First solar-powered irrigation system unveiled
May 1, 2009 By USDA Agricultural Research Service
April 30, 2009, Washington, DC – The U.S. National Arboretum is going
green with the installation of its first solar-powered drip irrigation
April 30, 2009, Washington, DC – The U.S. National Arboretum is going green with the installation of its first solar-powered drip irrigation system.
The system will save electricity and water at the 446-acre facility, which is operated by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Washington, DC.
The new system is part of a long-range plan to update and improve the grounds. Future plans include installing a larger solar collector and solar shingles.
The new system consists of six solar panels that collect sunlight, a battery that stores the energy, and a converter box that converts the stored energy into electricity used to run the nursery’s drip-irrigation system. Because of the site’s remote location, installing solar panels was less expensive than running an electrical line from the main power source, approximately a half mile away. As a result, the arboretum will see immediate savings on costs.
The latest project is a staff-driven effort to cut energy costs and conserve resources.
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