A pump is a device that
transports water through a mechanical action. There are three
primary methods to accomplish this movement. They are direct
lift, gravity and displacement. Each method has many different
designs and equipment to perform the task. The various types
can be operated through manual input, engines, wind power or
electricity. They play a vital role in providing irrigation,
flood control and drinking water. Wikipedia has a great
about many different kinds of traditional pumps and their usage.
A solar powered pump can range in
from moving small quantities of water around your decorative
fountain, all the way to providing whole communities with potable water.
They are very useful in situations where grid electricity is
impractical or impossible. Often times they are utilized by
farmers to water their livestock in far out pastures. Sun based pumps can also out
perform the wind powered variety. A solar powered pump setup
requires a minimum of four parts.
The pump mechanism
2. A controller to moderate the power
output relative to the suns input
3. Electric DC Motor
4. The solar panels (will likely be the vast majority of
the cost of the system)
Larger scale & more resilient endeavors may also
utilize power inverters, AC motors and batteries.
Here is a YouTube video explaining a
solar well setup including plumbing and proper installation.
(probably of most interest to those wanting to live off of the grid)
Colorado State University has produced a very
informative data fact sheet about
solar-powered ground water pumping systems. It contains pros &
cons, technical specifications of many different brands / models and
considerations about sizing & potential costs.