With the same water employed by the Pivot, and exploiting the overpressures, we can produce electrical power to move any of the Pivot models on the market (also saving on electricity or diesel fuel).
This equipment supplies the Pivot irrigation systems, with no need to install a diesel-electric generator or to depend on third-party suppliers of electrical power. This is an assembly consisting of a turbine-generator and a prefabricated cabinet in which all the necessary items are installed: the charge control unit, the inverters, the storage batteries (these make the facility self-contained), the automatic mechanisms…
These are combined with a solar panel to ensure a constant minimum charge of the batteries, in order to enable the movement of the Pivot machine when dry and the activation and reaction of the automatic mechanisms.
This design optimizes the energy-efficiency of Pivot irrigation systems installations, and achieves significant financial savings during its daily operation. This system enables remote access to the hydro turbine parameters and incorporates all the necessary features for its use under optimal safety conditions. Installation is simple. The entire unit, with the exception of the plumbing, is delivered to the place of assembly. It has a long useful life (25 years) and the investment is paid off in only 5 years.
Main advantages of the water turbine
- 100% renewable energy with no visual or environmental impact.
- This hydro turbine is noiseless and may be hidden in a sunken chamber, eliminating visible components and preventing vandalism.
- Hard-wearing, long-lasting materials are used in its manufacture.
- A robust, dependable power source for locations with no access to the power grid or where there is no grid.
- Quickly installed. In line with the existing piping, or in parallel, with pressure-reducing valves.
Comparison: moving the Pivot system with an electrical generator or with a water turbine
A five-span Pivot machine at a flowrate of 530 GPM for 1800 hours per year requires a peak power of 10 Kw for start-up and direction change of the Pivot, and a power of 3 Kw for operation.
The cost of a complete water turbine generator, plus the setup for moving the Pivot, would be $ 15,000, and the power consumption would be zero. The cost of a 10 KVA electrical power generator would be $ 6,000, and the cost of agricultural diesel fuel is 2.6 $ per gallon.
Without taking the maintenance costs of each system into account (it costs more to maintain an electrical power generator), we can reach the following conclusion: by installing a water turbine assembly with an estimated useful life of 25 years, we save over 350 gallons of diesel fuel each year, reducing CO2 emissions over those years, and saving $ 26,000 throughout its useful life.
Can I use this turbine to move a 9 motor Pivot? What data are needed to select the most appropriate turbine?
The right approach is to calculate how much electricity can be generated at each facility. The hydraulic energy of the turbine can be combined with other different sources of energy. We start with the total output and the surplus pressure to select the machine that gives the best performance and is also economically viable.
What is the useful life of the system’s components (turbine and generator)?
They have a useful life of 25 years, similar to that of a potable water pump.
Does the equipment require maintenance? Is a bypass necessary?
Their maintenance requirements are similar to that of a pump: replacement of the mechanical seal every 4 years, replacement of the impeller with potable water every 8 years, replacement of generator bearings every 10 years, and replacement of panel fans every 5 years. A routine inspection should be carried out yearly.
Logically, the water supply always takes precedence over power generation, so it is wise to perform a bypass.