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One of the largest expenses in agriculture expenses is electricity. With the increase in the cost of electric power for the AG sector, it’s more important and cost-effective than ever to use energy more efficiently. Two areas where lots of energy is being used are pumping and refrigeration. We can look at your farm operations to see where most of the energy is consumed and how much money can be saved by making energy efficiency upgrades. Keep in mind that 85% of the cost of a pump or compressor is not the purchase cost but the energy that they use in their lifetime. Whether you’re involved with crops, dairy or livestock, we can help you harness energy from the sun for clean, economical solutions.

Off grid 3 phase 25 hp, 27 Kw solar pumping system at Full Belly Farm “Practically free water pumping for 25 years” thanks to REAP grant from USDA

Solar Pumping System

Sustainable Technologies designs and builds solar energy systems to run your 3 phase pump. The VariSun™ Direct Solar Pumping Controller allows you to use direct solar energy to power your pump. Pumping water can be very costly month to month. Having an autonomous pumping system is like getting twenty years of free pumping and no electric bill. The Varisun system is fully scalable to match your pumping system. What’s unique about the Varisun pump controller is that it runs the pump speed at the maximum power point of the production of the solar panel. The direct solar operation means you’ll be pumping as long as there is sun. An added perk is that it qualifies for federal and state incentives.

Ground Mounted Solar System

Ground mounted systems are the predominate type on the farm.  We have years of experience designing and installing large commercial solar systems using ground mounted systems.  Depending on the size of your system and the type of soil condition we can help choose the most cost effective one.  Subsurface investigations are used to determine the soil type.  If soil is clear of debris and rock, steel beams can be driven into the ground.  Ballasted Ground Mounted systems rest on the ground.  Ballasted systems are ideal volcanic and rocky conditions.  Let us help you design a system that work for you.   For more information, go to our page on Ground Mounted Systems.

 

Protect your investment with special VFD panel with thermal control fans and ventilation. Runs cool on hot days.

Variable Frequency Drive
Save money instantly with the installation of a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) on your motors. Is your pumping system working harder than necessary? Can the pump run using less energy? Does it make sense to upgrade the delivery system? Adding controls and timers save you money? VFDs are no brainers when it comes to upgrading your system. It pays for itself in about 1-2 years in energy savings. VFD make your motors soft start without the typical starting surge and high torque require to start each time.

VFD equipped motors can operate seamless. The can be equipped with Pressure transmitters, flow meter, irrigation controller and telemetry. See our Blog for more details about Variable Speed Pump Panels for California Ag.

Energy Audit
Get control of your energy costs by reducing your electric bills. Irrigation is one of the largest users of electricity. Sustainable Technologies offers complete energy audits for agricultural industry. We recommend energy efficiency retrofits for lighting, cooling, and VFD motors. Energy efficient measures can improve your lighting, productivity, business image and morale. Farm energy efficiency studies can show you ways to save money immediately. Some factors that will affect the pumping efficiency are: a worn impeller, an underperforming motor, throttling valves and improper pipe sizing.

 

Off Grid / Hybrid Power
Off Grid pumping systems work in remote locations without a connection to the grid. These stand alone systems are used to operate any 3 phase motors. Off Grid does not require batteries, charger and invertor when using direct solar power. Varisun is a motor controller can operate motor from 3 -150HP. 24/7 operation is available. With innovations in battery technology we are able to operate systems longer once the sun goes down. Deep cell batteries have been available for years but costly. Now with Lithium ion batteries your system can be powered all the time

Cooling Costs
Another high usage of electricity is for cooling harvested crops. By using ECM’s (Electronically commutated motors) energy efficiency has never been better for refrigeration fan motors. Let’s us save you 35% or more on refrigeration cooling. By just changing out motors your walk-in cooler will run more efficiently. The payback on the installation can be seen immediately. Using the latest GreenWize products, we can help streamline your operating costs and give you the power to manage your energy efficiently.

GreenWize Convenience Store Example
GreenWize Convenience Store Case Study
Farm Services Flyer
Sustainable Technologies in Sonoma – Marin Farm News

 

Sustainable Technologies
Call us to discuss: (510) 523-1122