Solar water pumps are a clean alternative to fossil fuel driven windmills and generators. There are two main types of solar water pumps. Surface pumps are located above ground and move water through pipes. These can move large amounts of water slowly. Surface pumps are typically found on farms or in large irrigation systems where water needs to be moved from a lake to a field. Submersible solar pumps are located underground, but the solar panels are attached above ground. Submersible pumps are used to move water from the well to the surface.
The main difference between a solar powered water pump and a conventional pump is the power source. Solar water pumps rely on solar panels to operate the equipment. The solar panel can be built into the device or a separate structure connected to the pump by wires. The solar panels then power the equipment, allowing it to work independently of any existing electrical system.
The solar water pump could be either a DC powered pump or an AC power pump.
The solar pump controller in the dc powered pump system would typically include a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) to ensure that the solar array is delivering power at its peak power point.
The pump controller in the ac powered pump system would include an MPPT as well as a dc to ac inverter in order to operate the ac electric motor which is part of the water pump. In larger systems these should be three-phase inverters to operate three-phase motors.