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3 Benefits of Variable Speed Pumps in Agricultural Irrigation

WP Law - Monday, January 18, 2016
Agricultural Irrigation Design

When it comes to agriculture there are about a million different products and items that are used from day to day and one is an agricultural irrigation pump. There are many types of pump but one that is gaining in popularity it the variable speed agricultural irrigation pump. There are plenty of reasons that this pump is easy to use and great for many different purposes. Here are three benefits of this type of pump.

  1. Irrigation System Flexibility- Agricultural irrigation systems are typically zoned by field size, crop type and/or crop maturation date. In many cases this type of zoning can lead to zones of widely different flow rates, especially when a grower may have several small or irregularly shaped fields. In the past the solution to this problem is to size the pump for the worst possible case and then try to come up with some combination of valves to get the pump to operate at the best efficiency point. Invariably there is always a zone or two where the pump is way oversized for the application. This can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the irrigation system and cause higher energy consumption and costs. The Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) allows the pump to be run at a lower speed thus reducing the pump’s performance. The advantage of the VFD is that you can customize the way your irrigation systems runs by changing the pump’s speed of rotation. This means a smaller zone can be run and the system will slow the pump down thus reducing the flow and pressure to deliver exactly what is needed to operate the smaller zone. This can provide a huge energy savings over the course of the growing season.
  2. Water Conservation- Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) also help in conserving our planets most valuable resource. VFD’s conserve water by operating irrigation sprinklers at the optimum pressure. Over pressurized sprinklers tend to “fog” or mist as the higher pressure creates smaller water droplets through the sprinkler’s nozzle. These smaller droplets are more susceptible to movement by wind and are more easily evaporated into the atmosphere. Water that evaporates before it hits the ground is obviously of no use to the plant.
  3. Several Pumps In One- It used to be that irrigation pump stations consisted of a small “jockey” or pressure maintenance pump and one or more main pumps. The pump station control system turned pumps on and off depending on the flow rate required by the system at the time. The VFD essentially eliminates the need for the small jockey or PM pump. With a VFD now one of the larger pumps can serve as the jockey or PM pump to provide water to the system when the pressure and flow rate requirements are, but it can also step up and deliver higher flows and higher pressure when the system demand dictates

These are all great reasons to think about investing in a variable speed agricultural irrigation pump. If you need more help on the subject, you can always contact the experts at W.P. Law, Inc.

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