Power tool manufacturing company Stanley Black & Decker has designed a low-cost, solar-powered water pump for farmers in India. The product, called Nadi, is the first product from Stanley Earth, the social impact brand launched by the company. The new brand, which aims to develop sound business models for social good, developed this solar pump as an ideal alternative to the widely used polluting water pumps used by farmers.
The solar pump uses an efficient motor that is like a drill, which the company has used previously in its tools. The solar pump, when connected to sensors that measure weather and soil conditions, can help in determining the best time for watering through drip irrigation. These solar pumps can be controlled through a mobile phone, and be connected to data sharing networks to help determine when it needs maintenance. When the solar pump is not in use, the surplus solar power generated from the solar panel can be sent back into the grid. Thus, solar pumps can be a source of extra income for farmers. This will also help in conserving groundwater as farmers would not keep running their pumps and wasting water as they can instead send power to the grid.
The company has tested the product with a farmer, who, the company claims, has been able to begin growing multiple crops a year. The solar pump will be available directly from Stanley Black & Decker or through distributors and other partners that sell in rural India. The company is also planning to announce a new type of financing to make it easier for low-income farmers to afford the solar pump. The company plans to scale up its operations and introduce the product in Africa, South America and other countries in Southeast Asia as well.