Energy Audits Spark On-farm Savings
August 20, 2015
To help Australia’s cotton growers cut costs and improve their on-farm energy efficiency, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, NCEA and CottonInfo have been delivering the “Improving energy efficiency on irrigated cotton farms” project over the past two years, including delivering on-farm energy-audits to growers.
The project recently released a benchmarking report of direct energy consumption (diesel and electricity use) on Australia’s cotton farms, based on the findings of 198 whole-farm energy assessments.
The report recommends:
- Ensuring that any water extracted from a water source is not lost to seepage and evaporation in storage, delivery and in-field (smaller quantities of water pumped mean smaller energy bills).
- Reducing the amount of trash that makes it to the intake of a pump. Very small amounts of trash can have a large impact on the performance of a pump (up to 30 percent reduction in head and discharge).
- Ensuring tractors have the correct and appropriate ballasting, tyre pressures and implement depth control. This can help achieve a 20 percent fuel saving.
- Measuring high energy use elements via fuel and water flowrate indicators, pressure gauges, tachometers and hour meters.