DEAR NEW FARM:
I am interested in using wind to pump water for irrigation.
I hear that it can be done. Can you refer me to some information
on wind pumps?
Harnessing the wind to move water for irrigation dates back
a millennium. Utilizing windmills to pump, store and disperse
ground and surface water remains a popular windmill application
The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is currently
researching farm-scale wind power for pumping water. The Small
Wind Systems for Water Pumping and Electric Generation project
began in 1999 and concludes September 30 of this year.
It includes evaluating and comparing older and more modern
wind systems as well as hybrid ones that incorporate wind
power, photovoltaics, and diesel engines.
The USDA is also soliciting grant
applications for on-farm wind power projects. As part
of $115 million in the 2002 Farm Bill allocated to rural renewable
energy projects, the feds have released $22.8 for the 2004
funding cycle. The deadline for these competitive grants,
which are limited to 24 percent of a project’s total
cost, is July 19.
Some systems use wind power to generate electricity to run
conventional electric submersible water pumps. According to
which pioneered these systems in the 1980s in partnership
with the USDA, these systems have the advantage over wind-power
only pumpers in that they are more efficient over a wider
range of wind speeds, can pump higher volumes of water, can
be placed far from the well, and are more maintenance free.
Bergey also claims that these systems are more suitable than
mechanical windmills for small-plot irrigation.
here for a list of water pumping windmill manufacturers
in the United States.
us with comments, suggestions and questions.