You may have heard of solar irrigation or solar pump irrigation techniques. It is yet another way to take advantage of renewable energies in the field of agriculture, taking advantage of the great source of energy that is the sun in a large number of territories.
If you want to learn more about what solar irrigation is and how to make one at home, as well as its advantages and disadvantages, join us in this interesting article.
What is solar irrigation
In principle, we can distinguish two well differentiated forms of solar irrigation , although both use the simple principle of using solar energy to water our plants and crops.
Home solar irrigation
Home solar irrigation, which can be used in small orchards and gardens, is a drip irrigation method that anyone can apply at home, for very little money and that also allows the reuse of plastic bottles. However, although it is easy to apply in small areas, it is not suitable for large farms, since it would require too many human resources.
Solar pumping system
On the other hand, in large farms, the solar pumping system is used more and more every day. This consists of the installation of solar panels , which are the ones that feed the pump that carries the water to the farm’s irrigation system.
It is usual that the hours of sunlight are used to pump the water from the well to a high tank, so that the same gravity will be in charge of distributing the irrigation water more easily when it is necessary, regardless of the whether the solar panels are supplying energy at the same time or not.
Both at a domestic and professional level, they are still little-known systems in some areas, but it is certainly worth extending their use due to their many advantages, among which is the ecological benefit of using renewable energy .
How to do a home solar irrigation step by step
Making a home solar irrigation system is very simple, and it will only require a few minutes in which, in addition, we will take the opportunity to recycle plastic bottles.
- Get a 1.5-liter or 2-liter plastic bottle and a larger 5-liter bottle, or plastic jug . It does not matter if they are made of water or any other liquid, just wash them properly before using them and you will not have any problem.
- Using scissors or a cutter, cut the small bottle roughly in half and keep the bottom half. You will only have to cut the bottom 2 or 3 centimeters from the carafe and do not remove the cap.
- Go out to the garden or orchard and choose the point where you want to install the solar drip irrigation system, very close to the plants to be watered but not on them.
- Drill a hole about the depth of the cut small bottle and insert it so that the edges of the bottle are an inch or two above the ground.
- Fill the bottle with water and cover it with the carafe, keeping the cap on.
With this, what you achieve is that the sunlight evaporates the water in the small bottle, which, since it cannot come out, will condense on the walls of the carafe, slowly descending towards the ground. The land thus receives the equivalent of a traditional drip irrigation system, since the water supply is slow but constant, maintaining a very beneficial humidity level for most plants.
You can install as many of these bottles as you want, spaced along the rows of your garden or at different points in your garden, and the only thing you need to worry about is filling the water when the bottles are empty or about to. do it. Also, keep in mind that for this to work, it is necessary that the carafes be made of transparent or partially translucent plastic, since if the sun does not penetrate, the water will not evaporate.
Solar irrigation: advantages and disadvantages
We must distinguish between the home and industrial systems to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of solar irrigation :
Solar home drip irrigation
- Advantages: the most important advantage of this system is that it maintains a constant level of humidity in the soil, with a practically non-existent material cost and without any maintenance, and with which it is recycled. For all purposes it is a totally ecological drip irrigation system.
- Disadvantages: The biggest disadvantage is that the carafes are quite visible, and although in a garden it does not matter, the aesthetic impact in a garden is considerable.
Solar irrigation pump
- Advantages: the main advantage of this system is the energy savings achieved in the long term, since it is not necessary to resort to generators, electricity lines or fossil fuels, with all the benefits derived from both economic and risk and maintenance costs. In addition, it is a totally ecological, non-polluting system, and currently the installation of solar panels is cheaper than a few years ago.
- Disadvantages: its main drawback is that the climatic conditions of the area affect energy production, and not all areas are suitable for making this type of facilities profitable.