Many Cedar-Knox PPD customers have discovered the advantages of an electrically powered irrigation system. The District currently serves nearly 900 irrigation pump motors, most of which operate under the Load Control Program implemented back in the early 1980's. Under this program, the customer has a choice of not being controlled at all, being controlled daily or controlled every other day. These control days are as needed during peaking situations.
Below, you can find the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the irrigation program here at Cedar-Knox PPD. If you have any other questions concerning the program, please call us at (402) 254-6291.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do we control our irrigation motors?
Irrigation motors normally contribute a considerable amount of load during peak time. The cost of power purchased to re-sell to Cedar-Knox PPD customers is determined by the amount of power that our system is consuming during "peak-time." This peak period usage also determines our "Ratchet" or minimum amount that we are billed for the next 12 months. By "shaving" this peak, we are able to save a significant amount of money over a year's time thus enabling us to keep your rates much lower than they would be without load control.
- Why am I required to have a capacitor on my irrigation motor?
Cedar-Knox PPD requires a power factor correction capacitor on any motor over 20 HP. Large inductive motors create inductive reactance. This reactance acts as a load on our system. The capacitor introduces capacitive reactance into the circuit, which counteracts the inductive reaction. A proportionately sized capacitor makes the distribution system (wire, transformers, etc.) more efficient by reducing the amperage on the circuit. This also reduces the watts that are lost on our system.
- What does demand waiver mean and how does it work?
Generally we are accountable for the summer peak that we set from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, June - September (excluding holidays). If our power supplier is experiencing a period of low demand for power, they will release or "waive" more hours, or often times, entire days from establishing demand charges. If we are released from paying the demand charges, we will not control irrigation motors. Each day we receive demand waiver messages notifying us of our demand status for the day. An initial message arrives each day before the control period and may be updated throughout the day. You may call our irrigation hotline number at (402) 254-6322, check this website, or receive a text message on your cellular phone to get the demand waiver message and updates.
- How do I receive the load control text message?
To sign up for text messaging of the load control message to your cellular phone, you will need to sign a text message sign up contract. The charge to have this service is $20 per phone number per season from Cedar Knox PPD. You may want to check with your cellular phone provider as to if you will be assessed any charges for the incoming text messages that you will receive. To sign up or to find out more about this service, please contact Cedar Knox PPD at (402) 254-6291.
- How is my irrigation system controlled?
If your system is in the load management program, there is a control unit at your well or pivot that receives radio tone messages from our load control computer at the Cedar-Knox PPD office. This tone message either turns your system on or off depending on the waiver message. The well control unit is part of very sensitive load equipment. If, for any reason, the control unit does not come on at 11 p.m., or earlier if the demand has been waived after being controlled, DO NOT tamper with the unit. Please contact Cedar-Knox PPD immediately. Once contacted, off-duty personnel will be able to get your system operational. Tampering is a serious offense and may result in a fine and/or loss of electrical power for the well.