15 results for Information paper, Energy and Extensive Livestock
Provided there is easy access to the electricity network, converting from diesel-driven to electric pumps will improve pumping efficiency and reduce costs. Typical efficiencies for electrical centrifugal pumps range between 70 and 80 per cent, whereas diesel pumps have an efficiency of just 30 to 40 per cent. Other advantages of electric pumps include lower maintenance requirements, less environmental impact and more easily implemented pump controls (such as variable speed drives).
Irrigation pumps are typically over-specified at the design stage, resulting in significantly higher power consumption and operating costs. A pump is generally oversized when it is not operated at or within 20 percent of its best efficiency point (BEP), although it is normally considered acceptable if the duty point falls within 50 and 110 percent of the BEP flow rate. By replacing oversized pumps with smaller ones, energy and maintenance savings can be achieved due to lower power consumption requirements and less wear and tear.
The installation of variable speed drives (VSDs) on pumps can be an effective energy-saving measure. Lowering the speed of a motor by just 20 percent can produce an energy saving of up to 50 percent. Variable speed drives can be installed on all pumps, including those associated with HVAC systems. The VSD needs to be connected to a control signal and may also require installation of measurement devices or controllers, which typically are included in costing. The financial viability of installing a VSD depends on the motor application and operating hours. VSDs tend to be most economical when used on large pumps.
Manual control in grain drying operations with large variations in moisture often leads to significant overdrying or underdrying, and is highly inefficient from an energy point of view. Feedback-based automatic controllers can help to minimise energy consumption by controlling energy inputs more precisely to meet the needs of the product being processed. While preservation of grain quality is the primary benefit, energy savings of up to 20 percent can be achieved.
Some farmers are unaware that their electricity bills can be reduced by improving the ‘power factor’ (PF) of their facilities. A poor power factor is analogous to a beer with too much head, when the head represents wasted energy. Networks penalise facilities with poor PFs by increasing ‘demand’ (or ‘capacity’) charges. Installing power factor correction devices can help ensure that on-farm electrical equipment uses the voltage provided by the network efficiently and that penalties are not applied as a result of the facility making unpredictable demands on the system.
Driver skill is a central element in achieving farm fuel efficiency. Modern diesel-engine tractors typically maximise their efficiency when operated within 60 to 80 percent of their rated power output. Maintaining this range requires skill and attention from the operator. Key factors in achieving efficient driving practices on farm are: driver skill, awareness and motivation; feedback systems provided by the machinery; and logging and analysing fuel consumption regularly. Fuel savings greater than 20 percent can be achieved in some situations.
This information paper provides guidance and calculation tools to enable you to determine the appropriate power (in kW or horsepower) that your field operations will require. It will allow you to determine the size of the tractor that best suits your needs without being under- or over-powered. This is of critical importance, as a machine that’s not well matched for the tasks it will perform is likely to operate inefficiently. This can lead to fuel waste or early breakdown.
Wheel slip is a key indicator of efficient tractor set-up and operation. The level of wheel slip serves as a proxy to indicate whether the right combination of tyre pressures, tractor weight (ballast) and tractor operating speed are resulting in the correct traction required to perform efficiently and save fuel. Many operators are misinformed as to the appropriate levels of slip.
If chosen correctly, modern tractors can deliver significant energy savings and operational efficiencies over earlier machinery. Tractors are increasingly specialised and complex, making it essential to match their features to specific farming tasks and environments. Below, fuel-efficiency factors are discussed in relation to usage requirements, dealer support, engine performance, chassis configuration, linkages and power take-offs, and wheel, tyre and ballasting features.
Often, Australian tractors are overballasted. Correctly setting ballast to match a tractor’s main duties can result in fuel savings of five to eight percent. Establishing correct ballast involves identifying goal weights for your main operations and measuring the actual weights at each axle, ideally while the equipment is mounted. Once ballast has been set in the right ball park, further adjustment may be unnecessary, since efficient traction can be achieved simply by adjusting tyre pressure. Taking a common-sense approach minimises the need for ballast changes but ensures that gross ballasting errors are avoided.