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Short Description: Abstract: This publication gives an introduction to solar-powered livestock watering systems, .... A typical solar-powered stock watering system includes a ...
Content Inside: SOLAR-POWERED LIVESTOCK WATERING SYSTEMS LIVESTOCK TECHNICAL NOTE Abstract: This publication gives an introduction to solar-powered livestock watering systems, including discussions of cost, components, and terminology, as well as some suggestions for designing and installing these systems. The strengths and weaknesses of solar pumping are compared to the main options for pumping in remote locations: mechanical windmills and portable generators powered by gas, propane, or diesel fuel. The publication also includes descriptions of three successful projects and a brief resource list. By Mike Morris and Vicki Lynne NCAT Agricultural Energy Specialists October 2002 INTRODUCTION Remote or off-grid power sources--includ- have plenty of sunlight to run these systems. ing solar panels, mechanical windmills, and Solar pumping is a natural match for summer portable generators--can pump water for grazing applications, since it produces the livestock in locations where electricity from greatest volumes of water in sunny weather power lines is unavailable. By encouraging and during long summer days--exactly when animals to move away from lakes and streams, animals need water the most. With proper these systems give livestock greater access to precautions, solar pumping systems can be forage. They also reduce livestock pressure on used through the winter months too, even stream banks--preventing nutrient loading, though shorter daylight hours will cause damage to streamside vegetation, erosion, and reduced water output. pollution. Why should you consider installing a solar- Solar pumping works anywhere the sun powered livestock watering system on your shines, and most parts of the United States farm or ranch? These factors may affect your decision: ˇ Distance from power lines and the cost of a line extension ˇ Operation and maintenance cost of a solar system compared to the alternatives, such as a mechanical windmill or a gasoline, propane, or diesel-powered generator ˇ The uncertainty of future electricity prices ˇ Rising costs of propane, gasoline, and diesel fuel ˇ Season of use--summer versus winter ATTRA is the national sustainable agriculture information service, operated by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through a grant from the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. These organizations do not recommend or endorse products, companies, or individuals. NCAT has offices in Fayetteville, Arkansas (P.O. Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702), Butte, Montana, and Davis, California.