Home > Yanmar powered generator drives custom irrigator system

Yanmar powered generator drives custom irrigator system

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article image Bill Bowen with his irrigation system powered by a Yanmar 4TNV98 diesel engine

Crop farmer Bill Bowen installed a new irrigation system featuring a Yanmar 4TNV98 engine to irrigate a particularly challenging paddock area on his farm. The diesel engine was supplied by the Yanmar Dealer at Boonah (Qld), Dover & Sons.

Bill Bowen’s property, Glenroy is located between the Condamine River and Glengallen Creek just outside Warwick, Qld. The crops grown at Glenroy include beans, barley, chickpeas and sorghum. In addition to river water, Glenroy also uses bore water available on the property at a depth of 18 metres.

Until recently this paddock was watered with a side roll irrigator, which was cumbersome and labour intensive. Bill Bowen sought a solution to the task of bringing water to the paddock that measured roughly 400m wide by 2000m long and was also off the power grid.

Bob Dover and his team supplied a single centre pivot irrigator, about 200m long. Five concrete pads were installed in line and evenly spaced down the centre of the paddock with a water feed line and hydrant run to each pad in series.

The irrigation unit selected for the task was a US-built Zimmatic four-wheel mobile pivot, which was found ideal for Bill Bowen’s application where pivot points were arranged in a straight line, allowing the completely self-contained 200m long irrigator to be easily towed from one pad to the next.

Australian Yanmar Distributor, Power Equipment supplied a purpose built Yanmar Centre Pivot Generator (CPG) pack as a complete turnkey system to be mounted to the frame of the Zimmatic unit.

The Yanmar CPG unit installed at Glenroy comprises of a Yanmar 4TNV98 diesel engine, which drives a three phase Sincro alternator. The unit is rated at 16.5 kVA at 1500 rpm continuous. The 4-cylinder Yanmar 4TNV98 diesel engine is a robust and durable water cooled diesel engine, which in ‘G’ configuration is specifically configured for gen set operation.

The complete Yanmar CPG package includes a 400-litre in-built fuel tank, radiator, Power Equipment’s EC150 Engine Protection System and weatherproof canopy. The Yanmar CPG pack can be lifted off the irrigator by simply unfastening the bolts, and used wherever there is need for power on the property.

When the irrigator is started, the Yanmar CPG unit generates the electrical power that drives the motors to turn the wheels on the irrigator. Each of the four towers on the irrigator has two ¾ HP electric motors, which gradually move the irrigator through its 360° arc.

The fully programmable system allows Bill Bowen to specify the amount of water to be applied on his land. Typically at Glenroy this would amount to an application of 37mm through Nelson low pressure sprinklers, taking the irrigator 2½ days to go through the 360° arc. The system has the capacity to pump up to 67,000 litres of water an hour when required.

Once a rotation is completed, the water feed line to the irrigator is removed from the hydrant and the entire system is towed 400m down the paddock to the next concrete pad. The water line is hooked up to the hydrant and irrigation can commence straightaway. The entire system is very simple and easy to operate.

With 870 hours already logged on the system, Bill Bowen rates it as ‘a great system’. Though the Yanmar engine is set to operate at 1500 rpm, it generates very low noise levels that do not affect his neighbours. He is also impressed by the fuel economy of the Yanmar as well as the 250-hour service intervals, making the system easy to own and operate.

Bill Bowen’s farm is situated on low lying land, and is prone to periodic flooding. However, the portable irrigator can be towed to higher land when necessary. 

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