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7 June 2022

Reasons to Install a Solar Pumping System For Your Off-Grid Water Supply

An off-grid pump system is a water pump used to obtain water from a supply that is not connected to the water mains. It can allow individuals to draw water from boreholes, wells, and rivers quickly and effectively in South Africa. Off-grid pumps are essential for as many as 74% of South Africa’s rural population. In times of scarcity, the use of an off-grid system can ensure that homes and lands are supplied with a constant supply of water.

What Are The Two Types Of Off-Grid Systems?

There are two primary forms of energy supply for off-grid water systems:

  • Petrol or diesel generators – fuel is supplied for the pumping system through a petrol or diesel supply.
  • Solar pumping system – energy is supplied to the pumping system through energy delivered from the sun.

This article is going to look at why your search for ‘solar pump South Africa’ will reveal so many positive searches for a solar pumping system.

Why Should I Install A Solar Pump In South Africa?

A solar pump has a number of huge cost and time savings over use of a petrol or diesel off-grid generator. Read on to find out about these benefits in more detail.

Financial Benefits

In a survey on the use of solar pumps, a study revealed that over 80% of individuals reported it was better value for money compared to other off-grid systems. This is because the energy supplied is a clean energy source, and the sun provides a constant supply of energy. This ultimately makes solar pumps far more cost-effective and energy efficient compared to alternative pumping systems.

You also obtain cost benefits because:

  • You don’t need to invest in fuel
  • You won’t use up fuel on journeys to fill up pumps
  • There is less maintenance required

After the initial investment in a solar pumping system, you will find yourself receiving financial benefits due to the longer running times and energy source of this pump type.


Petrol generators release carbon emissions when they are used. Carbon emissions refer to carbon dioxide, which can have a hugely negative impact on the ozone layer. The ozone layer protects the planet from harmful solar radiation and ultraviolet light. By comparison, a solar pumping system is a completely clean energy source, making it an eco-friendly way to improve energy efficiency. You can reduce your carbon footprint by the use of a solar pump in South Africa.

Long Term Use

As long as the water quality is good, your solar off-grid system will last longer than its petrol-based counterparts. This means that you will also recoup the cost of your initial investment far quicker than a petrol-based model. Solar pumps are usable for longer and over time will require less repairs. As there is less risk of downtime or damage to a solar pump, you will find the pump lasts for years longer than petrol-based pumps.

Less Oversight

Petrol water pumps require far more management than a solar equivalent. You won’t need to worry about regularly visiting the pumps to replenish petrol, or factor in ongoing maintenance. This means that your solar pumping system can be left to pump water during the day, without constant oversight and supervision.

Nature Earth Sustainability Leaf

Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)

Renewable Energy Certificates can be issued to businesses that have energy coming from a certified clean energy source. Participants in the scheme automatically join the Renewable Energy Certificate South Africa group (RECSA). This incentive is only available if you use a solar pumping system for your water pump.

Government Initiatives

Certain areas may offer incentives for installing solar water pumps. Inquire with your local authority whether there are any local funds for:

  • Improving water infrastructure for homes or businesses
  • Drought relief funds
  • ‘Green initiatives’ for installing solar pumping systems in your home

The availability of these schemes may depend on the current water situation or legislation in your local area.

What Makes A Solar Pumping System More Cost-Efficient?

Although solar pumping systems may be considered a more expensive upfront cost, over time they prove more cost-effective.

This is because:

  • Petrol is more likely to damage the generator over a period of time as it is a corrosive substance. Solar power does not cause any damage to systems.
  • Solar pumping systems require less maintenance, or repeat visits to refuel generators. Repeat visits to refuel generators over larger land areas may result in additional fuel and maintenance costs.
  • There is no electricity required, which brings down operating costs considerably.
  • They are easy to operate, with less parts that could break down or require repair.
  • The sun is an infinite source of energy which means the pumps can be run all day long during daylight hours.

Are There Any Factors To Consider With Solar Pumping Systems?

Solar pumping systems operate during daylight hours. While this is not a limiting factor, this does mean that you may need to plan when you pump water to ensure you make the most of the time the pumps are operational.

There is also the misconception that solar pumps are more expensive. The initial costs of a solar pump might be a slightly higher price, but over time you will recoup the costs of your initial investment.

The Benefits Of A Solar Pump

There are numerous benefits to a solar pumping system, from the huge financial benefits and better operational costs through to the benefits for the environment. The government is making huge moves towards renewable energy, so we should realistically expect an increase in certificates and incentives to widely distribute these throughout South Africa. A solar pumping system is a great personal investment to make, as you will receive a pump that lasts well into the future. Be ahead of the renewable energy movement with a solar pumping system.

Do you still have questions? Give our AQS Liquid Transfer team a call on +27 12 548 7204 or fill out our enquiry form, our friendly team will get back to you with first-hand expertise on how to select a borehole pump for your needs.

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