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Open AccessArticle

Energy Consumption Optimization in Irrigation Networks Supplied by a Standalone Direct Pumping Photovoltaic System

1
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alicante, 03080 Alicante, Spain
2
Department of Hydraulic Engineering and Environment, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4203; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114203
Received: 17 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 10 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Due to the fact that irrigation networks are water and energy hungry and that both resources are scarce, many strategies have been developed to reduce this consumption. Solar energy sources have emerged as a green alternative with lower energy costs and, consequently, lower environmental impacts. In this work, a new methodology is proposed to select a scheduled program for irrigation which minimizes the number of photovoltaic solar panels to be installed and which better fits energy consumption (calculated for discrete potential combinations, assisted by programming software) to available energy obtained by panels without any power conditioning unit. Thus, the irrigation hours available to satisfy the water demands are limited by sunlight, the schedule type of irrigation has to be rigid (rotation predetermined), and the pressure at any node has to be above the minimum pressure required by standards. A case study was undertaken and, after running the software 105 times, the best result was an irrigation schedule which satisfied all the requirements, involving the installation of 651 solar panels and energy consumption of 428.74 kWh per day, to deliver water to orchards of different varieties of citrus fruit spread over 167.7 ha. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy efficiency; photovoltaic system; energy audit; rigid scheduled irrigation energy efficiency; photovoltaic system; energy audit; rigid scheduled irrigation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pardo Picazo, M.Á.; Juárez, J.M.; García-Márquez, D. Energy Consumption Optimization in Irrigation Networks Supplied by a Standalone Direct Pumping Photovoltaic System. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4203.

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