By: Robert Burns
COLLEGE STATION – The Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Irrigation Technology Center-School of Irrigation will conduct a new course on solar-powered and other renewable-energy irrigation systems.
“Renewable Energy for Landscape Irrigation” will be held 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. July 27 at 317 Scoates Hall on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.
Charles Swanson, AgriLife Extension landscape irrigation specialist and one of the course instructors, said the class was designed in response to public demand for ways to use renewable energy to power irrigation systems.
“People have become very conscious of both the increased cost of water and the electricity to power irrigation systems,” Swanson said. “They want a green solution.”
The course will primarily focus on two types of renewable energy, solar power and wind power, he said.
“It’s more a focus on booster-pumps on non-pressurized systems, especially where people want to utilize water from a pond or rain-water collection tank,” he said.
Swanson noted there are new products on the market that can bring down the initial cost of a renewable-energy system.
“For example, there are now direct-power solar pumps that are designed without batteries to run only a few hours a day,” he said. “Not having batteries means the cost is about halved in most cases.”
In addition to learning how to design and operate pumping systems that utilize wind and solar energy, students will also learn how to determine peak irrigation-water requirements, calculate irrigated area and determine water-storage requirements, Swanson said.
Registration is $155 for licensed irrigators, irrigation technicians and irrigation inspectors, all of whom will receive eight continuing education units toward renewal of their licenses upon completion of the course.
Registration for non-licensed Texas Nursery Landscape Association members and Texas Master Gardeners is $116.25. To register online, go to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/and search for the keyword “renewable.”
For more information, contact Swanson at 979-845-5614, email@example.com . Information on other irrigation courses can be found at http://irrigation.tamu.edu .