Solar Pump System: Common Problems And Solutions

Starter Box and Wiring

THE SOLAR PUMP SYSTEM: COMMON PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS- What are some common problems found in solar pump system? How to detect problems in a solar pump system?

Part 01 Introduction


The Solar pump system is a very important and beneficial scheme made by the state governments (for example see the schemes of c.g. government) for the farmers (farmers of all categories) which is included in farmer’s walefare programs. Because of this scheme, farmers belonging to small and marginal category have been able to take advantage of solar pump system at a low cost. After the introduction of this scheme, many problems related to irrigation (see drip irrigation system) of field crops have been solved.

The whole system is a unit of machines, and farmers are less familiar with the technical knowledge associated with it. Therefore, due to the failure of the system, farmers have to face many problems. Through this post we are going to describe the common problems related to solar pump set, so that farmers can identify common problems found in solar pump system from time to time, so they can solve it on their own or with the help of someone.

To understand the problem encountered in the solar system, we have to know and understand its basic parts very well. These 5 parts are as follows:

1. Wiring.
2. Starter Box.
3. Water Pipe.
4. Submersible Pump set.
5. Panels.

Also Read: Most Effective Irrigation System for Horticulture and Field Crops

Parts of A Solar Pump System


From left (downward) 1. red and green wires are directly connected with panels. 2. Blue, yellow and red are connected with motor.

Wiring is the most important part in an entire solar pump system. When there is even a slight fault in the wiring, the whole system stops working. The starter box is the focal point of the entire wiring.

Although the farmer is not responsible for the wiring, a little knowledge of it proves helpful.

The first point of the wiring is the solar panel. The wires coming from here are connected to the starer. This wire carries the energy collected by the solar panel to the starter box. The adapter in the starter box converts this energy into electricity. Now, in order to pass these currents to the pump, a direct connection of the power from the starter box is given to the pump set, and the pump’s impeller starts rotating as soon as the power is received. This produces centrifugal force which throws water upward.

Also Read: Fresh Water Aquaculture in Tarpaulin Fish Tank

Starter box

Image: Display

As previously said, the Starter Box is the focal point of a solar pump system. This is how the whole system operates. Its structure is like an X box. It has the following components:

1. Inlet: Wire coming from the solar panel are inserted.

2. Out let: Wires are connected to the pump set.

3. On and off switch: This is a normal switch to turn on or off the system.

4. Adapter: It controls the flowing current.

The Starter box has a display that shows the current status of the entire system at every moment.


Image: Out let of a 3 hp submersible pump.

The types of casing are as follows:

  1. PVC casing pipes.
  2. Iron casing pipes.

The iron casings can be used in all conditions. But casings made of high density plastic materials cannot be used in hard-layered land e.g., rocky landscape. It can be used only in normal soil and marshland.

Water pipe

Image: HDPE pipe 63 mm.

It is directly related to submersible pump. It is a high density pvc pipe. The another end of it opens upwards as the outlet. Example- HDPE PVC pipes of 63 mm for 3 hp submersible pump.


Image: Sets solar panel

Its structure is complex. They are in the form of a plate. A solar panel set is made by connecting several panels together. All panels collect energy from the sun which is transferred through wire to the starter box.


The whole system starts working as soon as it gets sunlight.

Also Read: Irrigation and Water Resources of India

Part 2: Technical Errors, Damages and Malfunctions

Sometimes, even when working, the entire system suddenly crashes. And we do not understand what could be the reason for this. It is important to detect common faults that occur in a solar system. Since it is a subsidy-based government scheme, it can be reported to the department concerned in case of any defect. It is also resolved by them. But sometimes it takes 1 to 2 months. Therefore, it is important that the farmers identify these defects themselves and get them rectified from a repairing centre.

Problems and Their Solutions

1. Problem with Panels

2. Problem with starter

3. Problem with pump

4. Problem with pipe

5. Other problems

Problem With Panels

Solar panel consists of photovoltaic cells. It is responsible for chemical reactions. Problem related with panels are as follows:

  • Problem of short-circuit.
  • Physical damage.
  • Displacing panels.
  • Problem with Starter Box.

Problem of short-circuit: When a specific part is unable to receive sun rays due to any obstacle while other parts receives full amount of sun rays.

Physical damage: Physical damage due to storm or any other reason.

Displacing panels: If any one panel is removed due to any reason then the whole system can go unexpected. Because the numbers of plates are according to the pump’s capacity.

Solution: Avoid physical damages to the plates. Do not place anything above the plate to dry. Do not remove any plate from its place unnecessarily.

Problem with Starter Box

The following are the problems related to this:

1. Malfunction in main switch.
2. Failure of adapter.
3. Short-circuits.

Solution: The error can be detected by the display of the starter box. Measures should be taken accordingly.

Problems With Pump

It can be observed on the display of starter box when the pump goes down. But many times everything looks normal even in the display. In such situation the pump set itself has to be removed out from the borwell.

Pump related faults:

  1. Damaged Impeller
  2. Fine particles of sand or soil jam inside the pump.
  3. Short-circuit in pump.

In these situations, short-circuit and the technical default in the pump’s impeller are shown by the display itself. But the accumulation of soil or sand particles inside the pump is not known from the display. If the impeller does not rotate after taking the pump out, it should be understood that it has been fixed by the accumulation of the soil or sand particles.

Solution: The underground pump has to be cleaned. Cleaning of soil particles is easy.

Problem with pipe

The main problem is the cracks in the pipe or the bursting of the underground pipe.

Solution: Installing new pipe or treating old one.

Other Problems

Land sinking: This problem is more in marshy and light land. Muddy water comes out when the underground soil sinks. Soil should be cleaned.

Care and Maintenance

(1). Bore should be dug on hard land.

(2). Solar plate shouldn’t be damaged by any means.

(3). Don’t place unwanted thing on the surface of solar plates.



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About the Author

1. Author and Content Writer. 2. Agriculture Consultant and Farmer's Trainer. 3. Agriculture Entrepreneur.
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