Energy Savers
Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday

Mackay Sugar Cane

Energy Savings
Travelling Gun
Pump upgrade, Variable Speed Control
Capital Cost


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. Emission savings for the solution have been estimated to be 3.1 t CO2-e.

Farm profile

The 138 hectare farm, north of Mackay, cultivates sugar cane and uses travelling overhead irrigator guns. The farm is reliant on a submersible pump supplying bore water into a dam and then a high-pressure centrifugal electric pump supplying the travelling overhead irrigator.

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Farmer feedback
While the recommendations of the energy audit report would provide potential energy and cost savings, the owner’s focus is to implement a capital improvement program that delivers increased farm productivity. The initial phase of the capital investment has been to purchase a new hard hose travelling irrigator to increase the area of irrigation on the farm. Plans to implement further recommendations are affected by ongoing financial constraints. The audit has provided the farmer with a list of recommended pumps and drives should the existing ones fail in the meantime.