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Can solar film be used to power irrigation pumps?

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Two manufacturers have agreed to join forces to explore the use of solar film to power irrigation pumps for agriculture.

Typically diesel generators or fossil fuel based electricity are used by farmers to power water pumps while irrigating their fields, which can prove both costly and harmful to the environment. The manufacturers, Power Roll and Futurepump, feel that they have a solution; combining lightweight solar film and efficient DC-based water pumps to create a  sustainable water distribution system that greatly reduces both environmental impact and the costs involved.

According to the companies, approximately 1.2m2 of Power Roll’s solar film, costing 20% of the price of a typical PV panel, is enough to power a Futurepump irrigating up to an acre of farmland. The film’s lightweight nature – 1.2m2 weighs 500 grams – also makes it easier to move the pump around the farm.

Toby Hammond, Futurepump’s Managing Director said:

“Power Roll’s solar film has the potential to radically reduce the direct costs of a solar pump solution. While traditional silicon PV panels have been effective in generating the energy for our pumps to date, they can be quite challenging to move, clean, and maintain. A more portable solution would be much easier for our customers to handle, as they typically need to move their pumps around their farms regularly. 

Don Scott, Chief Commercial Officer, Power Roll:

“Futurepump supports the immediate needs of farming communities – pumping water to grow food – and we want to help those communities with easy to use and cheaper pumping solutions.

“Research tells us that, in India alone, there are still over 1 million diesel generators being used to pump water for agriculture. Through our partnership with Futurepump, we look forward to providing a cheaper, cleaner, safer, and more resilient water management solution for those communities.”

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