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Pumping Plant and Irrigation System Efficiency Evaluation Unit

 

NRCS Pumping Plant and Irrigation System
Efficiency Evaluation Unit

Staff Contact: Brad Sticker, State Conservation Engineer
Phone:(318) 473-7791
FAX: (318) 473-7750
 
NRCS Engineering Crew collecting data from Pumping Plant Evaluation
NRCS unit collecting data

Throughout Louisiana farmers are utilizing pumping plants and irrigation systems, but do we know just how efficient these pumps are operating on the farm? Are they saving farmers energy, fuel and expense while at the same time operating at peak performance? With the cost of fuel and energy on the rise, testing the operational efficiency of pumping plants and irrigation systems will provide recommendations for energy conservation, reduced fuel consumption and more efficient production of irrigation water.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in partnership with Louisiana State University Ag-Center, offers a tool to landowners which is designed to help find ways to increase efficiency of irrigation systems. NRCS Pumping Plant and Irrigation System Efficiency Evaluation Unit is a mobile unit that can be driven on site to test irrigations systems, providing producers with data to help them achieve maximum overall efficiency for water production and energy conservation.

Louisiana State University and NRCS are working in partnership together to better serve producers across Louisiana to conserve water and energy.

A flow meter is utilized to determine the amount of fuel consumption for diesel power plants, and the electric meter is read to determine to power consumption for electric power plants. A flow meter is utilized to gauge the amount discharge from the pumping plant. These measurements are used to evaluate energy input and output of the pumping plant to determine an overall efficiency. Knowing the efficiency of the pumping plant, information can be provided to the landowner that can assist them in improving their pumping efficiency, potentially saving energy and reducing the cost per unit of irrigation water pumped. Also knowing the actual pumping rate will allow the landowner to more effectively manage the application of the irrigation water.

There are numerous benefits to using the Unit.

Unit Trailor for NRCS Pumping Plant Evaluation
NRCS Pumping Plant and Irrigation System Efficiency Evaluation Unit

First, by measuring flows, producers will be provided with data showing the amount of water the pump is producing. Secondly, landowners will know if and how efficiently their pump is operating and lastly the Unit can be used to determine how efficiently the pump power plant (natural gas engine, electric motor, or diesel engine) is operating.

NRCS will also provide recommendations to producers regarding the speed that they should operate their drivers to ensure efficient fuel consumption.

In most cases, the producer will receive results from NRCS at the time of the site visit, as well as, learn about steps and measure that can be taken to improve operational performance.
 

NRCS Civil Engineer Brad Sticker collecting data NRCS Technician Shannon Walters measuring volume of fuel NRCS Civil Engineer Mike Kennedy collecting data on water flow and volume
State Conservation Engineer Brad Sticker
collecting data
NRCS Technician Shannon Walters measuring volume of fuel NRCS Civil Engineer Mike Kennedy collecting data on water flow and volume