Much commercial irrigation was developed for large paddocks with nearby water and relying on either diesel or 415 volt mains powered equipment for pumping and operating the machinery.
Mini pivots have been developed to irrigation on smaller sites under 250m radius. The advantages of the mini pivots are many. A few are listed below:
- Low purchase cost when related to crop or feed return
- Low power usage, less than 650 watts peak and when in irrigation mode about 150 to 200 watt/hours to run
- Efficient delivery of water, hi tech nozzles delivering water just above the crop
- Can be used in difficult terrain and have automatic reversing facility
- Light weight but robust construction and low ground impact
- Towable to other paddocks hook up is at the centre via 3 point linkage
- Power can be 240, 415 volt mains/ generator run or Hydro Powered (By the actual flow of irrigation water through the pivot)
- Safe operation control and drive of the pivot is by extra low voltage of 48 Volts DC. The 240 volt supply with transformer is housed in a protected enclosure
- All parts are available locally in Australia.
Hardwick Irrigation Supplies has developed a new way to power the Mini Pivot. Water flowing trough the pivot centre and then on to the sprinklers is used to generate power via Hardwick's turbine. This drives the pivot.
A battery back up is used to power the pivot when no water is flowing. This battery is charged while the turbine operates. Should the battery be flat or no water available, a small (750W) generator can be used to run the pivot.
Advantages of the Hydro Powered Pivot are:
- No main wiring required
- No noisy generator needing fuel and oil changes and attendant pollution issues
- Quiet operation
- The Hydro Powered Pivot is contained within the Pivot centre structure.
The Hydro Power unit is now in its fourth generation and is proving to be the answer to many problems and moreover Hardwick Irrigation is constantly improving the design.