You may have heard of solar irrigation techniques or solar pumping for irrigation. It is another way to take advantage of renewable energy in the field of agriculture, taking advantage of the great source of energy that is the sun in a large number of territories. If you want to learn more about what solar irrigation is and how to make a homemade one, as well as what are its advantages and disadvantages.
What is solar irrigation?
In principle, we can distinguish two well-differentiated forms of solar irrigation, although both use the simple principle of using solar energy to irrigate our plants and crops.
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Home Solar Irrigation
Home solar irrigation, which can be used in small orchards and gardens, is a drip irrigation method that anyone can apply at home, for very little money and also allows reuse of plastic bottles. However, although it is easy to apply on a small land, it is not suitable for large farms, as it would require too many human resources.
Solar pumping system
In large farms, however, the solar pumping system is used more and more. This consists of the installation of solar panels, which are the ones that feed the pump that brings the water to the irrigation system of the farm.
It is usual to take advantage of the hours of sunshine to pump the water from the well to a high reservoir. So, the same gravity will be responsible for distributing the irrigation water more easily when necessary, regardless of that the solar panels are supplying energy at the same time or not.
Both domestically and professionally, they are little known systems even in some areas. It is certainly worth extending their use due to its many advantages, among which is the ecological benefit of using renewable energy.
How to make a homemade solar irrigation step by step?
Making a homemade solar irrigation system is very simple, and will only require a few minutes. We will take advantage of recycling plastic bottles.
Get a 1.5-liter or 2-liter plastic bottle and a larger, or 5-liter, plastic bottle. It does not matter if they are water or any other liquid, it is enough that you wash them properly before using them and you will not have any problem.
Using scissors or a cutter, cut the small bottle approximately in half and keep the bottom half. You will only have to cut the bottom 2 or 3 centimetres from the bottle and do not remove the cap.
Go out to the garden or orchard and choose the point where you want to install the drip solar irrigation system, very close to the plants to be irrigated but not over them.
Make a hole of the approximate depth of the small cut bottle and insert it so that the edges of this bottle are one or two centimetres above the ground. Fill the water bottle and cover it with the carafe, keeping the cap on.
With this, what you get is that the sunlight evaporates the water from the small bottle, which, unable to leave, will condense on the walls of the carafe, to slowly descend to the ground. The land thus receives the equivalent of a traditional drip irrigation system, since the water supply is slow but constant, maintaining a moisture level that is very beneficial for most plants.
You can install as many of these bottles as you want, spaced along the rows of your garden or in different points of your garden. The only thing you need to worry about is filling the water when the bottles are empty or about to do what. Also, keep in mind that for this to work, it is necessary that the bottles be made of transparent or partially translucent plastic since if the sun does not penetrate, the water will not evaporate.
Solar irrigation: advantages and disadvantages
We must distinguish between the home and the industrial system to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of solar irrigation:
Advantages: the most important advantage of this system is that it maintains a constant level of moisture in the soil, with a practically non-existent material cost and without any maintenance, and with which it is recycled. For all intents and purposes, it is a totally ecological drip irrigation system.
Disadvantages: the biggest disadvantage is that the carafes are quite visible, and although it doesn’t matter in an orchard, the aesthetic impact on a garden is considerable.
The main advantage of the solar irrigation pump is the energy savings achieved in the long term, since it is not necessary to resort to generators, power lines or fossil fuels, with all the benefits derived from both economic and maintenance risks and costs. In addition, it is a totally ecological, non-polluting system. The installation of solar panels is cheaper than a few years ago.
Its main drawback is that the climatic conditions of the area affect the production of energy, and not all areas are suitable for profitable such facilities.Tags: homemade solar irrigation, solar irrigation