Solar Irrigation Pumps
Bangladesh is a densely populated agricultural country with about 150 million people live on an area of 144,000 square kilometer. 70% of the country's population lives on agriculture. Agriculture sector contributes 35% of national GDP and employs over 60% of the country's labor force. Agriculture production mainly depends on irrigation and irrigation depends on fuel supply, which is scarce here. The country annually consumes on an average, over 3.7 million tons of imported crude and finished petroleum products, out of which about 2 million tons is high speed diesel oil (HSD). About 40% of HSD is used in agriculture sector to operate over 1.5 million Low Lift Pumps (LLP), Shallow Tube Wells (STW) and Deep Tube Wells (DTW). The remaining 60% is used in transport and other sector. 100% of the diesel is imported and sold with high subsidy. Bangladesh is one of the low per capita energy consuming countries of the world. Out of 22 gas fields discovered so far, 2 abandoned, 5 exhausted and the rests are going to be finished soon.. 90% of the country's electricity is based on natural gas, which has limited reserves. With the lapse of time, energy needs are increasing, but sources are exhausted. Consequently, the country is going to face a serious energy crisis. Searching alternative sources of energy is the only option to face this grave situation. The climate of Bangladesh is suitable for most renewable energy technologies. It is blessed with a rich sunshine as a renewable source of energy. On an average the country receives daily about 4-7kWh/m2/day of solar energy, with about 300 days of annual sunshine hours.
In the FY 2009-10, the agriculture sector of Bangladesh contributed 20.16% to the GDP (Bangladesh Economic Review-2010). Out of 11 million hectares of land under rice production, modern boro rice alone covers about 4.70 million hectares and nearly 98% of this area requires irrigation. However, power shortage and low voltage affecting irrigation from the electricity operated pumps causing lower production of crops. Considering the energy crisis of the country and increasing price of petroleum products across the globe, it is important to explore alternative energy sources for irrigation to ensure both food and energy security.
In this context, the application of solar irrigation pump has tremendous potential especially to decrease the dependence on diesel, an expensive liquid fuel.
Solar Powered Irrigation System
Solar powered irrigation system could be an innovative, economic and environmentally friendly solution for the agro-based economy of Bangladesh. This system mainly consists of solar panels & solar submersible pump. Solar panels utilize daily sunshine to generate electricity which in turn runs the solar pump to provide uninterrupted water supply. If a sun-tracker is used, it will help in maximizing utilization of the sunlight the panels receive. Replacement of part of agricultural pumps with Solar PV technology could save significant amount of foreign currency and would offset considerable GHG emission.
This program is implementing through Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), a government owned financial institution under the Ministry of Finance. Similar to IDCOL's successful Solar Home System and Biogas Programs, it will select some NGOs, MFIs or private entities (Partner Organization or PO) to implement the program on the basis of management capacity, financial strength and micro-finance experience.
POs will be responsible for selection of areas and target customers. They will install the plants and supply electricity to the customers. They will also operate those for at least the loan period. They will collect electricity bills from the customers.
POs should use maximum diligence in selecting the appropriate size of the plant. They should make a detailed survey of the proposed sites; calculate the demand at different hours of the day and also different seasons of the year. Based on the survey, they can prepare the design of the plant which will include panel capacity, size of battery bank, need for back-up diesel generator in cloudy days etc.
IDCOL will provide necessary technical, financial and promotional support to the POs for successful implementation of the program. IDCOL will assess the proposals submitted by POs, approve those based on strict guidelines and disburse grant and soft loan to the POs. Proper installation and operation of the plants will be ensured through periodic field visits by IDCOL inspection team. IDCOL's independent Technical Standard Committee will approve the equipments to be used under the program.
MAKS Solar Irrigation Pump
MAKS is the pioneer in the field of solar irrigation pump in Bangladesh. In 2009 MAKS installed the country first solar irrigation pump in Sapahar, Noagoan with Grameen Shakti, a PO of IDCOL. Till now MAKS installed a notable number of solar irrigation pumps with BADC, IDCOL, Private Banks, Individual customers etc. MAKS has strong R&D, design, installation & after sales service team for solar irrigation pump.
Working principal of Solar Irrigation Pump
Grameen Shakti, Solar Irrigation pump in Sapahar, Noagoan
NUSRA Solar Irrigation Pump, Dhamrai, Dhaka
BADC Solar Irrigation pump, Dhamrai, Dhaka