutions for customers, industries and societies. With our digitally enabled drives, motors and services we support our customers and partners to achieve better performance, safety and reliability. We deliver motor driven solutions for a wide range of applications in all industrial segments. Building on over 140 years of domain expertise in electric powertrains, our more than 22,000 employees across 100 countries learn and improve every day.


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