Related ATTRA Publication:
Solar-Powered Livestock Watering Systems
A University of Kentucky horticulture extension professor has been working with low-pressure irrigation systems powered by solar pumps in Asia. The gravity-fed drip irrigation system that can operate under extremely low pressure. Brent Rowell says the system will also have practical applications for small farms in the United States, at sites without electricity or with high energy costs. At the university's Horticulture Research Farm, testing is underway on a system that combines tiny solar-powered bilge pumps with low-pressure drip irrigation in a rainwater catchment system for a high tunnel. Though it's low-pressure, the farm manager says the setup improves watering efficiency at the site. Such systems are becoming more affordable as the cost of solar pumping comes down.