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Green Energy Is Good Energy


 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy the sun releases the same amount of energy in an hour that the entire world population utilizes over the course of a year. Today in the United States less than 2% of power is supplied by solar (read big opportunity). Most areas of the United States (especially agricultural areas) receive enough sunshine to make solar power practical. As agriculture searches for ways to solve food shortages, solar power will be an important factor in the solution.

 

Solar energy is used for agriculture in a number of ways. Saving money, increasing self-reliance, and reducing pollution are just a few. Solar heat collectors dry crops and warm homes, livestock buildings, and greenhouses. Solar water heaters provide hot water for dairy operations, pen cleaning, and homes. Solar panels economically power farm operations, remote field monitoring equipment, water pumps, lights, and electric fences. Farm buildings and barns can be renovated to capture natural daylight, instead of using electric lights. One major take away is solar power is less expensive than running new power lines. this creates more land opportunity to grow food.

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy. This means there is plenty to go around and it's an energy source that won’t run out. Fossil fuels damage the planet when we mine and distribute them.  When you power your farm with solar panels, you are one less business relying on fossil fuels, and this makes a bigger impact than you might think.

 

Solar Projects By Jain

1) AgroVoltaic Precision Farming

      Jalgaon, Maharashtra

JAIN innovated the AgroVoltaic concept for crop cultivation and generation of solar power within limited space. JAIN achieved this by using special structures and optimizing the use of natural resources like water and sunlight.

JAIN's expertise in agriculture, irrigation, water management, and solar pumping, provides solutions for customized sustainable AgroVoltaic farming with a holistic approach to farming. This includes Jain tissue culture plants, solar energy use, and production from the same land using sub-surface drip irrigation, mulching, fertigation, sub-soil drainage, and high-tech horticulture practices. AgroVolatic farming systems are designed to produce solar power using PV Panels and crops from the same land without affecting production

Impact

  • All components of AgroVoltaic together can achieve 99% water use efficiency.
  • Green electricity generated 264,431 kWh/acre.

2) Solar Powered Integrated Micro-irrigation Project

      Leh, Ladakh

Sher-a-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) works with the High Mountain Arid Agriculture Research Institute in Leh to conduct research on agriculture. This institute is situated more than 14,760 ft above sea level. It is challenging to irrigate the research farm because there is no electrical distribution infrastructure and the source of water is a river flowing in the valley. JAIN provided a solar-powered micro-irrigation system to the research farm, the challenge was to economically lift water from the river and provide irrigation to the research farm.


Impact

  • The scope of large scale farming was made feasible.
  • Optimized utilization of solar and water resources with the help of solar-powered micro-irrigation.
  • Energy saved = Energy Generated (units / year) = 78,840 kWh.
  • Cost savings to the electrical distribution infrastructure.

3) Solarization Of Lift Irrigation Pumping Station

      Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

In Himachal Pradesh, agricultural land is distributed over hilly terrain. In most cases on this site, irrigation is delivered lifting water from a canal or reservoir. The irrigation and public health department in Himachal Pradesh operates and maintains lift irrigation pumping stations across the state. All these pumping stations are situated at a lower level than the farms. JAIN solarized the pumping station without changing or disturbing the existing infrastructure. There was no installation space available for a solar panel, instead panels were installed on the top of the canals.


Impact

  • Pumps can be operated during power cuts and in grid sharing mode.
  • Dual purpose system was created for drinking and irrigation water.
  • Improved economic conditions for farmers
  • Cost-savings, durable and efficient solar panels and a lifespan over 25 years.
  • The ability to operate a pump system in the event of a grid failure or load shedding.

 

4) Solar Pumps Energize Irrigation

      India

To help combat the problem of erratic power supply in the agriculture sector of India, pumps are offered as a powerful solution from the JAIN development team. We are one of the few manufacturers of these pumping systems in the world. Complimentary components like solar panels, controllers, pumps, screen pipes, casing pipes, and filters are all designed and manufactured in-house by JAIN. With more than 50% of the total agri-pumps installed, JAIN is the largest solar agri-pumping system provider in India.


Impact

  • Provides irrigation access to small and marginal farmers located in drought-affected areas and traditional farmers lacking access to electricity.
  • More than 25,000 solar agri-pump sets installed in 16 states across India.
  • In Maharashtra and Rajasthan, more than 6,000 pumps are communicating online with our real-time monitoring portal.
  • Total green electricity generated approximately 44,000 MWh per year.
  • Total emissions reduced - more than 425,000 tons of CO2 annually.

 

5) Solar Power Based Rural Drinking Water Supply

      India

JAIN initiated a project to provide clean drinking water to remote villages of Odisha where 2,641 gallons of water per day are pumped with the assistance of solar energy. The project integrated a solar pumping system with a hand pump that would last for more 25 years and be user friendly.


Impact

  • Grid independence.
  • Built in protections ensure longer pump life.
  • Highly durable systems.
  • The system can be operated during off-sun hours using a battery.
  • Reduced maintenance.

 

6) Jain Solar Hand Pump

      India

Pumping groundwater is difficult, one solution is a hand pump. With this innovation JAIN combines the idea of a solar pump and a conventional hand pump.


The JAIN hand and solar pump is useful for providing piped water supply to remote villages, particularly where power is unavailable. This submersible pump is operated on energy generated by the solar PV modules. The JAIN solar powered submersible pump is installed in the same hand pump well and water is directly transported to an overhead tank for storage and distribution at no operational cost with substantially reduced maintenance.

Impact

  • The system can deliver water up to 5,283 gallons / day.
  • Provides clean drinking water for schools, communities, and villages.
  • 24 x 7 water availability.
Energy independence is a powerful concept and everyday we get a little closer. The challenge to grow more food with the same or fewer resources increases every day (#MoreCropPerDrop). Solar power will eventually be a part of the food solution. It's crucial the population continues to innovate and look for ways we can use solar to increase our agricultural production. 

 

Please join the discussion @jainsusa.com or reach out on Twitter @JAINSUSA .

 

 

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Richard Restuccia

Richard is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. Richard is a spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. He served on the Irrigation Association's Board of Directors and is a University of California Master Gardener. Richard also writes for other publications and is an award winning contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine. In 2014 his efforts were recognized with a “Leadership in Landscape” award. He has a great interest in the supply of clean water for people in developing countries and as an outdoorsman, spends his free time running, swimming and surfing.

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