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PV water pumping systems for agricultural applications
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1351-9245
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Grassland and farmland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic threats for China. The degradation process negatively affects food and water security, economy, society and climate changes.

Photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the grassland degradation. At the same time it can promote the conservation of farmland, especially in remote areas of China. The combination of PVWP technology with water saving irrigation techniques and sustainable management of the groundwater resources can lead to several benefits. These include enhancing grassland productivity, halting wind and rainfall erosion, providing higher incomes and better living conditions for farmers.   

This doctoral thesis aims to bridge the current knowledge gaps, optimize system implementation and prevent system failures. This work represents thus a step forward to solve the current and future nexus between energy, water and food security in China, using PVWP technology for irrigation.

Models for the dynamic simulations of PVWP systems, irrigation water requirements (IWR) and crop response to water have been presented and integrated. Field measurements at a pilot PVWP system in Inner Mongolia have been conducted to analyse the reliability of the models adopted. A revision of the traditional design approaches and a new optimization procedure based on a genetic algorithm (GA) have been proposed to guarantee the match between IWR and water supply, to minimize the system failures and to maximize crop productivity and thus the PVWP system profitability and effectiveness.

Several economic analyses have been conducted to establish the most cost effective solution for irrigation and to evaluate the project profitability. The possible benefits generated by the PVWP system implementation have been highlighted, as well as the effects of the most sensitive parameters, such as forage price and incentives. The results show that PVWP system represents the best technical and economic solution to provide water for irrigation in the remote areas compared to other traditional water pumping technologies. The environmental benefits have been also addressed, evaluating the CO2 emissions saving achievable from the PVWP system operation. The assessment of the feasible and optimal areas for implementing PVWP systems in China has been conducted using spatial analysis and an optimization tool for the entire supply chain of forage production. The results show that the potentials of PVWP systems in China are large. Nevertheless, the feasible and optimal locations are extremely sensitive to several environmental and economic para­meters such as forage IWR, groundwater depth, and CO2 credits that need to be carefully taken into account in the planning process.   

Although this doctoral thesis has used China as case study, PVWP technology can be applied for irrigation purposes all over the world both for off- and on-grid applications leading to several economic and environmental benefits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2015.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 175
National Category
Engineering and Technology Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27641ISBN: 978-91-7485-189-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-27641DiVA: diva2:792682
Public defence
2015-04-24, Delta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-03-09 Created: 2015-03-04 Last updated: 2015-04-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Dynamic modelling of a PV pumping system with special consideration on water demand
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dynamic modelling of a PV pumping system with special consideration on water demand
2013 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 112, 635-645 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The exploitation of solar energy in remote areas through photovoltaic (PV) systems is an attractive solution for water pumping for irrigation systems. The design of a photovoltaic water pumping system (PVWPS) strictly depends on the estimation of the crop water requirements and land use since the water demand varies during the watering season and the solar irradiation changes time by time. It is of significance to conduct dynamic simulations in order to achieve the successful and optimal design. The aim of this paper is to develop a dynamic modelling tool for the design of a of photovoltaic water pumping system by combining the models of the water demand, the solar PV power and the pumping system, which can be used to validate the design procedure in terms of matching between water demand and water supply. Both alternate current (AC) and direct current (DC) pumps and both fixed and two-axis tracking PV array were analyzed. The tool has been applied in a case study. Results show that it has the ability to do rapid design and optimization of PV water pumping system by reducing the power peak and selecting the proper devices from both technical and economic viewpoints. Among the different alternatives considered in this study, the AC fixed system represented the best cost effective solution.

Keyword
Photovoltaic system, Pumping system, Renewable energy resources, Solar energy, Water demand
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-18229 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.12.073 (DOI)000329377800067 ()2-s2.0-84884208109 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2013-02-15 Created: 2013-02-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. An economic analysis of photovoltaic water pumping irrigation systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An economic analysis of photovoltaic water pumping irrigation systems
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Green Energy, ISSN 1543-5075, E-ISSN 1543-5083, Vol. 13, no 8, 831-839 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

ABSTRACT: Irrigation using the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) systems represents a sustainable and attractive solution, which can combat Chinese grassland desertification and promote a sustainable development of the agricultural sector. This paper investigates the economics of PVWP systems taking into consideration the effects of the key components on the initial capital cost (ICC), life cycle cost (LCC), and revenues. Sensitivity analyses are conducted regarding the crop yield and price, cost of photovoltaic modules, and system components included in the ICC. Results show that the cost of the PVWP system is the most sensitive parameter affecting the ICC under the assumptions made, especially the cost of the PV modules; whereas, the crop production and price affect the net present value (NPV) and payback period (PBP) clearly. The PVWP has surplus power output when the crop water demand is low or it is non-irrigation season. The potential benefit from selling the surplus electricity is also discussed. In addition, the indirect benefits of carbon sequestration and CO2 emission reduction by applying PVWP systems are addressed in this paper.

