Solar water pumps - does anyone have experience?


Oops, my bad. That panel sure looks like it packs a punch!



The set up does not have any battery and inverter.

The panel is 5040 watts ( 140 watt x36 panels) ,which generates 870 volt DC ,then converted into 415volts AC ,three phase,directly connected to the submersible pump .

I don,t represent UPV solar , they are the one set up this unit to me.

Any further clarification’s please ask for.


Thanks for the clarification - could you tell us what the actual usability of the system is like:

  1. What are the operating hours, does the water pressure reduce in the early/late hours of the day?

  2. Assuming the borewell has sufficient water,  what is the peak sustained output of water during bright sunshine and what is the difference in pressure, if any, at say 7 AM, 12 noon and 5 pm during summer months (in inches)?

  3. How many hours a day can the pump actually be run?

Thanks in advance.


Hi Kumar,

Thanks for those pics.

So inside the borewell, its a normal submersible 5HP 3Ph pump right ? That looks like a neat arrangement.

Does the setup has normal grid 3ph supply also connected ?. Incase if it is cloudy, then if , I mean only if power  :smiley: is available then you can run your pump with normal 3ph supply also.

Can you give an exact cost breakup inclusive of the submersible pump, its make and also the plumbing ?





The pump is Normal branded pump available in the market,I had put Aqua sub 5 hp summercible pump. The bore well is situated  at 400 feet away from the panel and the picture of water flow attached here with.

I have a grid power (TNEB)connection for 7.5 HP and have a change over switch to switch the power either way.

The performance part  of it , depends on the intensity of sun light ,the pump starts pumping water from 9 to 9.30 am on wards and the out put will  peak by 11 am and up to 2.30 to 3 pm and then gradually will decrease.

I had measured the out put at 9am which was 6000 liters per hour and will go upto 10000 liters per hour.



I forget to add ,

I collect water from my bore well to my open well ,and then run my open well motor for 2 hrs for drip irrigation of coconuts 600 trees and lemon 300 trees.


Thanks for the pics. Could you tell us what time of day those pics were taken? That looks like about 3/4inch of water output at best, out of a 1" pipe.

How does the same pipe look when you switch the pump to TNEB? Is the output the same or does it increase.

Also, if you’re using a regular pump for these operations, doesn’t the pump get affected by the differing power it receives as the day progresses?




This picture was taken on 2rd Aug 2012 at about 10am on a cloudy day ,at that time the sun light was with passing clouds. I am located at the foot of hills on western ghats ,near Walayar on Kerala border ,inside tamilnadu territory. When rainy season in Kerala ,I will get cloudy condition in my farm area and will have some spill over rain fall. But this year a total failure of rain and the bore well out put has gone down.

When I run on Solar power or switch over to TNEB power ,the motor does not have any effect,but safe on solar power ,since no much heavy fluctuations in voltage when compared to grid power.

With regard to water flow , yes there is a slight difference, since solar power ,the sunlight intensity varies ,the out flow will vary. In grid power the out put is more.For this purpose, I intend to add few more panels to compensate the frequency fluctuations. After my installation another guy installed for a 10 hp open well with 25% more wattage ,which gives tremendous out put and the pump started running at 8.30 am onwards .

Any further information pls ask far


Hi V Kumar,

Thanks for the snaps. I have a question , What is the area this solar panel occupies.

Plus, You said the grid has severe voltage problems which might damage the pump. If so how is this addressed in the solar type. Does it have any inbuilt protection.

Since you are running the system, practically have you noticed the variation in RPM for the pump ? I think the voltage problem will be more in solar types with clouds passing frequently. Correct me if I am wrong.

Also have you done any cost comparison vis a vis to Diesel pump and solar pump ?? What is the economy for Diesel pumps ? Lets keep any environmental issues aside. Just the working costs.


Murali KG



The panel occupy  30x12 feet for my set up of 5040 watts.

In grid power , the voltage fluctuations, most of the time power only in 2phase.If the frequency falls below 49 then the motor will blow off.
In solar ,the pump will run when the frequency reaches 36 and above , only the out put will be varying. the voltage will be maintained ,this will be taken care by the PLC attached in the unit.

When compared with diesel genset run pumps , the unit cost will be around Rs 18 per unit.As such except the initial investment cost, for a period of 20 years this will run with out any much attention.This what my views.

In solar power ,


Am an amateur, but is not wind mill based pumping cheaper? I think I read somewhere in Pointreturn that their total installation cost about 4 lakhs. Of course thats a few years ago.


At current rates of solar panels, the cost of solar is much cheaper. Plus windmills are for low water requirement for livestock and household use.

If you want to pump acroos a large field, windmills would not suffice.



There is a link here regarding windmill water supply and hand-drilling of borewells.

Is there anybody in India with similar expertise at low cost?


Will anybody from Chennai be attending the Wind Power India (WPI), wind power conference + exhibition, November 28-30, 2012, at Chennai Trade Center, Chennai -

If so, any leads and reviews on wind power based water pumping solutions would be helpful.


Here is company from Coimbatore. They have a hybrid system of solar +windmill. For cloudy days winmill works.

Also this is not only for pumps power can be used to any appliances at any point of time. … tion.htm#4


Hi Shiv,

Please check below link and sound them out. Actual farm visit of where there have installed should give us the full picture.

Uploaded by vrgenergy100 on May 18, 2011
We are the pioneer in the field of solar water pumping systems, we have range available in helical, centrifugal, mono block/surface solar water pump.

Our aim is to provide renewable energy to the farmer with best quality and competitive price.

Please contact us by, Tel.: +91-281-3040882

Just heard that there are going to be severe power shortages in AP and even the trick of flipping 2 phases to 3 phases might not work down the line as here are planning exclusive power grid from the farm sector so makes sense to address this once in for all.



Thanks Madhukali

At this point, solar is still a very expensive option in India and hopefully if there is a mass movement towards it, costs will go down.

Still exploring the China option



As I am working in the related field of power systems of our Indian satellites, I would like to share some points about solar photovoltaic.
1)Mr Murali asked about voltage fluctuations due to day light intensity variation, the answer is NO. The current generated is directly proportional to the intensity. Voltage of the solar cell/panel does not vary linearly with intensity but it is exponential.
2) Presently Silicone based cells are the cheapest (Rs 60per Watt) whose current conversion efficiency is low (10% to 14%. That is why we require a large matrix of solar panels. There are high efficient solar cells (presently up to 34%) but very costly. We may have to wait for better output cells.
3)  Chinese solar panels are  cheaper but it not so for farmers. There will be a large reduction in the cost in coming years.
4) It is wise to use brushless DC immersible pumps for better efficiency.

R Vasudevan


mr kumar

im badhri from coimbatore, i have my farm at palani, im planning on installing solar / and or / wind energy to run my pumps, little advise and help from your end would be appreciate, pls let me know how i can contact u, pls give ur mobile no or email id, so that i can contact u , thanks in advance




There is a link here regarding […] hand-drilling of borewells.
Is there anybody in India with similar expertise at low cost?[/quote]

Thanks Ray. Very interesting. I found a few references on Youtube for manual drilling of bore in parts of India. The method employed is different though. Here are a couple of videos.

The process shown above could easily be made to be driven by animals instead of humans.

A company based in Trivendrum called Reena Borewells also offers hand-bore services.

[quote=“Reena Borewells’ website”]
Hand bore are manually drilled tube well which may range from 20 – 200 ft. in depth and 4”- 8” in diameter. Most of the hand bore wells need periodical cleaning/Flushing. It is usually done in  salinity/sandy areas. [/quote]