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Training on solar water pumps (SWP)




MS Teams

Date & Time

20 September 2021 to 27 September 2021

Training on solar water pumps (SWP)


About the training

Agriculture accounts for close to 90% of water withdrawal in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) countries. Yet, farmers in the region face severe water scarcity, leading them to sparsely irrigate their land and rely heavily on the monsoon rain. As a result, they suffer from crop loss and compromised food security. Irrigation – a critical driver of agricultural productivity – requires electricity to pump water. However, in areas with irregular power supply and absence of grid connection, solar water pumps (SWP) provide a viable and reliable means of irrigation to farmers, who often rely on unpredictable, seasonal monsoon rain and/or expensive diesel pumps.

In this context, we are collaborating with Sunfarmer Nepal to organize a three-day virtual training programme on solar water pumps to provide relevant officials theoretical and practical knowledge that will help them implement SWP projects in their respective countries.

The SWP training was initially designed for Bhutan, as per the request of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), Royal Government of Bhutan, for piloting a solar pump and exploring winter vegetable cultivation in Bhutan. We would like to extend this training to officials from other HKH countries since it is applicable and relevant to all.

The training will focus on the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of the solar pump system. The programme will introduce theoretical concepts, sizing of system configuration, choice of sub-components, and share installation best practices, and development of design, operation & maintenance manuals.


  • Deliver foundational knowledge essential for solar water pumping systems.
  • Deliver knowledge on-site survey, sizing of components, system design and outputs (single line diagrams, bill of quantity etc.), installation & commissioning, best practices, operation, and maintenance.


Training schedule

All time is in Nepal Standard Time (NPT).

Time (in NPT) Programme
10:00–10:30 Introduction of resource personnel
10:30–11:15 SWP introduction – major components

Solar radiation

Solar panels

  • Connection types
  • Losses
  • Manufacturer classification


  • MPPT controllers
  • Choosing a controller

Water sources


  • Surface pumps
  • Submersible pumps
11:15–11:30 Break
11:30–12:00 Balance of systems

  • Cables
  • Miniature Circuit Breakers
  • Earthing

Lightning Protection

12:00–12:50 Q&A
12:55–13:00 Closing remarks

Time (in NPT) Programme
10:00–11:00 Recap of first day

Design Preparatory Design

  • Need assessment
  • Statutory requirements
  • GESI aspects


  • Pump selection
  • Total Dynamic Head
  • Controller selection

Panel selection

11:00–11:15 Break
11:15–12:00 Walkthrough survey form and SWP design sheet Survey form

SWP design sheet

12:00–12:45 Q&A
12:45–12:55 Design scenario for participants (example design to complete and submit before the next session)
12:55–13:00 Closing remarks

Time (in NPT) Programme
10:00–10:30 Design submission comments
10:30–11:00 Cables

  • Protection devices
  • Lightning protection system

Single line diagram

11:00–11:10 Break
11:10–11:55 Installation, commissioning, and maintenance

  • Panel installation
  • Pump installation
    • Surface pumps
    • Submersible pumps
  • Controller box installation
  • Cable and conduits

Best practice


Basic life cycle cost comparison

11:55–12:55 Q&A
12:55–13:00 Closing remarks