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Design and Performance of Photovoltaic Water Pumping Systems: Comprehensive Review towards a Renewable Strategy for Mozambique

DOI: 10.4236/jpee.2018.67003, PP. 32-63

Keywords: Photovoltaic Water Pumping Systems, Energy resource

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The use of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology for water pumping systems (WPS) has been one of the most popular forms of solar energy application in recent decades in remote and desert areas, as well as in some urban areas. In this article, an advanced literature review on the design and performance of solar technology for water pumping is presented, exploring also the best perspective of transition for the developing countries energy needs. Additionally, this paper intends to analyze the Mozambique’s perspective on renewable energy technologies setting the Mozambican scenario regarding photovoltaic water pumping systems (PVWPS) technology with the aim to identifying the main knowledge of PVWPS design and research gap. The results show that the most commonly used configuration of PVWPS technology is direct coupling systems without battery storage. These systems are simple and reliable, mainly used in small-scale pumping for small irrigations and domestic use. The mainly variables that influence the performance of PVWPS are: total dynamic head, quantity of fluid extracted, variation of solar radiation level, PV and motor pump technology. Yet, the efficiency of the PV and overall system does not exceed 10% and 5%, respectively. Looking at the designing, mathematical models, software-assisted is being predominant. Yet, as research gap, it is possible to understand from different authors that the dynamic nature of the end-use of PVWPS is not explored on methodology design of PVWPS, and the techno-economic optimum system configuration is not always the one that gives the highest annual system efficiency. For the Mozambican’s context, PVWPS for irrigation has been expanding slowly but has gained expression since 2013. In turn, static models based on software of pump manufacturers for PVWPS design are the most widely used in Mozam-bique. In Mozambique, PVWPS match the perspective of different researchers regarding the availability of solar resource, boreholes and amount of water required for irrigation. The adoption of PVWPS is a means of increasing the sustainability of the rural communities.


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