Optimizing the setup of a photovoltaic pumping system for irrigation considering different crop water requirements

Sebastian Ehrmann*, Lothar Fickert, Reinhard Nolz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Egypt's remote areas, photovoltaic (PV) systems appear to be a promising technology to substitute diesel generators for water pumping in irrigation systems. We aim to minimize the installed PV capacity and investment costs by optimizing azimuth and tilt angles of the PV panels and to assess the complicity with pressure and water requirements. For this purpose, a numerical algorithm has been developed for a PV-driven drip irrigation system without a water storage tank in the Bahariya Oasis, Egypt. Crop water demand is considered by 7.8 ha plots planted with potato, tomato, and date palm. Nominal water flow rate is 86, 102, and 128 m3 h-1. For 128 m3 h-1, the optimization results in tilt angles for south orientation in the range of 40 deg to 50 deg, 10 deg to 20 deg, and 0 deg to 5 deg for potato, tomato, and date palm plots, respectively. In addition, for tomato and date palm plots with 86 and 86 / 102 m3 h-1, respectively, an east-west orientation with tilt angles of 55 deg to 60 deg is optimal. In this case, the system operates mainly in the self-compensated pressure range of the drip lines, which is assumed to guarantee proper water distribution across the field. However, the required PV peak power is large compared to the system settings with larger nominal water flow rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043104
JournalJournal of Photonics for Energy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • azimuth angle
  • drip irrigation
  • Egypt
  • pressure compensation
  • tilt angle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimizing the setup of a photovoltaic pumping system for irrigation considering different crop water requirements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this