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Experimental performance assessment of photovoltaic water pumping system for agricultural irrigation in semi-arid environment of Sebseb—Ghardaia, Algeria


In remote semi-arid area of Algerian Sahara, water supplying by PV panels for livestock and irrigation purposes is considered as an appropriate solution to developing the desert agriculture and improving the living conditions of the local population ( Available: Accessed: 26 May 2021). However, the operating performance of PV pumping system is affected by many dynamic factors, especially solar radiation and ambient temperature. On real well located at Sebseb—Ghardaia, Algeria (Latitude 32.26 N° and longitude 03.46E°), a PV pumping system for irrigation purposes is installed to investigate and evaluate its performance under different real meteorological conditions. Monthly and seasonal results were analyzed and discussed through the data monitoring system within one year (April 2020 to March 2021). The experimental results obtained show that the system can produce an average water volume of 17,122.22 m3/ year; only 62% of this capacity (divided as: 94.32% in summer, 52% in autumn, 68.5% in spring and 24.8% in winter) is used for watering the 70 palm trees, the rest (38%) will be employed to supply other associated type of crops (multiple crop irrigation). Also, the minimum and maximum values of performance ratio, capacity factor, reference yield and final yield are recorded (59.7% in June and 93.14% in December), (17.07% in January and 26.83% in May), (5.13 h/day in December and 7.09 h/day in June) and (4.1 h/day in January and 6.44 h/day in May), respectively. Furthermore, a sensitive analysis has shown that the best operating performances of the system are found in winter and spring after in autumn.

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G :

Global solar irradiance [W/ m2]

G 0,stc :

Standard global solar irradiance [1000 W/m2]

T :

Ambient temperature [C°]

T 0,stc :

Standard ambient temperature [25 C°]

S :

Modules in series

P :

Modules in parallel

I ph :

Photocurrent [A]

q :

Electron charge 1.6 1019 [C]

K :

Boltzmann factor 1.380649 × 10−16 [erg/K]

I t :

Temperature coeff of short circuit current [%/K]

R s :

Series resistor [Ω]

R sh :

Parallel resistor [Ω]

I pv :

Current of the PV generator [A]

V pv :

Voltage of the PV generator [V]

V mp :

Optimal voltage of the PV generator [V]

I mp :

Optimal current of the PV generator [A]

I sc :

Short circuit current at STC [A]

V oc :

Open circuit voltage at STC [V]

P max :

Maximum power of PV generator at STC [W]

A pv :

Active area of PV array [m2]

P h :

Hydraulic power [W]

E i :

Incident solar energy [Wh]

E pv :

PV generator energy [Wh]

g :

Gravity acceleration [9.81 m/s2]

Q :

Water flow rate [m3/h]

H :

Total pressure head [m]

V :

Daily pumped water volume [m3/day




Maximum power point tracking


Standard test conditions


Performance ratio


Capacity factor


Water use rate

n :

Cell ideality factor

η pv :

Efficiency of the PV generator [%]

η pump-cont :

Efficiency of the controller-motor-pump [%]

η tot :

Total system efficiency [%]

\(\rho\) :

Water density [1000 kg/m3


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This project was financially supported by the Directorate General for Scientific Research and Technological Development—Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

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Correspondence to Seif Eddine Boukebbous.

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Boukebbous, S.E., Benbaha, N., Bouchakour, A. et al. Experimental performance assessment of photovoltaic water pumping system for agricultural irrigation in semi-arid environment of Sebseb—Ghardaia, Algeria. Int J Energy Environ Eng (2021).

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  • Photovoltaic
  • Pumping system
  • Agricultural irrigation
  • Performance assessment
  • Semi-arid environment