Sizing of a solar irrigation system

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Dr. Hartmann Bálint
Department of Electric Power Engineering

Automatic irrigation systems are widely used even on smaller agricultural areas, as because of the climate change, necessary water and nutrient supply of the plants is becoming more and more important. On the most of the areas it is difficult and expensive to carry deploy an irrigation system, connected to the network of public utilities. That is why sprinkling with an off-grid photovoltaic system can provide a solution for the water supply.

The sizing of the photovoltaic systems can be executed in different ways. We can either use the energy demand of the system as a basis, so that the produced energy can be consumed in the right time and power. Or we can determine the size based on the minimal needed output, so that the sprinkling will start when photovoltaic modules can ensure enough power. It needs to be considered whether the electricity or the water is more worth to be stored, and what is the minimum battery capacity that is needed for sprinkling on cloudy days.

To meet the power of the 600 W pump in a garden where water spreaders are used, we need to coer a much bigger area with solar cells to provide the necessary output, than in the case we can store the energy produced by our solar cells in batteries.


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