Updated on January 17, 2024


Created on July 12, 2016

Futurepump SF1 Solar Pump


The Futurepump SF1 is a solar-powered surface water pump for smallholder irrigation.

Developed By
  1. Futurepump Ltd.
Tested By
  • Stiftung Solarenergie – Solar Energy Foundation
Content Partners


Product Description

The Futurepump SF1 is a solar-powered irrigation pump.

The product consists of three main parts: a PV panel, to convert sunlight into electrical energy; a motor, to use the electrical energy to turn the flywheel; and a pump, to draw water out of a well, river or lake. The SF1 solar pump is robust and portable.

As of September 2020, this product has been discontinued and superceded by the Futurepump SE1 and the larger Futurepump SF2. However the Futurepump SF1 is still available for purchase from distributors with stock remaining and datasheets are still available from some distributors (Davis and Shirtliff, Condor Pumps).Interview with representative

Target SDGs

SDG 1: No Poverty

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Community, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

The product is distributed by Futurepump and by distribution partners who already sell complementary products. In Uganda, Futurepump has partnered with SolarNow, who is distributing across the country.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Futurepump mass-produces the pumps at their bespoke manufacturing facility in Rajkot, India. They have internal quality controls in place at the factory to ensure high standards.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can get the SF1 Solar Pump through Futurepump or through the nearest distributor.

Distributions to Date Status

Commercially confidential.interview with representative

Pump type

Solar surface pump (Reciprocal piston)

Irrigation capacity (acre)

1 acre

Maximum flow rate (L/min)

26.7 L/min (at 6 m) – 41.7 L/min (at 1 m)

Maximum lift/head (m)

10 m

Required pressure (MPa)


Maximum distance from water source (m)

100+ m

Power source


Power requirement: Max power (W)

80 W

Power requirement: Max motor current (A)

4 A

Power requirement: Voltage range (V)

30 V

Design Specifications


  • Pumps up to 12,000l/day at low heads and will lift up to 10m
  • Efficient 80W, 12V solar panel with USB port incorporated for powering phone charging and other small electronic devices.
  • Air vessels on either side of the pump for balanced and even water flow
  • Efficient DC motor with in-built controller
  • Low light option for cloudy days
  • 1 ¼” inlet and outlet
Dimensions: Shipped in 2 cartons Carton 1: FuturePump SF1 pump (35 kg) 685 x 270 x 685 mm (L x W x H) Carton 2: FuturePump solar panel (8.2 kg) 950 x 50 x 700 (L x W x H)

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Technical support (servicing and parts) is provided by the distributor for pumps during the warranty period.

Replacement Components

Spare parts are included in the free 24 months warranty.


15 - 25 year lifecycle. Two years on-site parts & labour warranty (subject to location).  

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters


  • Max flow rate 0.5 L/s
  • Up to 15m head
  • Irrigates up to 1-acre
  • Works with 1" (25 mm) hoses
  • Compatible with 60 W or 120 W panels
Performance curve:

Vetted Performance Status

Stiftung Solarenergie - Solar Energy Foundation tested the Futurepump SF1 but do not provide data on parameters tested or results of testing, aside from their decision to proceed with using the pump for their project.


No known safety hazards are related to this product.

Complementary Technical Systems

A wheeled trolley was designed specifically by Global9Services (source no longer available online) to make the SF1 solar pump more portable.  

Academic Research and References

DeMarco, J., Annejohn, N., 2018, Simple, low-cost solar pumping is now a reality. Proceedings of 41st WEDC International Conference, Egerton University, Nakuru, Kenya, 2018, Paper No. 3018.

Hartung, H., Pluschke, L., 2018, The benefits and risks of solar-powered irrigation – a global overview. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.

Holthaus, J., et al., 2017, Accelerating Solar Water Pump Sales in Kenya: Return on Investment Case Studies. Proceedings of SWC2017/SHC, pp. 1-10.

McKay, A.B., 2018, The Water Buffalo: Design of a Portable Bicycle Powered Irrigation Pump for Small-scale African Farmers. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Davis, CA.

Compliance with regulations


Other Information

By September 2020, the Futurepump had stopped manufacturing the SF1, however they remain active, replacing it with the similarly sized but more efficient SE1 Datasheet and the larger SF2. Futurepump SF2 Davis and ShirtliffCondor Pumps See the SF1 Solar Pump out in the field. This article provides background on the development of the SF1. A case study on the development of the SF1 and it's use in Honduras. SolarNow  

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