QFF Energy Savers program have helped farmers identify where they can make savings. Their top tips for irrigators are:
Understand energy and water use – monitor energy and water consumption and production output over time (e.g. kWh/t product or ML/t product). Set a baseline, benchmark with other producers and set targets.
Low hanging fruit – look for easy wins through a walk around the site. Turn off appliances. Clean motors, compressors, condensers and ducting. Check irrigation pipework for right-angles, T junction and narrow pipes.
Optimise the amount of water applied to the crop and deliver it the most efficient way.
Consider operational costs – Upto 80% of the cost of a pump comes from the operating costs over 10 years so consider operating costs not just up front costs. Purchase efficient models.
Renewables can make sense – solar panels are good for sites with a busy day (e.g. packing sheds). Solar hot water, batteries and renewable options can be cost effective and are getting cheaper.