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The Ultimate Guide to Solar Water Pump Head: Everything You Need to Know

February 20, 2024


Solar-powered water pumps are devices that use solar energy to pump water from the ground or rivers, and as technology develops, they are becoming more practical and environmentally friendly.

Understanding a key concept - solar water pump head, also known as the pump's lifting capacity (which we can simply call "lift height") - is crucial to choosing the right solar water pump.

The following article will take you on a journey to discover all you need to know about pump head in easy-to-understand terms.

Deep well water pump head calculation

What is solar water pump head?

Solar water pump head is generally refers to the maximum vertical height between the dynamic water level to the water pipe outlet, It is the deep well pump head. Simply understood, it is the height at which the pump is able to lift water, usually expressed as “H” in meter.

Essentially, it is the "pressure" generated by the pump that affects the speed of the water flow and reaches the desired height.

Understanding this concept is essential to choosing the right solar pump for irrigation, wells or any other application.

Factors affecting solar pump head:

Factors that affect the head of a solar pump include:

Dynamic water level:

Dynamic water level means that when our pump starts pumping, the water level in the well starts to drop, and when the water level drops to the point that the amount of water coming out of the well is the same as the amount of water being pumped by the pump, then the water level stops dropping, and this water level is what we call the dynamic water level.

Pipeline Loss:

Factors such as friction on the inside of the water pipe, elbows, and changes in terrain can cause the pump to lose some head as it pushes the water through.

Pressure Tank:

If we have a pressure tank assigned, the pressure of the pressure tank also has some loss to the pump head.

Flow rate:

How much water the water pump can deliver per minute or hour will also affect how high it can lift.

Pump design and power:

Different pump designs and sizes will have different lifting capacities.

Solar Panel Efficiency:

As the sun is the power source of the pump, the higher the output of the solar panel, the better the pump will work.

Calculating solar water pump head:

Don't worry, although it sounds a bit complicated, it can actually be estimated in simple steps.

Firstly, add the actual lifting distance to the energy loss due to various factors to get the total lifting requirement. There are many water pump sizing calculators available nowadays that can help us do this calculation easily.

Deep Well Pump Head Calculation

Let's look at the figure below, here is a formula, "H" is the head, "TDH" is the Total Dynamic Head, equal to TDH=H1 + H2 + H3 + W,

H1 is the height of the dynamic water level in the well to the wellhead.

H2 is the height from the wellhead to the bottom of the slope.

H3 is the vertical height from the bottom of the slope to the highest point, and the second is the length of the slope, which is the length of the slope piping.

"W" is the loss of the pipeline length to the dust raised by the pump.

Generally, when we calculate the loss of piping, we only need to calculate the loss of piping length to the pump dust.

Elbows are not many cases can be ignored, because we do not have the means to do a very accurate calculation of pump head, so three or five elbows is basically negligible.

submersible well pump head calculation


1: The dynamic water level in the well to the height of the wellhead, we pump head is generally calculated according to the dynamic level of the water level, not according to the location of the pump installation or static water level to calculate, so the dynamic water level to the height of the wellhead is the head of the pump in the well.

2: The wellhead to the vertical height of the pool, we use water, the wellhead to the pool between the distance often have a slope distance, the vertical height of the slope must be calculated accurately, the calculation method is generally the pipeline loss of water pipes plus the vertical height of the slope, we calculate the vertical height of the slope, we only need to write down a few points can be:

  • Assuming that the length of the slope water pipe is 100 metres
  • Slope 15 degrees, H3 = 26 metres
  • Slope 30 degrees, H3 = 50 metres
  • Slope 45 degrees, H3 = 70 metres.
  • For a slope of 60 degrees, H3 = 80 metres.

If there are elbows, less than 5 can be ignored, more than 5 each plus 1 metre

3: The general pipeline loss of water pipes for every 100 metres loss of about 10 metres of head.

4: The pressure of the pressure tank is the pump to the pressure tank pressurised when the required head. The unit of pressure gauge is expressed in megapascals, 0.1 megapascals is equal to 10 metres of head. Our household water needs pressure tank pressure is generally 0.3MPa, that is, a pressure tank needs about 30 metres of head.

5: The size of the pipeline on our pump flow, head is a very big impact, so we are in the piping, you must take into account the diameter of the water pipe is not with the pump is marked with the size of the water pipe is matched.

Many people think that reducing the pipe diameter of the water pipe can improve the pump dust, this idea is wrong, reduce the pipe diameter can only reduce the flow of the pump, is not able to increase the dust, because the dust of the pump is determined by the number of impeller stages of the pump head, and the size of the water pipe has no relationship.

Land pump head calculation

surface pump head calcuation

The TDH = Lift Head + Suction Head, as shown above.

The suction range of land pump is generally around 7M, if it is more than 7M, it may not be able to pump water, so you have to choose submersible pump.

Of course, there will always be an error in the calculation of the total head required, so when we choose the pump, the pump head should be calculated by lifting the total height of the water 1.15-1.2 times or so, so as to ensure that the pump can operate normally.

Benefits of right solar pump head:

There are many benefits of choosing the right head of solar pump:

Reduce costs: The higher the head, the greater the pump power, the greater the power of the required solar panels, so choose the right head, can save the cost of solar panels and pumps.

Extend the life of the pump: High head water pumps in the low head environment, the amount of water will become larger, but the pump power will also become larger, it will be easy to overpowering work, the pump motor will heat up, the motor life has an impact.

Improve efficiency: Choosing the right head will ensure that the pump works at their optimal efficiency(the highest point of pump efficiency can be found in the pump curve), ensuring optimal water flow and pressure without wasting energy.

Solar water pumps applications:

solar pump irrigation system for strewberry orchard

Agricultural watering: People lives in remote areas can use the pump to provide convenient and efficient irrigation for crops, orchards, greenhouses and other places.

Livestock drinking water: supplying sufficient water for breeding animals in remote areas.

Residential water: extract groundwater from deep wells for household use.

Landscape fountains: create beautiful and interesting fountain water features.


Understanding solar water pump lift helps you make informed decisions and choose the best solar water pump system for your needs and select a reputable solar water pump supplier for quality solar pumps and expert advice. By considering the factors, applications and potential challenges, you can harness the power of the sun for efficient, sustainable water pumping.

After reading this article, do you still have questions about solar water pump heads? Feel free to leave a comment to discuss. 

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I am the Marketing Director of SUNVIS, with 12 years of experience in the Solar Outdoor Lighting, Solar Power System and Solar Water Pumps industry. If you have any questions, you can contact me at any time.

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