Irrigation System Using Photovoltaics and Lithium Ion Batteries for Energy Storage

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
West Hall 1 (Phoenix Convention Center)


Typically, energy consuming systems are run off the traditional grid. However, there are remote areas of the United States that don’t have access to the traditional grid and in those places, there is a need for photovoltaic generation to supply those electricity needs [1].The use of photovoltaics along with lithium batteries for storing excess energy has increased due to the need for renewable energy as a viable source of electricity. Such energy storage systems (ESS) are useful for complex irrigation systems that assist in the cultivating of the United States food supply [2].  Without the ESS systems, maintaining a stable economy may be difficult in extreme cases.

  The object of this research will be to construct a virtual photovoltaic generation system that is capable of powering an irrigation system, and it will also be used in tandem with a lithium-ion battery storage system.  The focus of this irrigation system will be to water a tomato farm in the Florida climate. The work will be performed in a virtual environment using a modular approach to a system-level design that simulates the behavior of the photovoltaic system and the degradation of the lithium-ion battery pack.  Ultimately, these results suggest the necessary components for a real photovoltaic and battery operated system require the optimally sized photovoltaic panel and inverter connected to a watering pump. The PV panels convert solar energy to electrical energy with DC current and the inverter converts DC current to AC current required to run the pump. In addition, Additional information from hygrometer readings and weather profile also would be needed with a optimizing algorithm to ensure efficient irrigation operation.


This work was supported by the FREEDM ERC program of the National Science Foundation under award number EEC-08212121.



  1.  Louy Qoaider, Dieter Steinbrecht, Photovoltaic systems: A cost competitive option to supply       energy to off-grid agricultural communities in arid regions, Applied Energy, Volume 87, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 427-435, ISSN 0306-2619


  1. M. Arifujjaman, A comprehensive power loss, efficiency, reliability and cost calculation of a 1 MW/500 kWh battery based energy storage system for frequency regulation application,