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Optimization of a linear actuator for use in a solar powered water pump

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neal WadeORCiD


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A need has been identified for a simply constructed, photovoltaic-powered, water pump to improve the water supply in rural areas of developing countries. The use of a linear actuator to provide the lifting force was investigated as part of a way to meet this need. Substantial challenge was presented in optimizing the system to suit the power characteristic of a photovoltaic panel and the hydraulic requirements of the application. An iterative process combining finite element analysis and analytic expressions was devised to allow comparisons to be made between many geometrical and electrical configurations of the linear actuator. Model predictions achieved close comparison with measured results from an existing water pump. The modelling technique was used to generate an actuator design that will utilize the available power more efficiently in a next generation pumping device.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wade NS, Short TD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Solar Energy

Year: 2012

Volume: 86

Issue: 3

Pages: 867–876

Print publication date: 16/01/2012

ISSN (print): 0038-092X

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.solener.2011.12.016


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