Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar have developed a solar power system that can be easily moved between farms to pump water for irrigation. The kit comprises solar panels and an inverter to power a surface-mounted pump.

From pv magazine India

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar have designed and developed a solar system for water pumping which can easily be moved from one farm to another. The kit is useful for pumping water in remote areas and helps small scale farmers who could pool money to use the equipment on a shared basis.

The technology has already been deployed in hard-to-reach areas of the state of Odisha.

IIT Bhubaneswar academics Srinivas Bhaskar Karanki, of the school of electrical sciences, and Satish D Dhandole, from the school of mechanical sciences, led the project.


Karanki told pv magazine: “We have used a tractor trolley for the movable system. The trolley is designed to have a foldable structure to accommodate six panels. The trolley needs to be attached with the tractor head to move from one place to another. The system works with two different types of pumps, one submersible and the other surface-mounted. The surface-mount is taken along with the movable SPV [solar photovoltaic] system. Further, the movable structure is equipped with an inverter.”  

The system can generate enough power to operate submersible and monoblock-pump AC motors even at low irradiation. The inverter circuitry is designed to achieve maximum solar energy harvesting with single-stage power conversion from DC to AC, thereby increasing reliability and reducing the overall cost.

The system can also be operated from a single-phase grid electricity supply, if needed, and is designed to operate a 2hp AC pump with the inverter able to accommodate up to 5hp loads.

The mobile solar pumps have been installed in 13 locations in districts including Angul, Dhenkanal, Puri, Bhadrak, Korput, Keonjhar, Nayagarh, and Mayurbhaj. Three more systems have been installed in the villages of Podapada, Kanaspada, and Khudupur, with those settlements having been adopted by IIT Bhubaneswar under the government’s Unnat Bharat Abhiyan policy, which aims to leverage scientific advances developed in academic institutions in rural settings.

The mobile solar project is funded by the Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production of the government of Odisha under the central government’s Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana agricultural development program.