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Wind Energy for water pumping

Water-pumping windmills, aerogenerators (small wind electric generators), and wind–solar hybrid systems have been found to be useful for meeting water-pumping and small-power requirements in a decentralized mode in rural and remote windy areas of the country

Water-pumping windmill

A water-pumping windmill pumps water from wells, ponds, and bore wells for drinking, minor irrigation, salt farming, fish farming, etc. Available windmills are of two types, namely direct drive and gear type. The most commonly used windmill has a horizontal axis rotor of 3–5.5 m diameter, with 12–24 blades mounted on the top of a 10–20 m high mild steel tower. The rotor is coupled with a reciprocating pump of 50–150 mm diameter through a connecting rod. Such windmills start lifting water when wind speed approaches 8–10 kilometres (km) per hour. Normally, a windmill is capable of pumping water in the range of 1000 to 8000 litres per hour, depending on the wind speed, the depth of water table, and the type of windmill. Windmills are capable of pumping water from depths of 60 m. Water-pumping windmills have an advantage in that no fuel is required for their operation, and thus they can be installed in remote windy areas where other conventional means of water pumping are not feasible. However, water-pumping windmills have limitations too. They can be operated satisfactorily only in medium wind regimes (12–18 km per hour). Further, special care is needed at the time of site selection as the sites should be free from obstacles such as buildings and trees in the surrounding areas. The cost of the system being high, many individual users do not find them affordable.

Broad technical specifications of water pumping wind mills

Broad technical specification and other details of the water pumping windmills being promoted under the programme Small Wind Energy and Hybrid Systems of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy are given below. However, other models can also be considered based on their quality and performance.

Designs/ models Broad technical specifications Estimated Water output versus head Suitability
Direct drive windmill such as 12 PU 500 and similar other windmills Rotor diameter – 5 m
Nos. of blades – 12
Tower height – 7 m
Pump diameter – 150 mm
Cut in wind speed –10 km/hr
Rated wind speed – 18 km/hr
8000 litters per hour at 7 meter head For shallow water pumping upto 15 meter head
Gear type windmills Rotor diameter – 3.3 m
Nos. of blades – 18
Tower height – 10 m
Pump diameter – 50-100 mm
Cut in wind speed –9 km/hr
Rated wind speed – 18 km/hr
1000 litters per hour at 20 meter head For deep well pumping from 16 meter to 60 meter head
AV 55 Auroville direct drive windmills Rotor diameter – 5.7 m
Nos. of blades – 24
Tower height – 9-23 m
Pump diameter – 64-160 mm
Cut in wind speed –10 km/hr
Rated wind speed – 18 km/hr
4000 litters per hour at 15 meter head For shallow and deep well pumping upto 60 meter head

Cost

The cost of a water-pumping windmill varies from Rs 45 000 to Rs 150 000, depending on the type. In addition, Rs 10,000 – Rs 20 000 is required for the foundation, storage tank and the installation of the windmill. As the system involves moving parts, it requires frequent maintenance. The repair and maintenance cost of a windmill is about Rs 2,000 per year. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides a subsidy of up to 50% of the ex-works cost of water-pumping windmills, subject to ceilings of Rs 20 000, Rs 30 000, and Rs 45 000 in the case of direct drive, gear type, and AV-55 Auroville models, respectively. For non-electrified islands, subsidy of up to 90% of the ex-works cost is provided for the above types of windmills, subject to ceilings of Rs 30 000, Rs 45 000, and Rs 80 000, respectively.

Aerogenerator

An aerogenerator is a small wind electric generator having a capacity of up to 30 kW. Aerogenerators are installed either in stand-alone mode or along with solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems to form a wind–solar hybrid system for decentralized power generation. An aerogenerator is suitable for power generation in unelectrified areas having adequate wind speeds. It consists of a rotor of 1–10 m diameter having 2–3 blades, permanent magnet generator, control devices, yaw mechanism, tower, storage battery, etc. The aerogenerator rotor starts moving at a wind speed of 9–12 km per hour. However, it produces optimum power at the rated wind speed of 40–45 km per hour. The limitation of not being able to provide power as and when it is required is overcome by storing it in a battery bank. Aerogenerators cost about Rs 2.00–2.50 lakhs per kW. In addition, the cost of installation including civil works is estimated at Rs 5000 per kW. The repair and maintenance cost is about Rs 2000 per kW per annum.

Wind–solar hybrid systems

When an aerogenerator and an SPV system are interfaced, the power generation from these is mutually supplemented, and the resultant hybrid system offers a reliable and cost-effective electric supply in a decentralized mode. The wind–solar hybrid system mainly consists of one or two aerogenerators along with SPV panels of suitable capacity, connected with charge controller, inverter, battery bank, etc to supply AC power. The major advantage of the system is that it meets the basic power requirements of non-electrified remote areas, where grid power has not yet reached. The power generated from both wind and solar components is stored in a battery bank for use whenever required. The cost of the system varies from Rs 2.50 lakhs to Rs 3.50 lakhs per kW depending on the ratio of wind and solar components. The approximate cost of installation, including civil works, is about Rs 10,000 per kW. Repair and maintenance cost is about Rs 3000 per kW per annum. Subsidy of up to 50% of ex-works cost of the system is provided, subject to a maximum of Rs 1.25 lakhs per kW to individuals, industries, and R&D and academic institutions. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides a subsidy for community use and direct use by central/state government departments and defence and para-military forces of up to 75% of the ex-works cost of the system subject to a maximum of Rs 2 lakhs per kW. For non-electrified islands, subsidy of up to 90% of ex-works cost subject to a maximum of Rs 2.4 lakhs per kW is available.

Source : MNRE

Related Resources

Manufacturers of water-pumping windmills, aerogenerators and wind–solar hybrid systems(10.3KB)



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