50 results for Information paper and Energy
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.
Tractor tyre specification is a key element in achieving fuel efficiency. Factors that need to be considered include tread, diameter, width, rim size, load indexes, single/double/triple arrangements and typical operating speeds. Unsuitable tyres may make it difficult or impossible to implement other fuel-efficiency measures. Larger tyres spread the weight and enable operation at lower and at a wider range of pressures.
Managing tyre pressure is an essential means of achieving fuel efficiency in tractors and other heavy farm machinery. Fuel savings of five to 15 per cent can be made by correctly adjusting tyre pressure to match operating conditions. The general rule is lower pressure in the paddock and higher pressure on the road. Adjusting tyre pressure for paddock work helps to optimise traction and minimise soil compaction. Tools to facilitate tyre pressure management include wireless monitors and central tyre inflation systems.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation has wide application in rural Australia. Although the electricity generated by photovoltaic panels is intermittent, PV systems can help reduce electricity consumption from the network and provide other benefits such as reduced demand charges. Standalone systems using batteries or direct loads can also be used to power equipment, such as irrigation pumps, that are far from network connection points. Although solar PV systems can be scaled to provide all the electrical energy a farm requires, return on investment and needs analyses are essential to ensure farmers select systems of the proper type and size.
Research by NSW Farmers indicates that many farmers have not negotiated the best possible electricity contracts for their operations. Electricity bills are comprised of various charges, some of which are negotiable. The timing of going to market and taking a professional approach to contract development are also significant factors. Effective contract negotiation depends on acquiring a sound working knowledge of electricity market dynamics, the factors that determine pricing, and the terms retailers are likely to accept for a given property and time period.
The purchasing process is central to efficient use of diesel and other liquid fuels. Factors influencing liquid-fuel-purchasing decisions include storage life, potential fuel losses, and the legislative and financial implications of large-scale on-site storage. Fresh fuel is more energy-efficient than aged fuel, and planning the delivery of fuel around peak demand is key to effective fuel management. There are a number of buying strategies that can help you to negotiate the best price, avoid wastage and maximise return on fuel investment.