The Valley® X-Tec® center drive motor is impressing growers at agricultural shows, not only in the United States but also around the globe. Everyone who sees it work is blown away by the combination of speed and power that our innovative FastPass™ technology delivers for farm irrigation.
However, X-Tec is more than fast and powerful. It’s also efficient, precise and versatile, helping growers irrigate more effectively. Attendees at ag shows and growers experience the benefits that X-Tec can bring, like cooling passes, more effective chemigation and reduction of the effects of wind on soil.
Still, a couple of questions regularly get asked about X-Tec:
- How does the patented new alignment system work?
- Does X-Tec require more pumping capacity or water?
- How much power is going to the X-Tec center drive?
Below I’d like to tackle each of these questions.
How does the patented new alignment system work?
As with current alignment systems, there is an alignment tower box at each tower. This new tower box is similar in outward appearance to the current alignment tower box, but the internals have changed. The key functional change in the new tower box is the replacement of the run micro switch with an inductive proximity sensor. In the X-Tec alignment system, the sensor is mounted on a cam that is also connected to the control rod.
During alignment, the gap between the sensor face and the target is measured by the electrical current output from the inductive proximity sensor. As the target gets closer to the sensor, the electrical current output decreases and as the target moves further away, it increases. These changes are interpreted by the drive enclosure and speed is adjusted.
Does my operation need more pumping capacity or water to use X-Tec?
No, Valley X-Tec does not require more pumping or more water when you irrigate. In addition to meeting all your current farm irrigation needs, the increased speed of X-Tec means that you can apply even lower amounts of water.
You can use the high-speed capabilities of Valley X-Tec with current flow rates to provide lighter application rates. This is particularly useful when trying to reduce dilution rates during chemigation or fertigation.
The light application rates X-Tec enables are also helpful for:
- Maintaining proper surface moisture during germination;
- Crop canopy cooling; and
- Reducing wind erosion.
If your intention is to maintain high application rates at higher speed, then yes, higher water flow rate is required. The application rate should match the needs of the soil to avoid excessive runoff.
How much power is going to the Valley X-Tec center drive?
The standard 480 AC 60 Hz / 380 AC 50 Hz travels down the span cable, as with all other drive systems. At each drive enclosure, the Valley X-Tec power board transforms the AC power into 695 DC / 545 DC and transmits that power via the power cable to the center drive.
Contrary to what some may tell you, DC power is inherently no more dangerous than AC power. Of course, one should always use all safety procedures when working with any electrical system, regardless of the source, magnitude or type of electricity.
Continued Innovation in Pivot Irrigation
Valley continues to lead the way in pivot irrigation innovation. X-Tec with FastPass brings new applications to the center pivot, and we will continue to add new applications. Watch this blog and our social media channels for additional updates and discussions about X-Tec and our other innovative new products.
If you have other questions about X-Tec, its applications or theory of operation, feel free to contact your local Valley Irrigation dealer.