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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2012, Article ID 542416, 9 pages
Research Article

Economical Feasibility of Utilizing Photovoltaics for Water Pumping in Saudi Arabia

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
2Center for Engineering Research, Research Institute, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Received 15 June 2012; Revised 3 September 2012; Accepted 4 September 2012

Academic Editor: Daniel Chemisana Villegas

Copyright © 2012 Ahmet Z. Sahin and Shafiqur Rehman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Energy and water are the two major need of the globe which need to be addressed for the sustenance of the human beings on this planet. All the nations, no matter most populous, developed and developing need to diversify the means and ways of producing energy and at the same time guarding the environment. This study aims at techno economical feasibility of producing energy using PV solar panels and utilizing it to pump-water at Dhahran, Riyadh, Jeddah, Guriat, and Nejran regions in Saudi Arabia. The solar radiation data from these stations was used to generate electricity using PV panels of 9.99 kW total capacity. Nejran region was found to be most economical in terms of minimal payback period and cost of energy and maximum internal rate of return whereas PV power production was concerned. Water-pumping capacity of the solar PV energy system was calculated at five locations based on the PV power production and Goulds model 45J series of pumps. Monthly total and annual total water pumping capacities were determined. Considering the capital cost of combined solar PV energy system and the pump unit a cost analysis of water pumping for a well of 50 m total dynamic head (TDH) was carried out. The cost of water pumping was found to vary between 2 and 3  /m3.