Project Examples

Design of Water Pumping Systems without Batteries for Villages in the Peruvian Andes

Course: 22.521 - Solar Fundamentals
Semester: Fall 2005
Instructor: John Duffy
Partner: Village Empowerment Peru Project

Brief Description:

A team at UMass Lowell has been traveling to Peru for the past several years in order to assist the living conditions of residents in remote villages. These villagers live without clean water and electricity. Therefore, one of the group tasks has been to design and install solar powered water delivery systems. Unfortunately, some of these systems have been failing due to different reasons. Designs of improvement are now being considered. The objective of this project was to analyze the current design of one pump system and look at possible changes, such as connecting the pump directly to the PV modules without the assistance of storage batteries. Students also considered how realistic it would be to run a system without batteries.

Full Description:

A team at UMass Lowell has been traveling to Peru for the past seven years in order to assist the living conditions of residents in remote villages. These villagers live without clean water and electricity. Therefore, one of the group tasks has been to design and install solar powered water delivery systems. Unfortunately, some of these systems have been failing due to different reasons. Designs of improvement are now being considered. The objective of this project was to analyze the current design of one pump system and look at possible changes, such as connecting the pump directly to the PV modules without the assistance of storage batteries.

Students also considered how realistic it would be to run a system without batteries.

Specific project tasks included: Estimation of the monthly average irradiation on the PV modules for each month of one year; Measures of Isc and Voc of two Evergreen 50 W modules; Comparison of design to manufacturer specifications; Calculation of the amount of energy to pump 500 liters of water to a height of 25 meters; Redesign of the system to eliminate the use of batteries; Development of a mathematical model of startup; Sketch a wiring diagram of the system; Specification of the wire gage to limit power loss to 3%; Performance of an hourly simulation with estimated hourly solar irradiation and ambient temperature for the worst month; Track loss of load; and Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the system with and without batteries.