The Indian government is taking concrete steps to reduce reliance on diesel and electric irrigation pumps for agricultural activities, and is pushing for solar-powered systems, which can lower costs and generate additional income for farmers.
The Union Government had announced a series of measures such as the Rs 1.4 lakh-crore scheme for promoting decentralized solar power production of up to 28,250 MW; Rs 48,000-crore on the ten-year scheme Kisaan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan or KUSUM, etc. to enable farmers to adopt solar powered systems.
According to an analysis by GERMI and IWMI-Tata Program, these initiatives enable India to achieve 100 GW solar energy target by 2022.
Increased use of solar energy can be a boon to the farmers. In the effort to make the energy readily available, Mitsubishi Electric has developed an advanced solution, a solar power operated pump controller, which converts the DC power to drive the AC induction motor of a water pump and control its function.
It currently offers E12 series of drives. The controller is more efficient, compact, easy to maintain and easy to operate. It also has built-in application-specific dedicated features. Its operation capacity ranges from 3 hp to 10 hp with FR-D 700 & FR-E 700 series. Mitsubishi Electric also offers up to 60 hp with its FR- A800 series of drives.
The controller, manufactured under the guidelines of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has some advanced built-in features, including Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)/Optimized output frequency control, automatic restart function, dry-run detection, flow rate monitor, remote monitoring function and capacity to work on Solar and Grid supply. The dry-run detection function helps prevent the motor from rotating without enough water flow or with a blockage in the pump.
It also comes with a power failure stop function where the DC bus minimum voltage is reduced to avoid under voltage tripping and to maximize output delivery from morning to evening.
Mitsubishi Electric solar pump controllers are powered by the most advanced innovations in the industry. Their latest range of solar pump controllers is based on Internet of Things (IoT) and can be controlled through smartphones.
The solar power irrigation is, indeed, becoming a viable option for both large and small-scale farmers and is effective in reducing energy cost for irrigation. Consequently, the utilization of solar power irrigation has led to the optimization of other agricultural resources as well.