VJ & TL Pollifrone is a table grape growing property located in Cabarita, in the Mildura region of Northern Victoria. The region’s grape production accounts for approximately 65% of the total Australian table grape industry.
The labour-intensive nature of this crop means ever increasing costs of water & electricity are forcing growers to change their operations to reduce demand. Significant drought in the region has meant many farmers have converted their irrigation style from sprinklers to drip lines in order to conserve water usage. However, as drip lines require considerably less pressure than overheads, the conversion has left many growers wasting significant energy on pumping.
The property has 1 x 30kW water pump which drives the filtered irrigation system for both drip and overhead sprinklers. In partnership with Sunergy Solar, FW provided its services to install and commission its Intelligent Inverter Solution. The VFD system incorporates a pressure transducer from IFM, allowing feedback to the unit on the drip line pressure which dictates the motor speed, minimising energy wastage and optimising efficiency.
Prior to the installation an analysis of the motor was conducted by FW’s technical team, and energy monitoring was provided by Powertracker to record data on the pump’s energy demand during irrigation cycles.
Original energy demand showed an average consumption of 22.44 kW hours prior to installation. After the installation, this dropped to an average of 12.75 kW hours, demonstrating a 43.20% reduction in kWh consumption during operation. This data was recorded over a total period of 56 days.
The next phase for the property is to look at incorporating a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) into the VFD system, which will allow full remote access to the pump and vineyards.