An 120ha cane farm in the Ayr region is taking a holistic approach taking part in both the Queensland Farmers Federation Reef, and Energy Savers programs. The site aims to reduce fertiliser use, energy consumption and costs while increasing production and minimising its impact on the surrounding Great Barrier Reef.
A cane farm in the Mackay region could increase production, net profit and reduce energy consumption from adoption of solar, and pump and irrigation changes.
The audit recommended optomising the VSD speed to reduce friction losses, balancing efficiency with crop requirements. This no-cost project is saving the farmer $9,532 per annum with a reduction of 19% energy consumption.
This case study shows how a Clare melon farm is reducing energy costs thanks to the energy savings program. The farms has reduced the energy cost for cold rooms and packing shed by 10 – 15% off their annual $250,000 bill. Further savings are being made with irrigation efficiencies.
A range of initiatives were identified including replacing some pumps and motors with new pumps and variable speed drives, with a payback period of 2.8 years and annual cost savings of around $16,500. An extra $10,000 annual saving is potentially available at the site by reviewing the tariffs of the pump stations.
The audit recommended replacing high pressure travelling guns with a low pressure boom irrigator and installing a variable speed drive to maintain 65psi at the booms. The project is expected to save 20% energy and has a payback period of 3 years.
The audit presented 2 options to improve the efficiency of an 18kW pump: upgrading to a high efficiency model, or adding an VSD, both of which would save nearly $4,000 per year and pay back within around 2 years.
The irrigation audit identified energy savings of 10% with a payback of 3.4 years by modifying the discharge piping on the 45kW pump to reduce pressure losses. Additional savings were identified by replacing pumps and adding a variable speed controlled, but with longer payback periods.
The irrigation energy audit identified a number of initiative that would save over $110,000 over 10 years. These included replacing oversized pumps, and adding Variable Speed Drives where the changing elevation of the Centre Pivots caused variable head pressure. The audit also identified $600 in annual savings through tariff review.