Frecon Solar Systems recently crunched the numbers on how much customers – primarily farmers – can save by opting for solar water pumps over diesel, petrol or mains-connected pumps. It found at the largest end of the scale, the savings could reach $33,550 per year.
Water pumps have long been large part of Frecon Solar’ business. The company sends out between 100 to 150 pumps every week, Marketing Manager Blessing Chigwaza told Zimeye.
Few farms would need pumps that big, however, so their savings wouldn’t reach such epic proportions. Nonetheless, Frecon Solar found that for a mid-sized solar pump, which they sell at the cheapest in Africa for only US$80 the customer could save US$1,793 in a year – paying off the bare running costs of a diesel pump in 2.77 years. Compared with a mains-connected grid, customers would save US$1,404 and meet the running costs in 3.54 years.
These numbers don’t even include the costs of travel for diesel or maintenance, which can be significant, Chigwaza noted.