The role of energy audits in irrigated areas. The case of ‘Fuente Palmera’ irrigation district (Spain)

J. A. Rodriguez-Diaz, E. Camacho-Poyato, M. T. Carrillo-Cobo


In recent years, energy consumption for irrigation has grown rapidly. Actually, nowadays energy represents a significant percentage on the total water costs in irrigation districts using energy to pressurize water. With the aim of improving energy efficiency in the Fuente Palmera irrigation district, was applied the protocol for conducting energy audits in irrigation districts developed by Spanish Institute for Diversification and Energy Savings (IDAE). The irrigated area organized in two independent sectors according to a homogeneous elevation criterion is analyzed and simulated. The potential energy savings derived from this measure was evaluated. For this purpose, a model based on the hydraulic simulator EPANET has been carried out. Its energy demand was estimated in 1,360 kWh ha–1 and its overall energy efficiency in 56%. The district was globally classified in group C (normal). Results show potential energy savings of up to 12% were obtained when the network was divided in sectors and farmers organized in two irrigation shifts. Further energy savings could be achieved by improving the hydraulic structures, such as the pumping station or the network layout and dimensions.


energy efficiency; pressurised irrigation networks; water management; water supply systems

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/201008S2-1358