Incatema completes the photovoltaic installation of the project for extending and rehabilitating the drinking water system of L’Azile (Haiti)

18 January, 2023

Incatema Consulting & Engineering completes the photovoltaic installation of the project for extending and rehabilitating the drinking water system of the town of L'Azile, in Haiti. The system consists of a total of 32 polycrystalline solar panels, with 72 photovoltaic cells per panel. This direct solar pumping system is autonomous and highly efficient, even in low light radiation conditions. It guarantees the availability of sustainable energy for the entire drinking water network.

According to Fernando Díaz, Head of the Infrastructure Department at Incatema Consulting & Engineering, "the autonomy of the installation has a dual advantage. On the one hand, the savings in accumulators, which are expensive and not necessary here. On the other, energy efficiency is improved thanks to the autonomy enabled by this direct system, in which pumping occurs during all the hours of solar radiation".

The climatic conditions favour the efficiency and sustainability of the pumping system

The adaptation of the designed installation to the climate of the area and, specifically, to the abundance of an unlimited and free resource such as the sun are key to guaranteeing not only the proper functioning of the water supply network that is already supplying more than 30,000 people, but also the maximum possible energy savings, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, specifically SDG 7, affordable and clean energy, and SDG 6, clean water and sanitation.

The pumping equipment allows a maximum operating pressure of 1,600 KPa and a maximum feed pressure of 10 bar. It can work at a maximum temperature of 50ºC. The flow rate of the design is 39.40 m3/hour and the height of the water column is 16.70 metres.

The solar pumping control programme installed reduces the number of mechanisms used and promotes energy-saving in the maintenance of electric pumps by an inverter. The installation also has different functionalities, which transforms it into a highly sustainable system. These include, namely, the capacity to monitor the maximum power point (MPP) of the solar generator, which facilitates the constant use of the maximum available power.

Moreover, the system guarantees optimum performance in the event of sudden, unforeseen changes in radiation by incorporating a system that prevents the pump from stopping and restarting. Likewise, this mechanism includes a programme that prevents unnecessary starts and stops at dawn and sundown.