First Solar Powered Water Pumping system installed in Punakha, Bhutan: An ICIMOD-SEE-MOAF,Bhutan collaboration

Solar Powered Water Pumping System (SPWP) is a simple and affordable solution to solve the water shortage problem in Punakha Dzong. The SPWP system operates on power generated using solar PV (Solar Photo Voltaic Module) system. The photovoltaic array converts the solar energy into electricity, which is used for running the motor pump set.
The pumping system draws water from the open well, bore well, stream, pond, canal etc.
The system requires a non-shaded area for installation and optimal performance of the
Solar Panel. Solar water pumps can be used to irrigate fields for crops, collect water for
livestock, and provide drinking water. Solar water pump utilizes peak power of solar array output which performs optimally in conditions that frequently coincide with high water demand during long, dry summer days.
The installation was carried out from 1st October, 2018 to 5th October, 2018. Collaboration between ICIMOD through its Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative, SEE, and local residents resulted in the installation of 1 set of SPWP system in Punakha Dzong. This system and concept is the first of its kind to be installed in Bhutan.

Followung the installation, the system is pumping at optimum capacity of 24000litres/hour in peak sunshine hours and a minimal pumping capacity of 9000litres/hour in shaded conditions.

Solar Panel installation
Solar panel assembly
First run of installed system. 12000lph discharge.


Finalizing Installation
Installation team comprising SEE representative, representatives from Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan and Dzongkhag Administration Staff, Punakha



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