JCB DieselMAX Pays for itself in Fuel Savings
A fire which destroyed the pumping station at an avocado farm outside of Bundaberg, provided the timely reason for a completely new JCB DieselMax powered pump installation. Now, two years after commissioning, the JCB DieselMax is delivering fuel savings of more than 30%, compared to the previous engine, while also delivering outstanding performance.
Nashy Produce is a respected farming business which grows avocados, snow peas and tomatoes. Situated at Kinkuna and alongside the Elliot River (Qld.), the farm has an excellent water allocation.
The 6 hectare plot of avocado trees at Nashy Produce was first planted out four years ago, with additional trees planted three years ago and then two years ago. All up, there are currently some 6500 avocado trees, neatly planted in rows 10m apart with 5m between each tree in the row.
The local Power Equipment Dealer, Sunfam, has enjoyed a long association with Nashy Produce. Sunfam designed and installed the watering system for the avocado plantation four years ago before the first trees were planted. This involved laying 6000m of water lines plus the sprinkler system and pumping station. When the pumping station was destroyed by fire, Adam De Zotti (Horticulturist at Nashy Produce) took the opportunity to work with Sunfam and design an even better pumping station.
“Our watering needs vary enormously throughout the year depending on rainfall and the growth cycle of the avocado fruit,” Adam De Zotti said.
“Our new pumping station needed to be matched to our existing sprinkler system, our water allocation rights and the peak demand during summer. During the growing season the sprinklers run for up to 20 hours a day. Our EnviroSCAN soil monitoring equipment provides us with an excellent guide for soil condition and watering.”
Based on the criteria supplied by Adam De Zotti, the JCB DieselMax powered pumping station specified by Sunfam is both efficient and effective.
The JCB DieselMax powered pump is mounted close to the water source with a 200mm diameter pipe feeding the pump while a 150mm diameter outfeed pipe is used. Integrated into the irrigation installation is a simple fertiliser injection system which allows Adam De Zotti to fertilise the avocado plantation as and when needed.
The pump itself is driven by the JCB DieselMax via a belt and pulley system allowing the JCB DieselMax engine to operate at the 1400 rpm while the pump turns over at the correct speed to deliver water at the rate of 90,000 litres per hour at 60 psi pressure at the pump.
The JCB DieselMax is a 4 cylinder, naturally aspirated diesel engine which is ideally suited for such industrial applications. The specific model installed at Nashy Produce is the 63kW naturally aspirated variant.
This is a water cooled engine which displaces 4.4 litres and has a net intermittent power output of 63 kW at 2200 rpm. The cylinder head features 4 valves per cylinder to deliver high torque at low speeds. The JCB DieselMax is one of the very finest engines in its class on the market and carries a market leading warranty policy of 3 years or 4,000 hours on major components or 2 years or 4,000 hours on minor components. Quiet operation is an added bonus as is the low fuel consumption.
Supporting the JCB DieselMax installation at Nashy Produce is the Power Equipment Engine Protection System (EPS). This monitors engine performance and is programmed to shut down the engine in the event of overheating, belt breakage or lack of oil pressure. In addition to its safety functionality, the EPS also has a series of on-board engine management features.
At the pumping station a 2200 litre diesel fuel tank is installed. While the previous engine was reliable, it was heavy on fuel, draining the fuel tank every week and a half. Now with the JCB DieselMax installed, Adam De Zotti says that the fuel consumption is more than 30% less for the same output.
“We have logged up 2000 hours on the JCB DieselMax at an average of about 200 hours per month,” Adam said.
“While the JCB DieselMax may have been a bit more expensive to purchase, it has more than paid for itself with the fuel savings. At about 8 litres per hour, this is the best fuel consumption for a diesel engine that I have ever come across.”