An Irish farmer has designed a solar-powered water pump that will supply up to eight drinking troughs without the need for a separate power supply.
Bryan Davis, who farms at Borrisokane, County Tipperary, came up with the idea when he needed to get water to a block of land with an inadequate supply.
Fed up with hauling a tanker to the area every two days, he decided to try getting the sun to do the work for him.
His system used power from a solar panel to draw water out of a stream that was inaccessible to the stock.
This was then piped to a network of troughs, allowing him to set up a more efficient paddock grazing system.
After three years of development, he had perfected the design and decided to start selling the system to other farmers under the brand Solar Pump Solutions (SPS).
The latest versions are capable of pumping over a distance of 1.5km and a vertical head of 50m.
They will also move enough water to keep up to eight drinking points supplied.
Power comes from PV solar panels, which rely on daylight rather than the strength of the sun to generate energy – this means they’ll work even on dull days.
There is also a built-in battery that allows the pump to keep running through the night.
The system even has enough reserve power to run a 12V electric fencer, removing the need to haul batteries around.
Setup is fairly straightforward as the unit is completely self-contained.
All the operator has to do is place the suction pipe or submersible pump into the water source and connect the outlet to their pipe network.
The pumps can be used as the sole water supply in an area, or to add capacity to an inadequate system.
Three models are available, with daily water volumes ranging from 3,500 litres to 7,000 litres.
Prices start at £1,795 for the 3,500-litre SPS-35, which is capable of supplying water to 50 cattle.