Tricycle mounted foldable Solar Water Pumping System
A foldable Solar panel array powered water pump system mounted on tricycle for easy transportation


We propose to use solar panels mounted on human powered tricycle to power a 1 HP AC surface pump for purpose of irrigating the fields. The solar panels array is foldable and can easily be oriented towards the Sun by moving the tricycle. The angle of tilt of the solar panels can also be adjusted as per the season of the year, to improve system efficiency and getting the maximum water output from the pump. The proposed system uses existing technology and commonly available material and a working prototype can be made in a short span of time. The proposed system does not have any batteries or other recurring cost and is quite robust in construction.

We have incorporated the following design elements in our suggested solution for Greenpeace challenge:
·         Mobility
·         Safety and robustness
·         Functionality
·         Feasibility


Mobility: The entire system (Solar panels + 1HP pump system + electronics) is mounted on a human powered tricycle cart which can easily be transported from one place to another. In addition, the user can easily orient the entire system towards Sun to tap the maximum sunshine, thereby eliminating the need of auto-tracking system for solar panels and helping in cost reduction. The total weight of the system will not be more than 150 – 175 kg and can easily be pulled by a single person.

Safety and robustness: The system is designed in such a way that it can be easily folded and safely transported back after usage. Foldable structure permits us to have permanent system wiring, which will lead to enhanced system reliability in long term. Additionally, personal safety of the user is ensured as he/she will not have to make the electrical connections every time the pump is used. The solar panels are safely folded and secured during transportation.

Functionality: We propose to power a 1 HP AC pump in our design using multiple solar panels of 100Wp each for better water output from the pump. The electronic pump controller will be capable of driving the pump without requiring any batteries (thereby eliminating any recurring expenses). Moreover, AC pump can easily be repaired / serviced by local technicians in villages and cities and hence are better suited for the application in this challenge.

Feasibility: The system can easily be designed using existing technology and locally available material. Hence, the time from conceptualization to commercial prototype for our proposed system will be short. Work on electronic pump controller is already going on and we will have the working prototype soon. As far as the cost is concerned, we are positive that the total system cost will be around Rs 95000/- (with no recurring costs) and will easily be within purchasing capacity of small / medium farmers.

Cost breakup will be as follows:

Solar panels sufficient to drive 1 HP motor= Rs 52000/- 
1 HP AC pump = Rs 10000/- 
Electronic controller = Rs 10000/- 
Metal Structure = 10000/- 
Tricycle cart = Rs 8000/- 
Misc. Balance Of System cost = Rs 5000/-

Total cost Rs 95000/-

I think this is the costing for less than 100 pcs of such system. Taking into account the quantity requirement for this type of water pumping system, we will further be able to reduce the costing on economies of scale.

Other entries in this project

Use of Bio-gas/Bio-diesel &  Low Cost Fuel Cell to drive pumps in Bihar Farms
NSP-Solar Pump - Solar Pump Station especially designed for remote areas
The Swiss Solar Pump