In what is believed to be the biggest solar pump system in South Africa to date, SESSA Photovoltaic Division Member, KG Electric, has supplied a 35.2KWp solar pumping system at Haakdoringduin, about 110km from Upington. The installation was undertaken by AgriSolar of Upington, with engineering and commissioning assistance from KG Electric.

The 37KW solar pump system consists 2 two Lorentz type PS21k surface pumps each powered by 18.5KW-peak solar PV arrays, yielding a nominal performance of up to 75cum/hour at 70m total head.

The client is the Kalahari-Wes Users Association and purpose of the solar pump system is to largely replace the current diesel driven pumps at Haakdoringduin, which supply water to a community of about 83 farmers via 3 main lines. It is envisaged that the operation of the existing diesel pumps will be largely curtailed, acting as a “top-up” in the evenings and acting as standby.

This project has been under consideration for more than 2 years and given the improved price/performance ratio of PV technology and the coming to market of reliable larger solar pumps, as well as rapidly increasing diesel costs, it was decided to implement it now. With some further demand side management it should be possible to achieve a payback period of under 6 years.