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Solar Powered Slurry Pumps - Lowest Carbon Footprint Pumps and Dredges on the Market

Learn how the advancement of solar energy can be used to power heavy duty industrial and slurry process pumps. Browse Our Slurry PumpsContact Us For Fast Quote

What Are Solar Powered Slurry Pumps?

Solar-powered slurry pumps are heavy-duty industrial pumps that use the power of sunlight to operate, freeing the operation from consuming fossil fuels and other power options that can be detrimental to the environment to operate. Up until recently, solar generators could not produce the required power needed to fully power the slurry pump for maximum efficiency compared to HPU or hydraulic power units.

While sludge and slurry pumps are often used for industrial, environmental improvement, and reclamation projects, they still contribute greatly to overall pollution levels when powered by traditional energy sources such as fossil fuels. Yet due to the high power demand for these mid to large-scale dredging operations, it can still be difficult to find industrial slurry pumps powered by solar on the open market, especially for larger pumps.

However, recent developments and efficiency in solar power generation are finally making it feasible to operate solar-powered slurry pumps. Understanding the benefits of alternatively powered pumps and what’s becoming available on the market in the next few years is essential to reducing a process pump or dredging operation’s carbon footprint.

The Carbon Footprint of Slurry Pumping

In the U.S., about a fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions is created by industrial equipment. Despite only accounting for a fifth of all emissions, oil and gas production is the single largest source of manmade methane emissions.

These figures don’t take into account the emissions created indirectly by power generation to run industrial equipment, which brings the total to nearly 30 percent of all U.S. emissions for industrial purposes alone. Since slurry pumps play a large role in oil and gas production, mining operations, construction site preparation, and other uses that fall under the industrial heading, there’s a need for alternative energy sources for these kinds of operations.

The primary emissions generated by pumps are created during power generation, so switching to alternatively powered pumps can make a dramatic difference in the environmental impact of dredging equipment and other manufacturing operations.

The Limitations of Solar Power

While industrial business owners have long known they need to lower their emissions to protect the environment and align with increasing regulations, the actual conversion to alternative energy sources has been easier said than done. The two main limitations to using solar power for industrial purposes have been the high cost of the generating equipment and fluctuations in power supply due to varying sunlight levels.

While battery banks are available to smooth out the fluctuations, even relatively small energy storage solutions dramatically increase the price of alternative energy systems. Solar panel and battery prices have been falling steadily over the last 10 years, and equipment manufacturers are finally starting to offer worksite power generation packages that are affordable enough to fit within the operating budgets of many industrial companies.

Current Solar Power Generator Stations

Solar power can be used to run a wide variety of slurry and sludge pumps designed to connect to electric motors. However, the high energy demands of most of these industrial pumps make it hard to fit a solar generator capable of a steady power supply onto even an open work site. Lithium-ion storage systems need proper storage space to prevent explosions and discharges, and even moving the equipment from site to site can potentially create hazards.

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Yet, there are some companies already offering hydraulic power stations built around solar panels and battery banks who have solved the storage and transportation issues. Mobile units are also available. For example, Emerson sells a solar-powered hydraulic power station that can be sized to fit many different applications, but it’s still limited by the amount of sunlight accessible at any given site, which could affect production rates and uptime.

Current Solar Power Generator Stations

Solar power can be used to run any slurry and sludge pumps already designed to connect to electric motors. However, the high energy demands of most industrial pumps make it hard to fit a solar generator capable of a steady power supply onto even an open work site. Lithium-ion storage systems need proper storage space to prevent explosions and discharges, and even moving the equipment from site to site can create hazards.

Yet there are some companies already offering hydraulic power stations built around solar panels and battery banks who have solved the storage and transportation issues. For example, Emerson sells a solar-powered hydraulic power station that can be sized to fit many different applications, but it’s still limited by the amount of sunlight accessible at any given site.

Concentrated Solar Power Breakthroughs

The real breakthrough for the lowest carbon footprint pumps is likely to come from concentrated solar power operations that supply as much power as necessary for even the biggest slurry pumping operations. Concentrated solar plants (CSPs) create steam to store enough energy for maintaining a steady supply regardless of fluctuations in actual sunlight availability.

These plants are similar to nuclear and coal power plants in their ability to create a steady electrical supply for industrial purposes like slurry pumping. Unfortunately, these plants must be built as public utilities, so industrial business owners hoping to rely on CSPs for power will have to wait and petition their local authorities to expand these green energy options in their area.

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Concentrated Solar Power Breakthroughs

Portable solar panel hydraulic power units are only beginning to emerge on the market. They’re easily adopted for powering EDDY pumps since the advanced eddy current designed pump is energy efficient and reduces the load on electric motor supplying power. These units make sense for remote operations where power is already unavailable, especially since diesel and natural gas-powered generators tend to make the worksite unpleasant with fumes in addition to contributing to air pollution. For fixed industrial uses that are closer to existing power grids, concentrated solar power plants appear to be the best option for switching to a greener source of pumping energy.

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Why EDDY Pumps Are Better – Highlights

This video shows how EDDY Pump transports high slurry and abrasive materials. Featured dredge pump equipment includes the Remote Operated Subdredge, Diver Operated Pump and a Excavator Attachment Dredge Pump.