“Farmers Harness Power of Micro Pumped Hydro to Boost Self-Sufficient Energy Storage”

"Farmers Harness Power of Micro Pumped Hydro to Boost Self-Sufficient Energy Storage"

Farmers, known for self-reliance, now have a new option to store electricity: create small pumped hydro plants using their farm dams. Solar is getting cheaper, allowing more farms to power themselves. However, storing enough solar power for backup can be challenging.

A new solution is micro pumped hydro, a process involving two dams, a pump, and a turbine. When extra solar power is generated, it is stored by pumping water uphill to a higher dam. When power is needed, the water is released to a lower dam, producing electricity. New research identified over 30,000 rural locations where this method is feasible.

However, the solutions depend heavily on land structure. The steeper the slope between two dams, the better. This won’t be suitable for farms on flat grounds as a height difference of at least 20 meters is required. Preliminary research suggested that micro pumped hydro can be 30% cheaper than battery storage for farms requiring regular overnight power, like 24/7 irrigation systems.

While the approach won’t work for all farms, it is a significant development for self-sufficient power generation in remote farms or places where grid connection is expensive. Farms also need to consider the pros and cons of the technology according to their suitability. For instance, farms in drought-prone areas with limited groundwater may not find this option viable.

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