Development of an irrigation and pumping plant efficiency calculator- supported by Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) Lead Researchers: Joel Schneekloth, Lee Wheeler
Industry Partners: EPRI, Tri-state G&T

The need: To make sound short- and long-term economic decisions for their operations irrigators need to be able to accurately evaluate their irrigation system energy costs, consider alternative energy sources for their pumping systems, and identify opportunities to reduce operating costs.  

 The goal: Collaborators in this projected worked on developing an easy-to-use, Excel-based calculator which enables producers to evaluate their current pumping plant system and several key conditions of their center pivot systems. The calculator contains six sheets: 1) opening page, 2) preface (provides an overall guide), 3) instructions (data to collect and units to use with that data), 4) input, 5) output, and 6) references. 

The impact: This new calculator enables producers to quickly determine if their system is operating optimally and efficiently. If the calculator highlights issues that need to be addressed, the producer should bring this information to someone with expertise in performing irrigation system audits who can determine what corrections can be made to decrease operating costs. The calculator tool was demonstrated at the 2019 Central Plains Irrigation Conference and shared with many others through several webinars Training to use the calculator was included as a part of the 2020 Colorado Master Irrigator program’s daylong session on optimizing, maintaining, and updating pivots and pumps. Currently, the irrigation and pumping plant efficiency calculator is available as a free download at irrigation innovation.org