My second Husker Harvest Days with Valley® Irrigation is now in the rearview mirror. It was a fun-filled week that gave me plenty of opportunities to talk to growers, dealers and even the competition about our revolutionary Valley X-Tec™ drive system.
Many of these folks sought out our display span specifically because they had already heard about the combination of speed and power, and they wanted to see it for themselves. Over and over, their first comment was some variation of, “Wow! It really is going fast!” There were a lot of great discussions, but several questions came up over and over. Many of you who I haven’t had a chance to chat with may have the same questions, so I will answer them below.
How fast is that going?
At top speed, the Valley X-Tec is running at 136 RPM, twice as fast as the 68 RPM high-speed motors that previously were the top in the industry. Equipped with 11.2-38 tires, the pivot was moving at 37.5 feet per minute. At that speed, a standard seven span pivot can complete a full circle in four hours.
Is it just an AC motor with a VFD?
No, it’s not. This new system uses a 2.5 HP switched reluctance type DC motor. The higher speeds offer many new opportunities but the key purpose of the pivot remains irrigation. That means operating your pivot at low speeds is still very important. An AC motor with a VFD just cannot produce the same power as a DC motor at those low speeds to overcome challenging terrain and field conditions. With the Valley X-Tec you get additional capabilities from high speed, without sacrificing any power. The Valley X-Tec will perform in all the conditions you have come to expect from a Valley pivot.
Isn’t DC power dangerous?
One person actually said to me “DC stands for Dangerous Current!” (It stands for Direct Current). Without going into the physics, AC is the electricity that come from a wall outlet and DC is most often found in batteries. Both are used every day around the world. Electricity of any type can be dangerous but all Valley products are designed for the utmost safety. The Valley X-Tec has no more risk than any other electric pivot.
What good is going twice as fast?
Of course you can perform all your expected irrigation with the Valley X-Tec, but there are also several new opportunities. At top speed, chemigation through the pivot is improved as chemicals are not as diluted. On those dangerously hot days of the growing season, plant health can be improved by applying a cooling pass of water. For partial circle pivots, you can now water in one direction and quickly move back to the dry part of your field to begin irrigating again. Damage to young plants from blowing soil can be reduced by applying a light application of water to hold the soil down. Your pivot can be moved out of the way much quicker for harvesting or other operations.
I’m certain as our growers use Valley X-Tec we will hear about other applications and we will share them with you.
I hope to have the opportunity to chat with more of you about Valley X-Tec. Thanks to all who visited us at Husker Harvest Days 2017.
You can see the Valley X-Tec in action at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, Oct. 17 – Oct. 19, booth A-4-169. Feel free to come by and ask all the questions you have. If you can't make it to the Sunbelt Ag Expo, contact your local Valley dealer to learn more about the Valley X-Tec.
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