FarmHQ Announces VFD Control

by Katie Bishop, Head of Research and Outreach

Keep reading to learn more about how FarmHQ is enabling advanced irrigation precision for VFD Pumps.

VFD Pump with FarmHQ

Control your pump’s pressure, flow, and speed with advanced precision

Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) is an electrical component found in many electric pumps that allows growers to change pumping speed, pressure, and flow. This level of control is useful for growers who want to reduce water usage and create even irrigating patterns. However, this feature is seldom used due to the complexity of programming VFDs and the time-consuming process of driving to the pump before each irrigation cycle. Unfortunately, this means most growers who have VFD capabilities on their pumps rarely get to take advantage of the benefits.

FarmHQ’s VFD Control streamlines the use of VFD potential for growers, eliminating the need for pump reprogramming. Users with VFD-equipped pumps can now effortlessly adjust pressure, flow rate, or speed percentage, all through our user-friendly app.

How Could I Use VFD Control on My Farm? 

For Hose Reels

Say you have one electric pump that powers two reels. One reel has a big gun, which requires about 90 psi for droplet uniformity. The other reel is attached to a sprinkler, which requires about 60 psi. Typically, you might program your pump to run at 75 psi, as it’s not worth your time to manually reset the pump pressure every time you change irrigators. However, with FarmHQ’s VFD control, you can instantly change the pressure settings via our app before every irrigation run, without driving to the field. This way you can use the optimal pressure for both pieces of equipment.

Hose Reel
drip irrigation

For Drip Irrigation

For farmers employing drip irrigation, a key challenge lies in ensuring consistent watering across various sections of their fields. Field blocks distant from the pump demand higher pressure and energy to achieve equal irrigation rates with field blocks closer to the pump. With VFD control, you can tailor on/off cycles and set pressure points to meet the specific needs of each block. For instance, you can raise the pressure and speed of the pump for the block farthest away, ensuring it receives the same amount of water as the block closest to the pump. This customization ensures uniform irrigation, leading to a consistent and equally profitable yield.

For Multiple Different Irrigators

There’s rarely a one-fits-all solution for irrigation, which means some pumps often power multiple different types of irrigation. Say you have an electric pump that feeds both your center pivot and the hose reel you use to irrigate the corners of your field. The center pivot prefers lower pressures, around 40 psi; while the hose reel needs about 60 psi. Right now, you might have to manually reprogram your pump before and after each irrigation run. But with FarmHQ’s VFD control, you can instantly set your desired pressure points and start irrigating from anywhere in the world.

irrigation pumps

I’ve been farming without VFD control for years, do I really need this?

While having exact pressure, flow rate, and speed parameters may seem like a luxury to farmers who have been irrigating without them for decades, there are quantifiable and lucrative advantages to this new technology that extend to crop revenue, equipment health, and irrigation labor management.

Dialing in the correct pressure, flow rate, and speed levels for your irrigators means uniform water droplets — ensuring even watering for all crops and therefore more consistent yields. If decreasing the amount of water used while increasing your yields is important to you this season, VFD control is a perfect way to accomplish that.

Additionally, FarmHQ’s VFD control provides both short-term and long-term benefits. In case of pressure changes from issues like leaks or clogged nozzles, the system reacts to maintain consistent pressure.

How do I know if my pump is compatible?

FarmHQ VFD Control works seamlessly with any VFD accepting a 4-20 milliamp signal input—common in most electric pump setups. Farmers can easily check compatibility through manufacturer documentation or consultation with an electrician.

How do I purchase FarmHQ’s VFD Control?

Excitement is building as pre-orders for FarmHQ VFD Control are now open, with shipments starting in spring 2024. By securing this innovative technology, farmers can revolutionize their irrigation processes, taking a significant step toward a more efficient and productive farming future.

How Everyday Famers Use FarmHQ on Their Hose Reels