Energy Cost Calculator

November 15, 2009 06:00 PM

Farm Journal Editors

How much money could you save if your pumping plant was more efficient?
A University of Nebraska online spreadsheet can help you calculate how much you can save by improving the efficiency of your system. Tom Dorn, Lancaster County, Neb., Extension educator, developed the simple tool, which requires entering data from irrigation records.
Step-by-step instructions will help you navigate the spreadsheet to determine your pumping plant's efficiency and the amount of money you could save if the pumping plant were operating up to Nebraska performance standards.
"With the information, irrigators can calculate how much they can afford to spend, based on the interest rate available,” Dorn says.
When considering inefficiencies in the system, Dorn suggests, irrigators should look at the entire system, including the pump, gearhead, PTO shaft and power unit. Inadequacies in any part of that system can increase energy use. While it's costly to pull a pump, sometimes the cost of unneeded energy is high, too.

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