Optimal PV-based irrigation system for Mauritania

The research article 'Rehabilitation of Mauritanian oasis using an optimal photovoltaic based irrigation system' has been published in Elsevier journal Energy Conversion and Management (Volume 199, 1 November 2019, 111984).

Abstract

Most of Mauritania’s landscape is desert areas with very limited water sources. In the meanwhile, the current irrigation methods that are used in available oases are conventional and implied high water losses which lead to desertification of the oases and consequently destroy agriculture and livestock. Thus, this research aims to protect these oases by proposing an optimized photovoltaic based water irrigation system. Description of adopted oases areas characteristics and solar energy potential in Mauritania are provided. Moreover classifications of pumps, motors, irrigation systems and required PV power are given in this research. After that, a full and detailed design is proposed for water irrigation in Mauritanian’s oases.

Results show that a photovoltaic power system with a capacity of 142.8 kWp is needed to power eight submersible pumps with a total power of 83.5 kW. The pumps are designed to deliver 80% of the available wells’ capacity for eight zones of date palm trees that are planted in Tawaz oasis which is located in Adrar region. It is also found that 250 storage tanks with capacity of 4 m3 for each are needed so as to maintain the availability of the system. A one year simulation of the proposed system is conducted. Based on the conducted simulation, the average cost of the pumped water by the system of the 8 wells is about 20.71 cent/m3 which is lower than the current pumping cost by 300%. It is also noted that the water loss of the former irrigation process is reduced significantly.

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