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Designing a Model of Solar Photovoltaic Water Pumping System for Off-Grid Localities in Tanzania

Imani S. Mruma
Sarah P. Ayeng’o


Modeling of photovoltaic (PV) water pumping system for rural water localities is vital especially in these modern days, in Tanzania. This is due to the rise of high number of solar-powered rural water projects constructed lacking appropriate design. The fate result into poor and substandard projects delivering below expectations. Kikombo Solar Water Project situated in Dodoma; Tanzania is one among poorly designed solar project chosen as a case study to validate proposed model. The main problem of Kikombo project is unsatisfactory amount of water from domestic points to satisfy population demand. This matter has been raised by pumping-station attendants and the Kikombo village community. The Kikombo water project can only deliver 14.21 m3/day while required demand is 50 m3/day. In order to solve the existing problem, solar water pumping model was developed. It consists of PV array, a motor-pump (AC), inverters (DC–AC converter), maximum power point tracker (MPPT) integrated with a controller and a storage water tank. Analysis was done in MATLAB to estimate which parameters should be upgraded to meet the water requirements. Moreover, the input and output variable for each model component were identified and simulated in MATLAB software. Finally, PV model was validated and system capacity improvement to rectify designs limitation for Kikombo is proposed. The model results were validated through real measurement data at Kikombo water pumping station. The differential error of 0.04062 was observed as a system error. PV model displayed an error of 0.0509 for power output, 0.0383 for current and 0.0131 for voltage; inverter displayed error of 0.0686 and 0.0406 for motor pump. In order to acquire sufficient water demand of 50 m3 /day, the PV panel and pump capacities should be increased to 8.82 kW and 7.35 kW respectively from the existing PV panel’s power of 2.5 kW and motor-pump of 4 kW.

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eISSN: 2619-8789
print ISSN: 1821-536X