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Solar-powered pumps, a boon for farmers

DNPUN32643 | 10/26/2010 | Author : Bhagyashree Kulthe | WC :444

Device launched in Talegaon Dhamdhere in Shirur taluka, set up in other parts of the country and exported too

Bringing in a good option for rural water supply, Pune-based Span Pumps officially recently launched solar-powered pumps for borewells in Talegaon Dhamdhere village in Shirur taluka of the district.
An environment-friendly technology, the pump ensures uninterrupted water supply as it can be connected to a storage tank. When solar power is not available, the user can operate a hand pump to get water.
Company directors Nitin Mutiyan and Ajit Bhandari said the device has been specially developed as a solar-powered pump, which can be operated as a hand pump for community and institutional use. It is a good alternative for power pumps or manually operated pumps, which are being used in villages since the 1980s.
The device uses solar energy to pump water from a borewell or a water source during the day. It operates for about 8 hours (between sunrise and sunset) and pumps up to 9,000 litres of water. There are no recurrent cost as solar power is free and the system can run without an operator, they said.
Mutiyan said Span Pumps operate without batteries and inverter. The pump draws energy from solar array directly. It is connected to a storage tank and water is dispensed through a stand post. The stored water can be used when required, in the absence of solar power.
The high quality pumps have been imported from Denmark. They save electricity and can be used at places without access to or with intermittent electric supply. The system is suitable for use on 100-mm and more diameter borewells up to 90 metres depth. A solar array (300-800w) is installed near the borewell and a submersible pump is installed below the hand pump cylinder. Both the submersible and the hand pumps share the same riser pipes.
The life of solar panel is estimated to be around 15-20 years and a single system costs about Rs2.50 lakh. "The investment is worth it, as it will save power bills and maintenance is zero. It is installed with five-year maintenance contract," said Mutiyan, adding the rural requirements have been considered while developing the pump.
The company has signed a rate contract with the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (Meda). Fifty such pumps have already been installed in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and other parts of the country, while 15 pumps have been exported. The company has a patent of technology for the pump.
The chief buyers of Span Pumps include rural development organisations, NGOs and local, state and central government bodies.
The pump at Talegaon Dhamdhere was inaugurated by Pune Zilla Parishad president Savita Dagade. It has been set up from funds received under 'Apale Paani' project of the zilla parishad.

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