Renewable Energy Source Diversification In Farms:
Today, we will be discussing Renewable Energy Source and its importance in Farming/Agriculture.
Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly popular in India, now accounting for over 896 gigawatts of power and still growing stronger. Green energy such as biomass and solar power can complement and even supplement coal as the main source of electricity and heat in rural areas and farms. Sustainable models of farming require a diversification in energy sources; in the case for some reason, one is unavailable or insufficient, another one can compensate the power supply, and keep the place running. These sources offer great solutions for this diversification in farms because they allow farmers to make the most out of the geographical conditions and the waste of their own activities.
Turn your waste into biomass energy
One of the main principles of a sustainable farm model is to reuse all the waste that results from its own activity. From stems and fallen leaves to wool leftovers and manure, all of these can be a source of energy if processed correctly. With a biodiesel processor, crops, animal waste and other forms of feedstock can be turned into liquid fuel. A biodiesel processor is a device with a large tank where you put all the feedstock, and through a series of chemical reactions, produces the fuel. Similar devices will produce ethanol instead, which is a different kind of liquid fuel that is alcoholic and easier to burn. You can get a processor in many different sizes depending on your energy needs.
Biomass isn’t just a source of liquid fuel. It can also help keep the farm warm at night and serve as water heating. With a different fermentation process, feedstock contained in a processing tank can release methane gas, which farmers can then burn in a boiler or even on the kitchen hobs. The heat obtained by burning either this gas or the feedstock itself can be used to boil water that goes into a turbine and produces electricity. A whole farm can be powered by this renewable, eco-friendly source of energy, and at the same time, the amount of waste the farm creates will be drastically reduced, leaving a lesser impact on the environment.
Use solar energy to power your farm
Solar energy has received great support from the Indian government in the past few years and is projected to reach a record 11 gigawatts in 2019. Rooftop solar panels haven’t been very popular so far, mostly due to their cost, but now with a wider offer of models, farmers can make an investment and choose the size and power of solar panel that is perfect for their needs. If you want to calculate how much a system would cost, you should expect to pay between 30 and 50 rupees per watt of power generated. A bigger set might be more costly, but will put out power more efficiently, so you will take back your money in a shorter time. Also, grid-connected solar power systems are more affordable than their off-grid counterparts because they don’t have batteries that need periodic replacement. If you live in an area with plenty of sunlight hours a day, a rooftop solar system will be a great addition to diversify your green energy sources.
Power your entire farm with a hydroelectric system
If your farm is located near a source of running water, you can use hydropower to supplement your electric circuits and even put machines in motion. Hydroelectric power has been running in India for quite a while, since the inauguration of the oldest plant in Darjeeling in 1897. Larger scale power plants can supply energy to hundreds of homes, but a smaller installation will suffice to power your farm. A hydroelectric installation requires a natural stream of running water and a moderate to strong slope in the terrain. If your land has these geographical features, you could install a small powerhouse with a turbine and a combination of tubes and water channels that will guide the water through your plant. The force of the water will make the turbine spin, and the movement will be transmitted to a generator that will produce electricity. If you want a mechanical output instead of electric power, you can connect your turbine to another mechanism, like a mill or a pump.
Wind power is best used as an additional energy source
India ranks 5th worldwide for its wind power, which might make you think that installing a wind turbine is a good idea, but the truth is that small-scale wind power can rarely suffice to power an entire farm. Of all the natural resources, the wind is by far the least predictable, so the chances are that you will find yourself short of energy quite often if you rely only on wind power. Wind power is best used when combined with other energy sources. However, small-scale wind power installations do have their advantages. Namely, once put in place, the wind turbines can produce energy very cheaply since they perform well with an affordable installation. Just as it happens with hydropower, you can use a wind turbine to generate electricity, move pumps and mills, or both. Also similar to hydropower is the mechanism of energy production: the wind will act on the blades and make them rotate, which in turn will make an axis spin. If the axis is connected to a turbine, the result will be the production of energy. Instead, if it’s connected to a mechanical system, it will transmit the torque and move it as desired.
Help the environment and your own activities at the same time
Sources of renewable energy can play a big role in making your activities more sustainable and eco-friendly. The right installations will be cost-effective and not only provide electricity to your farm, but also provide heat and mechanical power to keep you warm and run your mills. We have begun to experience the negative consequences of negligence and exploitation on our farming lands, so switching to a diversified, green energy model will protect your activities now and for years to come.
Read: Soil pH Importance In India.