The government of Sudan has been ramping up its efforts to establish smart, automated irrigation systems to meet the increasing demand for food production as the global population rises and the supply of freshwater decreases in the face of severe changes in the climate. ABB has been selected by Cairo for Contracting and General Supplies to support its pivoting irrigation system in Sudan’s remote urban areas to benefit small and large farmers who often depend on harmful and unreliable sources of energy such as fossil fuel.
The irrigation plant located near Khartoum provides water to Balensia Agricultural and Animal Production Farm covering around 400 hectares of land. Sudan is known for its growing agricultural activities and its main crops include cotton, peanuts (groundnuts), sesame, gum arabic, sorghum, and sugarcane.
“ABB’s wide portfolio of products and services crafted to cover the customers’ needs has been key in winning the contract. Our cutting-edge pumping solutions not only ensure a seamless flow of water but also generates electricity from solar power instead of environmentally harmful fossil fuels,” Ahmed Sherbini, PAEN Division Manager, EG cluster said.
Optimizing smart irrigation systems
In April, ABB won the contract to install the solar power drives in the pump motors at the irrigation plant. These solar power drives run the motors without the grid and directly from the photovoltaic (PV) cells that maximize the performance of the pump throughout the day with an automatic start and stop feature that utilizes solar radiation. Compared to diesel-generated pumps, solar-powered pumps can save money and fuel during daylight hours while enhancing the product lifecycle and significantly reducing carbon emissions.
As a part of the project, ABB delivered fully automated solar-powered irrigation systems managing watering of five pivots. In addition, an engineering bundle of solar pumping electrification and automation systems including solar PV module array, solar pump drive (inverter), pumps, motors, mechanical piping for water management pivoting system were also installed.
“The drive has many solar-specific and pumps control functions, such as built-in maximum power point tracking and dry run detection, as well as sensor-less flow calculation making it a cheaper and better option for our customer,” Sherbini added.
The pumping solutions are delivered to the end-user Balensia Agricultural and Animal Production.
ABB’s state-of-the-art solar-powered pumping solutions eliminate dependency on diesel-generated sets while reducing fuel costs. In addition, it lowers maintenance costs related to interconnection to a unified grid for the remote urban area. The pumping solutions cut fuel consumption by 100 percent as it is fully powered by an independent renewable off-grid solar PV system, with a small surface pump to be operated by night. Moreover, it also helps in the efficient management of the plantation schedule while optimizing customer’s productivity and accelerating agricultural activities on the field.
“I am glad to apply ABB technology in providing solar-driven pumping system for our farm, aiming to benefit from reliable cost-effect solution with minimal running cost, besides being environment-friendly solution as well,” Sifeldin Osama Saeed, Chief Executive at Balensia Agricultural and Animal Production noted.
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