Solar water pumps have the potential to play a critical role in improving the incomes and resilience of smallholder farmers, while delivering benefits for the climate and environment. In the marketplace, however, developing a high-quality, affordable water pump able to perform under a wide range of geographic and environmental conditions remains a large challenge for the industry. Manufacturers face a tradeoff between supplying a more durable pump at a high cost and developing a more affordable pump that may require more maintenance and operational expenditures over time. At the same time, buyers and distributors looking to supply quality solar water pumps have limited access to quality data about the performance and durability of pumps available on the market.
This memo fills important knowledge gaps on solar water pump durability by sharing key data from Global LEAP Awards laboratory testing and summarizing information from the existing literature and interviews with industry experts. It provides useful recommendations for how to enhance solar water pump durability and identifies opportunities for how to improve existing test methods and future quality assurance efforts.
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