Empowering Assam’s Ahom Pathar Community: Solar-Powered Water System for Clean Drinking Water and Environmental Sustainability

Solar-Powered Water System for Clean Drinking Water
Location: Ahom Pathar, Assam
Capacity: 3 Hp Openwell Submersible & 3 Hp Submersible Pump
Department: PHED Assam
Purpose: Filtered Drinking Water


We are all entitled to safe drinking water as a basic human right and necessity. People’s health and well-being are at risk from contaminated water. There are 91 million people without access to clean water in the country (6% of the 1.3 billion population). Approximately 30% of tribal populations lack access to safe drinking water.
Ahom Pathar is one such community in Assam. Throughout the hamlet, the power grid is extremely unstable. Therefore, the previous water treatment plant couldn’t operate due to multiple reasons.

The following issues were encountered while developing a plan to install a reliable drinking water system:

  • The site was located in a remote place. Initially, the water filtering facility was not functioning because of an unstable grid power supply.
  • A diesel generator was then installed to operate the plant. In time, the pump’s motor burned out due to the fluctuations of the diesel generator. This caused the electrical system to fail.
  • Moreover, improper plumbing caused a broken pipe, particularly in the valve portion.

Putting the project into practice was a challenge. It is necessary to repair all of the plumbing, electrical, filtration, and pump systems to get the water system running again. SunShell Power embraced the challenges of the site’s challenging terrain, lack of sufficient area, and short sunshine hours and developed a workable solution.


Our Solution

After a thorough discussion with the PHED and the contractors, the decision was made to install :

  • A 3HP five-inch bore-well submersible pump, powered by 10 nos 335 Wp solar modules, and a 3 HP open-well submersible pump, powered by 12 nos 335 Wp solar modules.
  • The modules were mounted using a single-leg 8-module structure, and the installation site was the backside of the pump house.
  • The lightning arrestor and the earthing of the plant were fixed.
  • A remote monitoring system was installed at the site to monitor the data of energy production from the solar modules.
  • It is a dual-operated (AC and DC) multi-level protection VFD box with an operating and reserve capacity of 60,000 litres in the reservoir and 30,000 litres in the overhead tank.

A submersible solar power pump with 3HP instead of 5HP was chosen to prevent the underground water from drying out. Furthermore, fewer solar panels were needed to run a 3HP rather than a 5HP, allowing installation costs to be kept low.


In A Glance

  • Grid-connected system
  • One 3HP five-inch bore well submersible pump, powered by 10 335 Wp
  • One 3 HP open-well submersible pump, powered by 12 of 335 Wp
  • Single-leg 8-module structure
  • Dual-operated multi-level protection VFD box
  • Civil structures with proper structural strength were installed to avoid damage to solar modules in hailstorms.
  • Three-layered bed of sand, gravel, and charcoal



With the successful completion of the project, 150 families are now able to drink filtered water, which reduces the risk of water-borne diseases. It also preserved the village’s green environment by reducing its carbon footprint. The project’s impact was magnified when it was featured on a local news channel. This increased awareness fostered a sense of community engagement and inspired other communities to take similar initiatives, promoting clean water and environmental sustainability.

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