Energy Savers
Wide Bay Burnett

Mondure Irrigation Farm

Energy Savings
Grains and Fodder
Centre Pivot, Boom, Flood
Pump upgrade, Irrigation
Capital Cost

Mondure Irrigation Farm

A fodder producer has the potential to save money by implementing pump and irrigation upgrades from recommendations in a recent Energy Savers Audit.

The site has a combined water access to up to 400ML of bore water and a 140ML dam and bore onsite which irrigates 40ha to supply fodder for the livestock. The pumps move water through a network of 100mm and 150mm pipes supplying the irrigators which consist of four home-made pivot irrigators (10ha), a boom irrigator (6ha) and flood irrigation (24ha).

The farm uses a total of 150,463 kWh/ year at a cost of $34,178 using obsolete Tariff 66 which is due to expire in June 2021.  

The auditor identified that of the energy cost of the irrigation system, the motor contributes 30 per cent, the pump 25 per cent and the irrigator 30 per cent. As water is double pumped through the older pumps there is an opportunity to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and increase production.

Table 1. Pre and post audit motor and pump findings. 


Pump Site 

Pre-Audit  Post- Audit 
Pump and Motor Efficiency (%)  Energy Consumption (kWh)  Pump and Motor Efficiency (%)  Energy Consumption (kWh) 
Irrigation  60-75  74,074  75-85  52,288 
Bore  50-80  27,778  70-85  18,674 
Creek  50-80  48,611  79-90  31,255 


With the remaining 15 per cent of energy use contributed by static head and pipe and fittings, changes will further improve efficiency. Replacing the 100mm PVC pipeline that runs from the dam to pivot with a 150mm PVC pipeline the friction losses over that 130m will be reduced from 8m to 2m. With the reduction in friction losses, the site could potentially save 17,429kWh and $4,620 per annum.

Further recommendations show that by replacing the 100mm with 150mm from the creek pump to the dam, the friction loss will be reduced 1m, though this is not recommended due to the longer payback period.

Table 2. Potential savings from recommendations 

Recommendation  Energy Savings (kWh)  Cost Savings ($)  Emission Savings (Co2-e)  Payback Period (Years)  Capital Cost ($)
Irrigation pump  21,786  5,773  17.6 5.32  8,000
Bore  9,104  2,412  7.4 9.55  6,000
Creek  17,356  4,600  14.1 7.51  9,000
Dam to pivot pipeline  17,429  4,620  14.1 4.99  6,000
Creek to dam pipeline  9,376  2,485  7.6 54  35,000
Total   75,051  19,890  60.8 16.3 64,000


With the need to move from obsolete tariffs by mid-2021, Tariff 22A has been recommended as the best choice, though an increase in costs of $6,135 will result. Implementation of all the recommendations could see a potential site consumption of 75,412kWh costing $14,288 per annum, with a 58% decrease despite the increase in cost from the new tariff.

An energy audit is a good investment 

An energy audit is a great way for a business to cut costs and boost productivity. Find out about what’s involved in an energy audit HERE and subscribe to our bi-monthly energy e-news HERE.

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The Energy Savers Plus Extension Program is delivered by the Queensland Farmers Federation with support and funding from the Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works.