Farmer Cuts Cost with Cummins Genset Fuel Economy
Pricing plays big role in choosing Cummins for mains power
NSW Riverina farmer Ken Brain has achieved more than a 50 percent cost reduction through switching from mains electricity to Cummins diesel generator power for irrigation pumping.
Early in 2017, Brain acquired a property that was set up with mains power to drive a 100 kW line bore pump.
The decision to switch to diesel generator power came after he priced both options, with mains power calculated at $76/megalitre and the Cummins diesel generator at $32/megalitre. The result is a saving of thousands of dollars a year. “I’m very happy,” says Ken Brain in a classic understatement.
Ken and wife Wendy farm 3440 hectares (8,500 acres) in the Coleambally region – corn, rice and soya bean in the summer and wheat, manola and barley in the winter.
Looking to cut costs with diesel-powered genset
“The cost of mains electricity is a killer… the access charge alone is $1000 a month,” says John Byrne, principal of Coleambally-based Pumps, Pipes and Power who advised Ken Brain on the benefits of using a Cummins generator set.
As a business owner and also a farmer, Byrne has an intimate knowledge of the cost pressures facing people on the land. Byrne uses a Cummins genset on his own farm for irrigation pumping and knows exactly the cost benefit.
“Ken came to me wanting to know what could be done to cut costs,” says Byrne. “My advice was that a diesel genset was the best option, and that has proved to be the case.”
The 275 kVA genset on Ken Brain’s property is designed around Cummins’ electronic QSL9 engine, a proven package in terms of performance, reliability and fuel efficiency and a perfect fit for Brain’s pumping requirements – around 11 megalitres a day which are pumped into a dam.
QSL9 engine's fuel economy right in the sweet spot at 16-17 litres/hour
“We were expecting the QSL9 to use in the high 20s (litres/ hour) but in actual operation it’s a lot less which is brilliant,” says Byrne. Ken Brain confirms that consumption is only 16-17 litres/ hour with the Cummins running at 1500 rpm, right in the ‘sweet spot’ for best fuel economy.
Cummins’ reputation for technical and aftersales support figure strongly in John Byrne’s business approach. He works closely with Cummins Wodonga sales executive Adrian Melotto to develop packages that deliver both performance and fuel efficiency for irrigation pumping, while the Cummins Leeton branch is well placed for service support.