Installation and performance evaluation of a solar photo voltaic reciprocating water pump

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Access to good drinking water is a problem to rural folks in most developing countries mainly because they have no access to electrical grid. Solar energy has been identified as reliable and is less costly energy source for water pumping in some of these rural areas. In this research work, the drive on a Jensen Jack pump was adapted and mounted on the below ground sub-assembly of the UST hand pump and powered by solar PV source, thus eliminating manual operation of the UST pump. The performance of the system was then evaluated as the major objective of the research work. The new system has shown a tremendous improvement in its water delivery, especially, when a linear current booster (LCB) was used. About 43% additional water was pumped daily using the LCB and the system’s power utilisation also increased by about 27% over the system without the LCB; the system daily average conversion efficiency also increased from 6.2% to 11%. The capacities of the system are 5.2m3 and 3.6m3 per day with and without LCB respectively. The UST-Jack pumping system was found to be reliable and simple; it can be operated unattended with less skilled labour.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 2000