Over the long term, installing a solar powered pump to run an irrigation system can really pay off. However, it is important that the system is able to meet the irrigation requirements and, conversely, is not over-capitalised.
Darling Irrigation, specialists in irrigation, pumping and water delivery solutions has these 5 tips for helping irrigator's choose the right solar powered pumping system.
1. Work out how much power is needed.
If you can, use existing electricity bills to determine how much power your current pump uses during irrigation events. Alternatively, work out how much power would be required by an equivalent electrical-driven pump. This information will give you an idea of the average amount of electricity your solar system needs to produce. It is also important to consider if there any peak demands for pumping. The system designer can help you with the calculations.
2. Work out how much space you have.
The size of system also depends on how big an area is designated for the solar system, keeping in mind that the area must be free of shade and should face north for best results.
3. Make sure you know how to monitor the system yourself
The system should have a data panel that allows you to see how much electricity is being produced. You might also think about collecting more detailed information on your energy production. A monitoring system that enables you to keep track of how your system is performing and react quickly if it does stop working is also worth considering.
4. Work out a back-up plan
Don’t forget to take into consideration those times that you may need to irrigate if there has not been adequate sunlight for pumping for a few days, as the electricity generated by the solar panels cannot be stored. Although in most parts of New South Wales, this probably won't be an issue!
5. Check the warranties for panels and system parts
You should also check the quality of products. Ask for proof that the panels comply with Australian Standards. Ask about after-sales service and what assistance you'll get if you have questions about your system in the future.
As long as you do your homework and ask the right questions, you can start saving money on your electricity bills by installing a solar pumping system.
Darling Irrigation can assist in the design, installation and after-sales care of solar powered pumping systems for irrigation. If you are considering going solar, talk to Darling Irrigation in Narromine, Bourke, Forbes or Wagga Wagga.