Design Feasibility of Solar Power Induced Irrigation system for Agriculture Sector in Pakistan and its impacts on the Environment
The agriculture sector has become more and more environmentally friendly around the globe by utilizing renewable energy technologies however Agriculture sector in Pakistan is facing a two-pronged problem - water shortage and energy crisis, especially in the context of crop production. Currently, Irrigation in Pakistan is being done by the tube wells mainly run by fossil fuels. The excessive use of fossil fuels in conventional irrigation methods continues to pollute the environment. Also, increasing the cost of fossil fuels greatly enhances the operational cost of the users. This paper provides an alternate solution to existing fossil fuel-based irrigation systems by providing the design feasibility of the Solar Power Induced Irrigation Method for Pakistan. A detailed theoretical comparative analysis is made for this purpose to calculate the total dynamic head, horsepower, no. of solar panels, power rating of solar panels, and the amount of carbon emission saved by utilizing Solar Induced irrigation system, which is otherwise constantly being emitted by conventional fossil fuel-based irrigation system., The data is gathered through various sources mainly through primary data available at official websites using existing mathematical models and calculations via MS Excel. Five major crops that include; Wheat, Maize, Rice Sugarcane, and Cotton, of Pakistan are studied in this paper. In conclusion, design parameters for the Solar Induced irrigation system for all the major crops have been calculated. It is estimated that for a rice field spreading over an area of one hectare; on average 14 no. of Solar panels of 320-Watt capacity each are required to run a 4hp motor pump to maintain the flow rate of 68 m3/day to fulfill the water requirement of the rice crop in Pakistan in a given season. Similar findings of design parameters of five major crops of Pakistan are studied and discussed. The paper stresses the importance of the utilization of renewable energy in agriculture along with reducing carbon emissions in the agriculture sector in Pakistan. The study reveals that around 8960.30 Kilo Tons of carbon emission will be reduced by employing the Solar PV design in rice the fields in replacement of conventional diesel fueled-based irrigation systems.
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