Futurepump SF1 Solar Pump
The Futurepump SF1 is a solar-powered surface water pump for smallholder irrigation.
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As of September 2020, this product has been discontinued and superceded by the Futurepump SE1 and the larger Futurepump SF2.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
Kenya (main market); Uganda; Rwanda; Tanzania; Malawi; Zambia; Nepal.interview with representative
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.
~610 USD (3500 GHC)Converted on 27 July 2020
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.
Patent-pending.interview with representative
Users can get the SF1 Solar Pump through Futurepump or through the nearest distributor.
Commercially confidential.interview with representative
Description of the pump type
Land size irrigation capacity, measured in acres
The amount of water discharged, measured in liters per minute
Maximum length of pipe from pump to the raised tank, measured in meters
The amount of pressure required to pump water, measured in MPa
The maximum length of pipe from the water source, measured in meters
Type of energy used to power the pump
Maximum power requirement, measured in watts
Maximum motor current, measured in amperes
Power required to run the pump, measured in voltage
- 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
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)
Technical support (servicing and parts) is provided by the distributor for pumps during the warranty period.
Spare parts are included in the free 24 months warranty.
15 – 25 year lifecycle.
Two years on-site parts & labour warranty (subject to location).
- 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
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.
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.
Field trials, customers’ review, testing by Stiftung Solarenergie – Solar Energy Foundation’s technicians in Kenya.
By September 2020, the Futurepump had stopped manufacturing the SF1, however they remain active, replacing it with the similarly sized but more efficient SE1 and the larger SF2.
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.
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