Pumps manufacturer Franklin Electric has developed a rugged, high-output solar-powered pumping system which solves the challenges presented by harsh and remote environments, providing pumping power on dry days when water is needed most.
Franklin Electric South Africa (SA) application engineering manager Lyon van der Merwe explains that the Fhoton SolarPAK is unique in its use of standard borehole equipment that is backed up by access to industry logistics and support.
He explains that the Fhoton SolarPAK is modular and compact and was jointly developed by Franklin Electric USA and Franklin Electric SA offering a versatile, all-in-one system solution for all solar pumping requirements.
The Fhoton SolarPAK is based on conventional borehole technology and includes submersible motors that, he points out, operate at variable speeds that provide quiet, pollution-free, corrosion-free and self-lubricating water pumping solutions.
“We are bringing dependable, standard borehole equipment to the solar market for the first time in South Africa, giving our customers access to solar pumping systems with the same consistency as conventional borehole equipment,” he says.
Van Der Merwe explains that the Fhoton SolarPAK is also economical in the long run with many of the smaller sized systems costing little more than the fuel-powered equivalents. The solar pumping system decreases future costs and cost uncertainties as the fuel is free and the pump element, which can be removed and replaced alone, is the only wearing part, with little or no maintenance required.
“With a solar pumping system, there is a significant reduction of cost of ownership and customers are assured of many years of reliable water supply at near-zero operating cost. “The investment payback period for Franklin Electric’s Fhoton SolarPAK is 12 to 24 months, allowing customers to quickly realise the benefits of a solar-powered water pumping system,” he points out.
Van der Merwe explains that the advantages of the Fhoton SolarPAK include not being reliant on fuel or electricity; being expandable; extremely efficiency, meaning pumps can be used in marginal wells, pushing water through pipelines that may be several kilometres long; being constructed of high-quality materials and designed for corrosion resistance and maintenance-free service even in harsh environments; and offering long-term performance and reliability.
“The Fhoton SolarPAK is suitable for a variety of applications from livestock watering to rural water supply and renewable-energy projects, and can be designed for small-, medium- and large-scale water requirements. Typical flow ranges begin at 1 000 ℓ/d and from depths of 5 m to 120 m for small systems, to large-scale flow systems that can reach in excess of 185 000 ℓ/d and achieve depths of up to 300 m,” he elaborates.
Small-scale systems use highly efficient, standard alternating current motors and progressing cavity pumps, while medium-scale systems use multistage, centrifugal submersible pumps powered by high efficiency permanent magnet motors. Van der Merwe says the large-scale systems are driven by an array of high powered modules, ensuring reliability and an expected lifetime in excess of 20 to 25 years.
“Power from the solar array is fed into a high-quality electronic inverter which converts direct current into three-phase variable frequency output,” he says.
Franklin Electric is a manufacturer of high-quality pumping solutions, with an extensive branch and distribution network of authorised service providers across Africa and the world, offering a range of support facilities to its customers.
Van der Merwe concludes that the solar-powered pumps will be available for purchase at the Nampo Harvest Day show, in the Free State, at Stand 25 from May 16 to 19, at a one-off promotional offer for the duration of the show.
“There will be prizes for visitors to the stand, with a grand prize of a complete solar powered pumping system, including a 250 Wp solar panel.”