Energy vs Power: How Knowing The Difference Can Cut Your COSTS!

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Intro

It is crucial to distinguish between power and energy when reviewing a utility statement or determining the health of a pump. By understanding the distinction between power and energy, growers can make informed decisions about their practices with the support of HotSpot AG’s solutions.

Energy

As shown in Figure-1, energy in agriculture refers to the total amount of work accomplished over a period, often measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). For instance, energy usage in irrigation systems encompasses the total electricity consumed to pump water onto fields.

Power

Power, on the other hand, represents the rate at which energy is transferred or converted, typically measured in kilowatts (kW). In farming, power usage refers to the instantaneous demand for energy, such as the power required to operate a water pump. This is also a component of the utility statement, which is discussed below.

In Figure-2, the graph shows an example of a healthy VFD pump with a max demand of 172 kW for the last 30 days. The fluctuations in kW reflect the variance in field acreage irrigated. On the other hand, in Figure-3, the example graph shows a failing pump over a 30 day period due to worn bowls. Average kW decreased from ~15 to 20% over a 30 day period.

Figure-2

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Figure-3

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The power and energy data also allow growers to compare utility statements. If you have your ranch setup for Time-Of-Use Avoidance and are charged Time-Of-Use Demand and Energy Charges, please notify your local HotSpot AG Customer Success Manager and we can compile a report for the specified time period.

This can happen when a meter goes bad, and the utility company charges customers based on “estimated usage”. Within the report, we will power, flow, and pressure data with timestamps to supply to the utility companies. Most recently, this occurred with three separate meters monitored by HotSpot AG. When reported to the utility companies, the grower was credited in future statements.

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