National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27649 (URN)10.1080/15435075.2016.1161631 (DOI)000382233500010 ()2-s2.0-84979707887 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-03-06 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Economic optimization of photovoltaic water pumping systems for irrigation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Economic optimization of photovoltaic water pumping systems for irrigation
Show others...
2015 (English)In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 95, 32-41 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Photovoltaic water pumping technology is considered as a sustainable and economical solution to provide water for irrigation, which can halt grassland degradation and promote farmland conservation in China. The appropriate design and operation significantly depend on the available solar irradiation, crop water demand, water resources and the corresponding benefit from the crop sale. In this work, a novel optimization procedure is proposed, which takes into consideration not only the availability of groundwater resources and the effect of water supply on crop yield, but also the investment cost of photovoltaic water pumping system and the revenue from crop sale. A simulation model, which combines the dynamics of photovoltaic water pumping system, groundwater level, water supply, crop water demand and crop yield, is employed during the optimization. To prove the effectiveness of the new optimization approach, it has been applied to an existing photovoltaic water pumping system. Results show that the optimal configuration can guarantee continuous operations and lead to a substantial reduction of photovoltaic array size and consequently of the investment capital cost and the payback period. Sensitivity studies have been conducted to investigate the impacts of the prices of photovoltaic modules and forage on the optimization. Results show that the water resource is a determinant factor.

National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27650 (URN)10.1016/j.enconman.2015.01.066 (DOI)000352169300004 ()2-s2.0-84923335713 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-03-06 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Techno-economic feasibility of the irrigation system for the grassland and farmland conservation in China: photovoltaic vs. wind power water pumping
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Techno-economic feasibility of the irrigation system for the grassland and farmland conservation in China: photovoltaic vs. wind power water pumping
2015 (English)In: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, Vol. 103, no 6, 311-320 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) and wind power water pumping (WPWP) systems for irrigation represent innovative solutions for the restoration of degraded grassland and the conservation of farmland in remote areas of China. The present work systematically compares the technical and economic suitability of such systems, providing a general approach for the design and selection of the suitable technology for irrigation purposes. The model calculates the PVWP and WPWP systems sizes based on irrigation water requirement (IWR), solar irradiation and wind speed. Based on the lowest PVWP and WPWP systems components costs, WPWP systems can compete with PVWP systems only at high wind speed and low solar irradiation values. Nevertheless, taking into account the average specific costs both for PVWP and WPWP systems, it can be concluded that the most cost-effective solution for irrigation is site specific. According to the dynamic simulations, it has also been found that the PVWP systems present better performances in terms of matching between IWR and water supply compared to the WPWP systems. The mismatch between IWR and pumped water resulted in a reduction of crop yield. Therefore, the dynamic simulations of the crop yield are essential for economic assessment and technology selection.

National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27652 (URN)10.1016/j.enconman.2015.06.034 (DOI)000359873300032 ()2-s2.0-84935445930 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-03-06 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2015-10-28Bibliographically approved
5. Optimal grassland locations for sustainable photovoltaic water pumping systems in China
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optimal grassland locations for sustainable photovoltaic water pumping systems in China
Show others...
2015 (English)In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 75, 301-307 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Grassland is of strategic importance for food security of China because of the high number of livestock raised in those areas. Grassland degradation due to climate change and overgrazing is thus regarded as severe environmental and economic threat for a sustainable future development of China. Photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) systems for irrigation can play an important role for the conservation of grassland areas, halting degradation, improving its productivity and farmers' income and living conditions. The aim of this paper is to identify the technically suitable grassland areas for the implementation of PVWP systems by assessing spatial data on land cover and slope, precipitation, potential evapotranspiration and water stress index. Furthermore, the optimal locations for installing PVWP systems have been assessed using a spatially explicit renewable energy systems optimization model based on the minimization of the cost of the whole supply chain. The results indicate that the PVWP-supported grassland areas show high potential in terms of improving forage productivity to contribute to supplying the local demand. Nevertheless, the optimal areas are highly sensitive to several environmental and economic parameters such as ground water depth, forage water requirements, forage price and CO2 emission costs. These parameters need to be carefully considered in the planning process to meet the forage yield potentials.

National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27654 (URN)10.1016/j.egypro.2015.07.355 (DOI)000361030000047 ()2-s2.0-84947056043 (Scopus ID)
Conference
7th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE 2015), March 28–31 2015, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Available from: 2015-03-06 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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