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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Development of highly efficient optimized PV pumping systems. A consequent follow-up and finalization of past European-wide research efforts


The objective of the project is to develop and test optimized PV systems for water pumping. The main results expected from this project are the following:
1) An operational high-voltage inverter which allows for higher overall system efficiency.
2) Laboratory test results of centrifugal pump systems with and without short-term energy storage.
3) An operational prototype of a PV driven linear-lift pump.
Two PV pump systems and a high voltage inverter were designed. The high voltage inverter successfully reached efficiencies of 95% and demonstrated highest efficiencies over a large power range. An integrated DC current differential breaker prevented possible safety problems that could be encountered due to the high input voltage. The main advantages of the short-term energy storage system were seen under conditions of low and medium irradiance, where a standard system cannot overcome the initial irradiance threshold needed to get the pumping started. The linear lift pump prototype performed very promisingly, achieving efficiencies of about 40%.
The following main tasks will be performed by different European partners making use of their special expertise
1) In order to reduce power losses from the array to the inverter, a 3-phase high-voltage inverter will be developed. Safety problems encountered due to the high input voltage will be solved with an integrated direct current differential breaker.
2) Short-term energy storage devices which are discharged in case of low irradiance or cloudy conditions, allow for operation of centrifugal pumps close to the point of maximum efficiency. In the frame of this project laboratory tests of a PV pumping system with and without short-term storage for different irradiance profiles will be conducted. 3) In order to make use of the potentially high efficiency (60-80%) of a linear-lift pump, which is based on the traditional chain-and-washer pump, a PV prototype system will be developed, constructed and tested.

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Participants (3)