IBC SOLAR presents system solution for agricultural irrigation

Innovative IBC PumpController with Siemens frequency converter replaces diesel generators

Bad Staffelstein, January 20, 2016 – IBC SOLAR AG, one of the world's leading photovoltaic (PV) system service providers, is giving farmers the opportunity to switch to a non-toxic, low-cost and reliable water supply: expensive and high-maintenance diesel generators can now be replaced with a PV system linked to the IBC PumpController. This system can be connected via a Siemens frequency converter to existing water pumps. Existing irrigation systems can therefore easily be converted to use a significantly more efficient and lower-cost power supply.

Both the existing pumps and the entire irrigation infrastructure are conserved during the conversion, and only the diesel generator is replaced by a PV system. The IBC PumpController system solution combined with a PV system is structured around concepts of standardisation, modularisation and the global quality promise of IBC SOLAR.

Only standard components are used by IBC SOLAR as they are easy to maintain and replace. The Sinamics S120 frequency converter including Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) from Siemens installed in the IBC PumpController ensures that the maximum output can be taken from the photovoltaic generator.

Replacing expensive diesel with reliable solar power

The benefits of the solar system solution will be immediately noticeable to farmers who are converting to a solar power supply. Diesel fuel is expensive to purchase and poses risks during transportation and storage. Diesel is also not cost effective as a fuel source because the cost of importing is supported by government subsidies in many countries. Solar energy, on the other hand, is a reliable and low-cost form of power supply in the agricultural sector, especially in areas where demand for water is high.

Furthermore, energy supply and water demand fit together perfectly. Water is typically in need after sunny days, thus right after water tanks have been filled with the aid of solar power. Once installed, the PV system also only incur minimal maintenance costs.

Pilot plants with cost recovery within 3 years

A pilot plant on a farm in Namibia has been showing the practical functions of the system solution since June 2015. An IBC SOLAR PV system with a maximum output of 17.7 kWp and an IBC PumpController has permanently replaced an 11 kVA diesel generator. This conversion has made possible the environmentally-friendly and, above all, reliable drip irrigation of arable land, while saving 30 litres of diesel per day. "The investment in the solar-powered pump solution will pay off within 3 years," explains Dieter Miener, Technical Applications Engineer at IBC SOLAR.

IBC SOLAR will include 10 performance classes ranging between 3 and 90 kW in its portfolio. Due to the positive experiences gained in Namibia and further countries, IBC SOLAR is now offering the system solution in the target markets of Africa and Latin America through its Premium Partners. In addition to its use in agricultural fields, the solution can also be implemented in the fish farming, wastewater treatment or tourism sectors.