Presentation of Swiss Research Partnership Projects
Swiss Universities for Applied Sciences and Swisscontact
A development promotion program backed by SDC
Swiss Solar Water Pump
Cost-effective, affordable water delivery is an essential issue in urban and especially in rural areas if
two or three crops are produced each year as already practiced today in many developing countries.
The Swiss Solar Water Pump is designed for the use in India and Bangladesh. It has been optimized
by the School of Engineering and Information Technology (Berne University of Applied Sciences) with
regard to efficiency and to local manufacturing capacities.
This pump is made for both urban and rural areas. In urban areas the pumps can be utilized for
feeding overhead tanks in residential areas. In rural areas smallholders will utilize the PV pumps
especially for irrigation purposes. Combining the PV pump with drip irrigation will provide a double
benefit through increased efficiency of the pumps – compared to the traditional manual operated
pumps as well as the pumps driven by diesel or petrol engines – and increased efficiency of the
irrigation technology – compared to flood irrigation.
The project contributes to sustainable development in several ways: water resources are being
conserved by an integral water management; food production is secured; and jobs for micro-
enterprises are created. Moreover the hypothesis has been stated, that the solar water pump
systems in combination with drip irrigation provide the most cost effective method of irrigation,
taking into account the long lifetime of these systems. In case of the use in residential houses the
project contributes to job creation and improving of comfort for the population.
The general objective of the first phase of the project has been to set up of a local production of an
efficient and economical solar water pump in India and Bangladesh. The first phase included
production and test of a prototype and a small pilot series of 10 pumps in India and in Bangladesh.
Another important part of the project was the development of a business plan for the marketing of
the PV pump. It is planned to start a Swiss-Indian Joint-Venture for the production of the PV pump.
The pumps for the prototyping phase have been manufactured completely in India using local
manufacturing capabilities and locally available materials. The pump was sourced from pump
manufacturers in India, whereas the pump motor and the electronics are based on the indo-swiss
development work and were manufactured by the local partner.
During the testing of the first prototypes the initial assumptions were confirmed. The use of a
permanent magnet rotor specially designed for the application does increase the overall system
efficiency, so that the required solar panel size and therefore overall system cost can be reduced
Together with CMES the business idea could be clarified and a promising program for this project
was identified. This program, called YSES (Young Social Entrepreneurs in Sustainable development),
is dedicated to enabling young people in starting small businesses in favour of sustainable development. Caritas Switzerland as the main funding organisation of YSES has decided to integrate
the solar water pump project into this program. The capacity of CMES to produce, assemble, test and
maintain the solar water pump system has been evaluated and confirmed.
The second phase will focus on introduction of the PV pump into the market and the implementation
of business models for water delivery services that match the needs and the financial capabilities of
farmers. Presently rental systems of solar pumps and/or water delivery services by micro-
entrepreneurs are being considered as the most promising perspectives.
Dr. sc. techn. ETH
Professor for Industrial Electronics
Division of Electrical- and Communication Engineering
Tf. +41 32 321 63 72
Fax +41 32 321 65 72
Dr. Hari Sharan
Dasag Engineering India Pvt. Ldt.
139-B 10th Main RMV Extension
Tf. +91 80 2361 3585