Oeasao ,West Timor, Indonesia

Small Scale Irrigation Project

The system installed is a 1.5 kW Bergey wind-electric water pumping system installed at the Oesao Demonstration Farm on the island of Timor in Eastern Indonesia. This farm is part of the Japanese/U.S. supported Small Scale Irrigation Management Project (SSIMP). SSIMP is a program of the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works whose purpose is to raise rural incomes by improving agricultural productivity.

This part of Eastern Indonesia has a short rainy season and traditional practice is for farmers to raise one rice crop per year. Two thirds of the time, during the dry season, the rice paddies are used only for grazing cattle. But many areas have substantial ground water resources which can be used for irrigation. The SSIMP project digs wells, installs pumps, and trains the local farmers to use irrigation to raise higher value crops year-round.

In most cases small 5 horsepower kerosene pumps are used for irrigation. These pumps are inexpensive and the fuel costs are partially subsidized by the government. But they also only last a few years and they operate at poor efficiency, so their life-cycle costs are quite high. Small wind systems cost more initially, but they have lower life-cycle costs.

At Oesao the water table is only 2-5 meters below ground level. The wind turbine drives a 3-stage surface mounted centrifugal pump (which is rated at 1.5 Hp at 60 Hz). Electrically the pump is rated at 240 VAC, 3-phase, 60 Hz; but in this case it is operated at variable voltage and frequency. The pump speed varies with the rotor speed of the wind turbine. The peak flow rate is ~3 liters/second. The system requires no fuel and no regular maintenance. A kerosene pump is, however, used for back-up.

The Oesao system was installed in 1992 as a pilot project to show that wind power could be effective for water pumping in Eastern Indonesia. Since that time fifteen additional systems have been installed and more systems are planned. Funding is provided by the Japanese International Development Agency (JICA).