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Vietnam relies on sun for water supply

Posted: 03 Nov 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Vietnam? solar energy system? water station? Pham Van Quynh?

People living in Vietnam's rural areas can now put its hopes for stable water supply on the sun, according to the results of a renewable energy project, reported Viet Nam Net.

[In related news: Vietnam zooms in on solar energy development]

Pham Van Quynh, deputy director of the Can Tho provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said solar energy ensures that water stations' pumping systems keep running, bringing clean water for everyone.

Electricity outages in the rural areas are affecting water supply since water stations can't be used to their full capacity.

Locals can have enough water for irrigation and household use with the solar energy system, said Quyn.

The problem lies in the stability of the water supply since the energy needed to run the pumps comes from a source impacted by weather, according to the analysts.

Le Thanh Hai, from pumps manufacturer Grundfos Vietnam, likened the solar energy system to a power plant in terms of electricity generation.

The system is capable of supplying 46m3/day, with 54m3/day in sunny season 38m3/day in rainy period. In comparison, the Nhon Ai station in Can Tho City is designed to provide 50m3/day.

Asked about the project's results, Hai said the water supply capacity was "satisfactory," which means higher than the designed capacity in the sunny season and lower during the rainy period. But rainwater can be collected to offset the drop in supply.

Electricity usage savings and bypassing the need to construct power plants, especially those run by coal and hydropower, were identified as some of the advantages of powering the pumping systems using the sun.

On the other hand, a high initial investment is the solution's biggest drawback, with pumps and solar panels costing up to about $19,000 for a system supplying water to 150-300 households. Moreover, it is still unknown if the system could be deployed on a large scale in the Mekong Delta.

- Jairia Dela Cruz
??EE Times Asia

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