How to Design a Solar Pump System: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

How to Design a Solar Pump System: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

How to Design a Solar Pump System: A Step-by-Step Tutorial


In this tutorial, we delve into the intricacies of designing a solar pump system, a sustainable solution harnessing solar energy for water pumping. Ideal for remote or off-grid locations, these systems are increasingly pivotal in modern agriculture, livestock management, and rural water supply.


A solar pump system utilizes photovoltaic panels to power a water pump, eliminating the need for conventional electricity or diesel. Its applications span from irrigation to potable water supply in areas lacking grid connectivity.


The primary advantage of solar pump systems lies in their renewable energy source, reducing operational costs and carbon footprint. They are particularly beneficial in remote areas, offering a reliable and eco-friendly water pumping solution.

Step 1: Assessing Water Requirements

  • Determine Flow Rate and Total Dynamic Head (TDH): Calculate the necessary water flow rate, expressed in liters per second or gallons per minute. TDH encompasses vertical lift, horizontal distance, and friction losses within the system.

For example : Pump type: Submersible pump ,Flow rate : 6 m³/ ,Vertical head: 60 meters Horizontal distance: 100 meters

Requirements analysis:
Flow rate requirement: 6 m³/h
Vertical head: 63.3 meters (horizontal distance of 100 meters = vertical head 3.3meter )
System operation time per day: 6 hours (assuming a sunny day)

Step 2: Selecting the Pump

  • Type of Pump: Choose between submersible pumps for wells or surface pumps for water sources like rivers or lakes.
  • Pump Specifications: Ensure the pump’s flow rate and head capacity meet your calculated requirements.

Pump : The 2.2 kW pump 220V or 380V. Its maximum head is 127 meters.
The flow rate is 6 m³/h @83meters, which meets the requirement.

As the 380V pump & inverter required higher voltage input, which may result in power wastage when connected to solar panels, we suggest to choose a 220V pump instead.
For a single-phase 220V pump, the external capacitor is necessary (as the inverter already performs the phase shifting internally), while the starting/running capacitor should be removed.

Step 3: Choosing the Right Inverter

  • Inverter Type: Opt for an inverter with MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) for enhanced efficiency.
  • Size and Specifications: The inverter should match the pump’s power requirements and solar panel output.

Based on the known specifications of the pump (2.2 kW, 220V, 1 phase), the recommend inverter model is HSPH2200L & the recommend MPPT DC Input Voltage Range as below:
300Vmp<DC Input<450Voc (Only Solar)
340Vmp<DC Input<400Voc (Hybrid Power)

Note: The maximum input voltage and working voltage of the inverter will determine the connection method of the solar panels.

Step 4: Solar Panel Calculation

  • Solar Panel Power: The total power required by the pump should be multiplied by 1.5 to compensate for inefficiencies and sunlight variability.
  • Number of Panels: Calculate the number of panels needed based on individual panel wattage.

Solar Panel Power

The total power of the solar panels should be 1.5 times the power of the water pump, which is 2.2 kW * 1.5 = 3.3 kW.  3.3 kW / 0.405 kW = 8.148 panels.

Solar Panel Connection

The maximum input circuit voltage of the inverter is 450Voc. If we consider the recommended working voltage of 300Vmp, we can calculate the number of panels that can be connected in series.

450Voc/37.58Voc = 11.97 panels(Max)

300Vmp/31.47Vmp = 9.53 panels(Min)

Setting the solar panel power to 1.5 times the power of the water pump is a theoretical value. It can be adjusted based on local sunlight conditions. If sunlight conditions are good, you can reduce the number of solar panels. Conversely you may need to increase the number of solar panels to ensure an adequate energy supply.

Step 5: System Configuration

  • Panel Arrangement: Decide on a series or parallel configuration based on the inverter’s voltage and current specifications.
  • Mounting and Orientation: Plan for optimal sunlight exposure in mounting and orienting the panels.
  1. How the system running with 11pcs solar panel connected in series?
    Connecting 11 panels instead of the minimum required 8 panels will have an impact on the system’s operation. The total water supply per day can be calculated based on 7 hours of operation. With more solar panels installed, the rated water output time will be higher. Conversely, if fewer panels are connected, the total water supply will be reduced. Therefore, the number of solar panels connected directly affects the overall water supply capacity of the system.
  2. How the system running with 6pcs solar panel connected in series?
    6 * 31.47 = 188.82. Due to the minimum input voltage requirement of the inverter being 200 volts or above, connecting only 6 panels may potentially trigger the inverter’s low voltage protection
  3. How the system running with 7pcs solar panel connected in series?
    Using 7 panels will not trigger the inverter’s low voltage protection (7 * 31.47V = 220.29V). The system can still operate, but the water pump’s output will be reduced, and it may not reach the rated flow rate.

so the system configuration :

Water flow:6m³/h ,vertical lift height :60m,

Horizontal distance 100 meters.


Pump: 2.2KW 220V 1phase (External capacitor)


Solar panels:9pcs of 405W  in series

Rated flow:6m³/h*6 = 36m³ @ 80 head (Sunny day)

Step 6: Electrical Connections

  • Wiring: Detail the process of connecting panels to the inverter and then to the pump.
  • Safety Precautions: Stress the importance of adhering to electrical safety standards and using proper protective devices.

Step 7: System Installation

  • Site Preparation: Ready the site for the pump, panels, and inverter installation.
  • Installation Process: Provide a detailed guide for installing each component.

Step 8: Testing and Commissioning

  • System Testing: Describe procedures to ensure the system operates correctly.
  • Troubleshooting Tips: Offer solutions for common system issues.

Step 9: Maintenance and Monitoring(how to maintenance solar pump system )

  • Regular Maintenance: Establish a maintenance schedule for the pump, panels, and inverter.
  • Monitoring System Performance: Discuss methods to monitor and ensure long-term system efficiency.


We’ve covered the essential steps in designing a solar pump system. For further learning, consult additional resources provided.

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