Solar Water Pumping for Irrigation: Case Study of the Kilimanjaro Region (Mechanical/Electrical Project)

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This study has been conducted as a Minor Field Study (MFS). It focuses on solar water pumping for small-scale farmers in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. The purpose is to investigate the possibilities for rural farmers to operate their irrigation with solar power instead of their current option: fossil fuels, primarily petrol.

The study was conducted in three phases, starting with pre-study in Sweden, followed by field study in Tanzania from January to March 2015 and finishing with summarizing and calculating in Sweden.

Fuel powered water pumping has a cheap capital cost; however, it is expensive and problematic to maintain and operate. Solar powered water pumping is almost completely opposite. It has a higher initial cost; however, it is considerably cheaper to run. The results indicate that the investment in solar power might be too expensive for the farmers, as long as they do not receive external financial and educational support.

Assuming that the farmers are able to obtain a solar water pumping system, results show that they will benefit and save a considerably amount of money over a long period of time. Also, solar water pumping is environmentally friendly compared to the systems in Tanzania today.
Source: Halmstad University
Authors: Bengtsson, Niclas | Nilsson, Johan

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