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Solar irrigation: what it is and how to do it

Solar irrigation: what it is and how to do it

You may have heard of solar irrigation or solar pumping techniques for irrigation. This is yet another way of taking 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 is solar irrigation and how to make one home, as well as what its advantages and disadvantages are, join us in this interesting article by EcologíaVerde.

What is solar irrigation

In principle, we can distinguish two forms of solar irrigation well differentiated, although both use the simple principle of use solar energy to irrigate 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 reusing plastic bottles. However, although it is easy to apply on small plots, it is not suitable for large farms, since it would require too many human resources.

solar pumping system

On large farms, on the other hand, the solar pumping system is used more and more every day. This consists of installing solar panels, which are the ones that feed the pump that takes the water to the farm’s irrigation system. Learn more about these products in this other EcologíaVerde article on What are solar plates or panels and how do they work.

It is usual to take advantage of the hours of sunshine to pump the water from the well to a high tank, so that gravity itself will be in charge of distributing the irrigation water more easily when it is needed, regardless of that the solar panels are supplying energy at that very moment or not.

Both at a domestic and professional level, they are systems that are still little known in some areas, but their use is undoubtedly worth extending due to their many advantages, among which is the ecological benefit of use renewable energy.

Solar irrigation: what it is and how to do it - What is solar irrigation

How to make a homemade solar irrigation step by step

Make a homemade solar irrigation system It is very simple, and it will only require a few minutes in which, in addition, we will take the opportunity to recycle plastic bottles.

  1. get one plastic bottle of 1.5 liters or 2 liters and a larger bottle, or plastic bottle, 5 liters. It doesn’t matter if they are made of water or any other liquid, just wash them properly before using them and you won’t have any problems.
  2. With scissors or a cutter, cut the small bottle down about half and keep the bottom half. From the bottle you will only have to cut the bottom 2 or 3 centimeters and do not remove the cap.
  3. 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.
  4. Make a hole the approximate depth of the cut small bottle and insert it so that the edges of the bottle are one or two centimeters above the ground.
  5. fill the water bottle and cover it with the carafe, keeping the cap on.

With this, what you get is that sunlight evaporates water of the small bottle, which, unable to get out, will condense on the walls of the carafe, to slowly descend 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 level of humidity for most plants.

You can install as many of these bottles as you like, spaced along the rows of your orchard or at different points in your garden, and the only thing you need to worry about is refilling the water when the bottles are empty or about to run out. do it. Also, keep in mind that for this to work, the bottles need to be made of transparent or partially translucent plastic, since if the sun does not penetrate, the water will not evaporate.

In this other EcologíaVerde article we explain more about How to make a homemade drip irrigation system.

Solar irrigation: what it is and how to do it - How to make a homemade solar irrigation step by step

Solar irrigation: advantages and disadvantages

We must distinguish between the home system and the industrial system to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of solar irrigation:

Home Solar Drip Irrigation

  • Advantage: 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 completely ecological drip irrigation system.
  • Disadvantages: the biggest disadvantage is that the bottles are quite visible, and although in a garden it does not matter, the aesthetic impact in a garden is considerable.

solar irrigation pump

  • Advantage: The main advantage of this system is the energy savings achieved in the long term, since it is not necessary to resort to generators, power lines or fossil fuels, with all the benefits derived both financially and in terms of risks 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 installation profitable.

Learn more about other systems in these other articles on Characteristics of the different irrigation systems and Advantages and disadvantages of hose irrigation.

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