Prelims 2020

Q. With reference to solar water pumps, consider the following statements:

1.Solar power can be used for running surface pumps and not for submersible pumps.
2.Solar power can be used for running centrifugal pumps and not the ones with piston.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
Correct Answer : d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question from UPSC Prelims 2020 GS Paper


Solar Power for Running Pumps

Solar power can be utilized to run various types of pumps, including surface pumps and submersible pumps. These solar water pumping systems are highly versatile and can be designed to operate any type of pump.

Surface Pumps

Surface pumps are used to move water over short distances and are not submerged. They are ideal for applications where water needs to be transported from one location to another without the need for deep water sources like borewells.

Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps, on the other hand, are placed underwater and used to lift water from deep sources such as borewells. These pumps are designed to handle higher lifts and are suitable for applications requiring water extraction from deeper sources.

Solar panels generate electricity that can power both surface pumps and submersible pumps, making the statement about solar power being used for both types incorrect.

Centrifugal Pumps and Piston Pumps

In addition to surface and submersible pumps, solar power can also be used to run centrifugal pumps and piston (or reciprocating) pumps.

Centrifugal pumps are commonly used for moving water in large volumes and are suitable for applications that require relatively low lift. They are efficient in transporting water over long distances.

Piston pumps, on the other hand, are suitable for applications that require higher lifts and can pump water from deeper sources. Although they may have lower flow rates compared to centrifugal pumps, they are capable of handling applications that require water extraction from greater depths.

The versatility of solar power systems allows them to be configured to provide the necessary power for both centrifugal pumps and piston pumps, making the second statement incorrect as well.

Therefore, neither statement 1 nor statement 2 is correct. The correct option is d) Neither 1 nor 2.

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