The sunlight pump – a Life-Changing Technology for Developing Countries
ennos develops and distributes a highly efficient, portable solar water pump for smallholder irrigation and domestic water supply
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Secondary Focus Area
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
0.5HP (375W) solar water pump
100-400W panel required depending on water lift and daily amount of water
Discharge capacity of max. 45 litres/min or around 20’000 litres/day
Vertical water lift up to 40 meters
Solar PV panel and battery use are possible
Bluetooth interface to monitor the performance of the pump and diagnose technical problems
Automated system due to water flow and tank overflow sensors
Portable design: L575mm x W200mm x H270mm, 14 kg
The sunlight pump is a surface pump. The maximum suction depth (= vertical distance between the pump and the water level) is 7 meters at sea-level. For every1‘000 meters higher in altitude, the suction capacity will decrease by 1 meter. This applies to allsurface pumps, not only the sunlight pump.
Consequently there are two possibilities: Installation on the surface if suction depth is < 7 meters
or lower the pump down into the well, closer to the water table if it is > than 7 meters
sunlight pump tutorial on ennos extranet: technicians and professionals (you need to be a registered partner) find everything about the sunlight pump JSPBL0.3/HF2.4-5 and its system. There are a lot of technical information and short videos about installation, maintenance and repairs.
Standard application is when your suction depth is not more than 7 metres. If suction depth is more than 7 metres, you have to bring the pump closer to the water table. You can take the water out of a well, river or lake. In Uganda, we have a situation where water from lake Victoria is pumped more than 2 kilometers to a water kiosk. This distance is no problem for the sunlight pump. You can also pump water into a tank on the roof of your house (becoming independent on nonreliable power source).
On our website www.ennos.ch you find our sunlight pump configurator. With this tool you can calculate your needs and figure out the power needed for your application. Coming soon on the configurator: Comparison with the cost of a diesel pump.
Easy monitoring of sunlight pump perfomance with ennos App (for Android Smartphones). You will find information about Flow(l/min); Operation mode (PV or battery mode); I input (A); U input (V); Speed (rpm); Temperature (°C). Errors are indicated on the pump display and the error state will be held in the App.
March 2017: practical training for installation, maintenance, repairs of technicians in Nairobi, Kenya.
March 2017: theoretical training of technicians in Nairobi, Kenya. In Kenya, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Honduras and Nicaragua, more than 100 pumps from the batch from our previous production partner (Amro Technology, Bangalore) are installed. Amro Technology has manufactured prototypes and first batches of pumps (2010 - March 2016).
Farmer Mrs. Achamma, India, says: „I like the sunlight pump because it is a completely automated system. This allows me to save a lot of time and irrigation is not hard physical work anymore.“
Women cooperative, Honduras: „We think the sunlight pump is a good technology because it is made for the needs of smallholder farmers. We have not seen such a high quality and affordable solar pump before. For our cooperative, this may also become a business opportunity because we could become retailers and service providers.“
In Honduras, the sunlight pump is also in use for "hors sol" production. The owner was impressed by the efficiency of the sunlight pump and was very happy regarding saving money for diesel. (April 2017)
Solving social problems with entrepreneurial ideas: Besides the distribution and servicing, it is also possible that local female and male entrepreneurs buy a pump and start their own pumping service business. We expect a whole range of business activities such as renting the pump or offering pumping services to neighbors, village communities, schools and so on.
Impact on the environment: solar pumps are a necessary alternative to the millions of diesel and electric water pumps currently in use around the world. Those pumps produce tremendous amounts of harmful emissions. While they may be available at cheap rates on the local market, their life expectancy is very low which also creates a problem of waste management. Most of such cheap pumps need to be replaced after longest one year.
Multiple use of panel: throughout the year and especially during rainy season, when irrigation is not needed, the excess energy from the solar panel can be stored in a battery. The battery can then be used to power different appliances e.g. machines for food processing, light, cell phone charging, cooling, entertainment. Especially school children benefit from having light at home in order to be able to study also in the evenings. And to have a good education is key for their future prospects.
Impact for drinking and hygiene: the sunlight pump is an ideal technology to supply domestic water for drinking purposes, personal hygiene, washing and cleaning to a family or village community. The sunlight pump can also supply water to a school or hospital and is an interesting option for a water kiosk installation because it can be equipped with a “pay per litre” software.
