Using Solar Energy to Pump Water for Livestock

How do #solar #energy and #livestock go together? Well, solar could be used to #pump water for livestock – an innovative concept with many benefits!

Photovoltaic panel providing solar power to a remote well used for watering livestock. ( Jennifer Bearden, University of Florida Extension )
Photovoltaic panel providing solar power to a remote well used for watering livestock.( Jennifer Bearden, University of Florida Extension )

is proving its capabilities every day. Did you know that in California and Florida, solar energy is a great, ever-growing popular source of energy? Even corporations such as the Walt Disney Company are using (and have been) using it.

Farmers and ranchers know the price to run overhead power lines to provide power to remote pumps can be excessive, especially when dealing with enormous estates. This is part of the push to seek out alternative sources of energy. Solar is just one of the options available. Now the question is: could solar energy be used to for cattle, cows and other animals?

And the answer is YES. As a matter of fact, taking advantage of solar energy to pump water for comes with many advantages. For one, it saves money financially for ranchers. Even the start-up cost to get everything set up tends to be less pricy than running overhead lines. Then, if you look into the cost to run the system, you will find it is also quite low. Cost-savings are always a benefit!

Thanks to solar power, secluded or more out-of-the-way places can have a well in addition to the power which is needed to run said well. The cost of maintenance is low, too. Since the lifespan for solar panels is now more than two decades (and often times, companies will cover them with a warranty for that long) – you really can’t argue the benefits of using solar to pump water for livestock.

How Can Solar Pump Water?

You’re probably wondering how solar could possibly be used to pump water. It’s simple – well, sort of. Solar panels collect sunlight and this allows the system to pump water. Therefore, if the hot sun does not happen to be out, the pump is merely not doing its job – it is not pumping. This could be viewed as a disadvantage, of course. In a state such as Florida, where the sun is shining quite often, this particular disadvantage doesn’t make much of a dent, though. A system could easily be set up to include a DC to AC inverter, and a generator could be used to power the system when the sun is not shining.

Having access to water in otherwise isolated locations is beneficial for everyone. For one, it allows ranchers to keep livestock away from surface waters – this is great for the herd’s health, not to mention, the health of the environment.

There is so much we can do when we have a submersible pump and DC motor, a well, a controller, a water storage tank and of course, solar panels. All we need is a little bit of creativity, innovation and the inspiration to reap the benefits of what is already naturally there – solar!

If one is looking to design their own solar/water pump system, they will have to consider storage tank capacity, day-to-day water needs, hydraulic workload, and so on. There isn’t a “cookie cutter” specification because wells have different depths, pipe widths and so on. It’s best to work with an expert if one wants to use solar energy to pump water for their livestock.

Cost-Share Program for Solar Pumping Systems

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) happens to have a cost-share program which was designed to assist in offsetting the price of having a for livestock put into place. One really can’t go wrong!

Keep reading about the latest in solar news to see how solar is being used to change the world. Who would have thought that solar power could benefit livestock?




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