In recent years, South African energy security has been constrained, while the country is also recognised by the Development Bank of Southern Africa as being a water-scarce country. The importance of energy efficiency in assisting with adequate irrigation is of paramount importance.
Danfoss, together with engineering components provider BMG, an authorised DrivePro® service partner of Danfoss, supplied a commercial maize farmer with the technology required to combat challenges around electricity sufficiency, for more effective irrigation purposes and in order to increase production capacity. This initiative has since been followed by other commercial farmers in the wider area.
The challenge: to free up existing electricity supply to increase production capacity
Sydney Govender, Danfoss Country Sales Manager – Drives SSA, says, “A joint Danfoss-BMG collaboration assisted a commercial maize (corn) farmer in Barkly West, within the Northern Cape province, to tackle the hurdles posed by an inadequate energy supply, which could not be increased by other means. The region in which the farm is situated receives little rainfall throughout the year, making effective irrigation supremely important for successful crop yield.”
Mick Baugh, Electronics Manager, Electromechanical Division, BMG, explains, “Pumping and irrigation were the largest consumers of power on this maize-producing farm. The
project required assisting the farmer, who was limited by a power supply of only 200 kVA +/- 300 A, to significantly reduce the cost of irrigation per hectare. Additionally, the farmer wanted to expand his crop production to include pecan nuts, but was unable to because of these limitations. The cost of irrigation per hectare therefore needed to be reduced, and the limited power supply needed to be used more efficiently.”