Novel measurement and verification of irrigation pumping energy conservation measures under incentive-based programmes

Keywords: irrigation inefficiency, demand side management, variable speed drive, load reduction, crop load factors


In most countries the agricultural sector, especially crop irrigation, is a considerable energy consumer. Farm irrigation studies in South Africa showed that energy and water is wasted on a large scale and there is a large potential for improving efficiency. The present study focusses on the measurement and verification (M&V) of irrigation pumping energy conservation measures (ECMs) under the Eskom Standard Product Programme funding mechanism in South Africa. A novel M&V methodology was developed to quantify ECM impacts under the Programme, which has special conditions and unique M&V requirements, which makes normal approaches inapplicable. Methods were designed to effectively determine conservative but representative impacts without continuous power demand profile measurement. The design involved unique methods to quantify operational demand reduction, annual energy consumption and annual average demand reduction impacts. The design was broadened to include pumps irrigating multiple crop areas and different kind of crops. The methodologies and techniques developed were validated and verified through establishing independent cross-check measures. The paper discusses a regional top-down M&V approach to verify the actual total energy efficiency and load reduction on the electricity grid for a specific region.

Author Biography

M.E. Storm, North-West University

Markus E. Storm holds a M.Eng degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.  He is certified by the AEE (Association of Energy Engineers) as a CMVP (Certified Measurement & Verification Professional) and a CRM (Certified Carbon Reduction Manager).


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