Harmonic Systems Providing Effective Solar Water Solutions for Medium and Large Scale Farms

Harmonic Systems Providing Effective Solar Water Solutions for Medium and Large Scale Farms

Until recently, solar water pumps have been limited to low volume use and because medium to large scale farms require high volumes of water (50m3- 600m3 per hour), solar pumps were simply not able to meet their demand. But times have changed.

Solar power, or energy created by the sun, can be harnessed in a number of ways, including through solar panels that convert the sun’s rays into electricity. In the case of a solar pump, solar energy is converted into electricity and fed to a pump that circulates water. These types of units can be used in to supply water from a river to a dam, a borehole to a dam and even from a dam to a farm.

Harmonic’s Solar Pumping Inverter (SPI) brings all the benefits of solar to larger pumps. This unique solution takes advantage of variable speed drive features and integrates power from either the solar panels or simultaneously from the solar panels and grid/generator supply (Hybrid mode). It is also capable of running most submersible and above the surface water pumps.

The SPI solution is versatile enough to manage pump systems with constant pressure, distribution of water from one location to another or even multiple pumps working together.

The SPI solution has a very high return given the typical kinds of reduction in energy costs, which can range from 60%-100% in power reduction. This means tremendous savings overtime for any business.

Furthermore, the SPI solution does not require the original plumbing to be changed. The only modification needed is electrical wiring, avoiding additional costs of replacing the existing pump.

Harmonic Systems is an Engineering company mainly focusing on renewable energy in the East Africa region. It was founded in 2009, under the leadership of Director Mark Muinde. The company has tremendous experience having undertaken major projects in various parts of East Africa including Kenya’s remote areas, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti and Somaliland. They primarily focus on four key areas:

  1. Grid-tie solar
  2. Off-grid solar with storage
  3. Solar water pumping
  4. Monitoring

The SPI system works in two ways: Solar Only Mode or Hybrid Mode and in case you are not aware of the difference between the two, they are explained below.


The SPI is only connected to the solar field, generating the necessary power to start and speed-up the pump. The minimum power required depends on the hydraulic response of the complete pump-load system. The SPI controller automatically starts the pump when there is sufficient irradiation and it will also speed up the motor throughout the course of the day. The flow rate varies with the amount of irradiation and this mode uses no external power from the grid or from an external generator.

With the MPPT dynamic search algorithm developed by Harmonic Systems, the SPI searches for the Maximum Power Point automatically. The solar field will always deliver the maximum power available, irrespective of whether the system is working in various conditions, or of the intensity of sunlight.

In hybrid mode, Solar Pumping Inverter is connected simultaneously to the AC mains and the solar field. During broad daylight, the energy generated by the PV panel is injected into the motor. This helps to proportionally reduce the power consumption from the grid. When a cloud partially covers the panels, the drive will absorb more grid power to keep the process constant if this is the required outcome.

Harmonic Systems has developed a system that is able to use all solar energy available and take from the AC supply only the complementary power. This system connects/disconnects the AC input to the mains therefore avoiding the need to have a “stand by” power source. The SPI takes all energy possible from the PV field to pump the water needed, and if the energy of PV field is not enough, SPI switches on the AC input to “top up” and deliver all energy required by the motor. Once the energy available in the PV field is higher than the energy needed by the motor, the system will disconnect the AC input. This can use both AC from the grid or as in remote areas, an external generator.

Harmonic Systems has a strong commitment to reduce the levelized cost of water (LCoW) by powering water pumps with technology, combining solar and traditional forms of energy. This means that returns can be realized very rapidly from a CAPEX point of view.

Harmonic Systems also has options for financing through some of their well-established partners.

To save on water pumping costs, visit www.harmonicafrica.com or email info@harmonicafrica.com

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