Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Testing began on a 10 kW wind-electric water pumping system at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in 1988. The wind-electric water pumping system initially consisted of a wind turbine, a tower, a submersible or surface mounted motor, and centrifugal pumps. A controller was added to the wind-electric system in 1989. The controller that was used from 1989 to 1995 was designed by USDA-ARS/WTAMU-AEI personnel. The smart controller used from 1995 to the present was designed by the wind turbine manufacturer based on the USDA/WTAMU prototype. The flexible wind turbine blades used from 1988 to 1992 developed cracks in the blades and were replaced by stiffer blades in 1993. On January 17, 1996, there was a failure in the upper guy cable attachment in winds gusting up to 27 m/s, but quick action by the wind energy team averted a complete failure of the wind turbine and tower by using a heavily loaded pickup truck as a guy anchor. Over the past year the performance of the wind turbine permanent magnet alternator has degraded, however, the cause of the degradation has not been determined. The best motor to use with this wind-electric alternator is a 5.6 kW, 230 V, 3-phase motor. Depending on the pumping depth and the wind resource, 3.8 kW centrifugal pumps with differing numbers of stages should be used. For a 60 m well, enough water can be pumped by this wind-electric system to water 10 acres of cotton assuming a wind resource similar to that of Bushland, TX, and increase the production by 50%. Before wind-electric systems are used for irrigation in large numbers, some improvements have to be made to the wind-electric water pumping system which are discussed in the paper.