Impact for households: in combination with a water tank installed on the roof of or next to the house, the sunlight pump can guarantee a continuous water supply in an urban or rural home. With this, the families can become independent from the unreliable electricity grid and increasing fuel costs on the one hand. On the other hand, with a water tank next to the house women benefit from easier water supply for washing which is a big relief.
Kennedy Wanyama, Uganda Water School says: „The sunlight pump delivers water over 2 kilometres from Lake Victoria into a filter system. This allows us to supply safe drinking water to 300 school children every day. I am impressed how powerful this small pump is.“
Demonstration of the sunlight pump in December 2016 in Soroti District in Uganda. Excellent feedback of the farmers.
sunlight pump at production partner Jain Irrigation Systems in Jalgaon, India
The sunlight pump: a high efficient, portable, no CO2 emissions, solar-powered solar water pump. Innovative Swiss Technology combined with high quality production.
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Most smallholder farmers in developing countries still rely on traditional low productivity agricultural practices and on rainfall to cultivate their few acres of land and lack access to water for sanitation & hygiene. Often irrigation is done by hand. A burden that falls mainly on women and girls, a task that often entails long and backbreaking walks. Farmers who have access to diesel pumps face high operating and maintenance costs and CO2 emission. With diesel pumps fields mostly are flooded, meaning waste of water.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Labour time savings thanks to the mechanization and the automatic start/stop of the sunlight pump. After the upfront investment (pump and solar panel), there won't be any further running costs. No maintenance costs for electro-motor and electronic. Very low maintenance costs for pump head. Easy monitoring of the pump performance thanks to ennos App. Less flooding with the sunlight pump which prevents soil cracking, surface water runoff. Lower risk of the well drying out. Break-even compared to acquisition, running and maintenance costs of a diesel pump are achieved after about 1-2 years. After that, the sunlight pump runs for free. We set a high value on production quality, high degree on reliability, high efficiency and longevity of our product. In each target market, we work with selected partners who are familiar with the pump and its installation. Partners offer advices and after sale services to end-users. Our configurator tool on our website assists with setup datas.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Impacts: ennos provides continuous theoretical and practical training to the local technicians with regard to application, installation, maintenance and repairs of the pump. The know-how transfer contributes to the establishment of a local sector for renewable energy technologies. The sustainable distribution of the pump is only possible, if local partners can build themselves an economic future. By availing the sunlight pump for irrigation, the dependency on rain fall will be reduced and the farming season will increase from 2 to 4, which generates more revenue. With a water tank installed on the roof of or next to the house, the pump can guarantee a continuous water supply in an urban or rural home (independent of unreliable electricity grid). One sunlight pump with a 300 Watt panel can save around 135 liters of diesel a year and around 380 kilograms of C02 if one calculates with a utilization rate of 50%.
Production started in August 2017: since then, 400 pumps sold.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
- Bank loan, secured by a guarantee from the Federal Government (Technologiefonds, 60%)
- interest-free loans (Bluetec Bridge, Kant. Wirtschaftsförderung Bern; 17.5%)
- interest-free loan (Stiftung für technologische Innovation STI / privately liable by principal shareholder; 14%)
- shareholders equity (5%)
- credit in current account (3.5%)
In 2016, the finances for development and distribution were ensured. Since August 2016, partnership with Jain Irrigation (jains.com) for production (Technology and License Agreement). Revenues coming from license fees and from sales. ennos should turn into profit in 2019. Since August 2017, 400 pumps sold. Expectations for 2018: more than 2000 units sold (not included sales from Jain in India).
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
For ennos it is of high importance to provide extensive before and after sales services to the end-users – something most competitors will not do. The users need to be supported in the design, installation and use of their solar pumping system in order to make sure that it can be used productively over many years. In order to guarantee these services, a pool of well-trained sales men/women and technicians are established. USP: high efficiency, ennos App for monitoring, ennos configurator
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
The sunlight pump vision is based on the experience of three personalities:
Prof. Dr. Andrea Vezzini, from Berne University of Applied Sciences, who was working in India on different projects promoting the University's rich experience in the field of solar powered electric cars.
Alois Müller, who was involved in the development of the Tara water pump in Bangladesh and has spent his working life helping small scale farmers improving their productivity through technology.
Dr. Urs Heierli, who through his work in the development sector has shown that private initiative, self-help principles and market driven approaches are the key to sustainable development.
They connected 2010 and combined their experiences and ideas. In 2016 partnership started with Jain Irrigation (jains.com), an Indian multinational company. ‘More Crop Per Drop™’ is their approach to water security and food security
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?
Upon recommendation from others