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The relationship between irrigation-induced electrical loads and antecedent weather conditions in Tasmania, Australia


Latham, T and White, CJ and Remenyi, TA, The relationship between irrigation-induced electrical loads and antecedent weather conditions in Tasmania, Australia, Irrigation Science, 36, (3) pp. 167-178. ISSN 0342-7188 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1007/s00271-018-0573-0


Over the past decade in Australia, there has been a general trend towards the introduction of electrical motors to operate irrigation pumps. While electrical motors provide many advantages over the alternatives, electrical loads can aggregate in some areas to become large peaks, which challenge the existing electrical distribution networks. This is especially true during extreme hot or dry periods, when irrigators collectively demand significant electrical resources at the same time. While there is an inherent link between weather conditions and the amount of electricity used for irrigation, this relationship is poorly understood. Previous studies have either focused on localised data related to concurrent temperature, rainfall and soil moisture, or they have annualised summaries over large areas. In this study, we compare intensive irrigation periods with the drought factor at a case study irrigation scheme in Tasmania, Australia, finding a strong relationship between electrical load and periods when the drought factor is > 6. This relatively simple relationship may be useful for managers of electricity supply and distribution, managers of water resources, and irrigators, as it may be used to minimise the risk of exceeding the capacity of the electricity network, improve water availability and optimise irrigation scheduling.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:electrical loads, weather conditions, irrigation pumps, electrical motors
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Environmental engineering
Research Field:Environmental engineering not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in engineering
UTAS Author:Latham, T (Mr Tom Latham)
UTAS Author:White, CJ (Dr Chris White)
UTAS Author:Remenyi, TA (Dr Tom Remenyi)
ID Code:152074
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Engineering
Deposited On:2022-08-11
Last Modified:2022-08-11

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