Energy Self Assessment Tools

The renewable energy tools will help estimate the energy production from solar photovoltaic panels, solar hot water panels, wind turbines, biogas from anaerobic digesters and biomass such as wood, wood pellets, corn and prairie grass pellets. Before investing in renewable energy production, it is usually more cost effective to invest in energy conserving equipment and processes to reduce your energy demands as much as possible. This has the added benefit of reducing the size and investment cost of renewable energy technologies.

Energy Estimator: Grain Drying
This Purdue University energy estimator is designed to inform you of the energy cost centers and help you estimate the energy costs for two grain drying processes, namely In-bin and high-capacity dryers commonly used in the Midwestern United States for grain drying. Purdue’s faculty and Extension Engineers have developed the energy cost models through years of field research and modeling of grain drying processes. Through the CIG grant, collaboration with NRCS specialist made the development of this tool for web-based application possible.

Energy Estimator: Animal Housing
The Energy Estimator for Animal Housing tool is designed to enable you to estimate potential energy savings associated with swine, poultry or dairy cows housing operations on your farm or ranch. This tool evaluates major energy costs in lighting, ventilation and heating costs for swine and poultry. It evaluates major energy costs with lighting air circulation, milk cooling, water heating and milk harvesting costs for typical dairy. This tool does not provide site specific recommendations.

Energy Estimator: Irrigation
The Energy Estimator for Irrigation tool enables you to estimate potential energy savings associated with pumping water for irrigation. NRCS technical specialists developed this model to integrate general technical information farm-specific crops, energy prices, and pumping requirement. This tool does not provide field-specific recommendations.

Energy Estimator: Nitrogen
The Energy Estimator for Nitrogen tool enables you to calculate the potential cost-savings related to nitrogen use on your farm or ranch. NRCS agronomists developed this model to integrate general technical information on nitrogen use with farm-specific information on fertilizer types, costs, timing, and placement. This tool does not provide field-specific recommendations.

Energy Estimator: Tillage
The Energy Estimator for Tillage tool estimates diesel fuel use and costs in the production of key crops in your area and compares potential energy savings between conventional tillage and alternative tillage systems. The crops covered are limited to the most predominant crops in 74 Crop Management Zones (CMZ’s). NRCS agronomists have identified these crops and estimated the fuel use associated with common tillage systems. The Energy Estimator gives you an idea of the magnitude of diesel fuel savings under different levels of tillage.

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