An NQ dairy plant implemented energy audit recommendations to improve the efficiency of pumping, water and energy use.
A dairy farm near Ravenshoe on the Atherton Plateau has implemented irrigation energy management opportunities based on the energy audit report received through the expansion of the energy saving plan. Through this plan, the company has accepted the milk shed energy audit conducted by AgVet Energy and the irrigation energy audit conducted by The Energy Guys hired by QDO.
Replace the leaking aluminum main pipe with a new PVC main pipe to provide rigid hose irrigation, which improves the efficiency of pumping, water and energy use.
QDO project officer Jade Chan and I visited the site and conducted performance tests on irrigation to evaluate the energy-saving effects and results since the implementation of the energy audit recommendations.
The catch data showed that the distribution uniformity and uniformity coefficient remained relatively the same, at 68.3% and 73pc, respectively. However, the wetting diameter has increased significantly from 64 meters to 70 meters. This increases their irrigable area, which may lead to increased pasture production.
The company’s main savings is to minimize water loss through large leaks in aluminum pipes. Previously, the system pumped 100ML to effectively deliver 75ML through the irrigator. This loss can be eliminated by installing the Shinkansen, saving 227 pumping hours per year.
The average energy consumption recorded by the new PVC main line and pump is slightly lower, allowing the system to deliver 75 ml through the irrigator, saving 12,454 kWh per year. The average electricity price is 22.1c/kWh, which equates to annual savings of US$2,752.
The total cost of installing the Shinkansen is slightly less than US$22,000. Based on the above savings calculation, the payback period of this investment is eight years, and the return on investment is 12.6%.
Other benefits of the business include reducing the swamp area in the roadway, which is caused by leaks and may have flow effects such as improved hoof health and milk quality.
Story Is your energy leaking out? First appeared in the North Queensland Register.