Alpes Coop Fruits is a farmers’ cooperative in Monetier-Allemont, in the department of Hautes-Alpes, France. They farm in a valley over 500 meters (about 1640.42 ft) above sea level, with the possibility of low temperatures of -5 degrees Celsius or less during Winter.
Every year, growers in this area of the Southern Alps must run their frost protection systems when freezing temperatures threaten their crops.
Mr. Borel Romain, president of Alpes Coop Fruits, grows pears and Pink Lady apples in 3-ha and 1-ha fields, respectively. He used metal impact sprinklers to protect his plants from frost damage, but those applicators operated at high pressures requiring high energy consumption. The farmer used a tractor pump to supply his frost protection sprinkler system, but in the 2022 economy, he had to deal with high fuel prices and start looking for ways to save money and fuel.
Borel found that the most effective fuel-saving solution was to lower the irrigation system’s pressure.
After receiving technical advice from the nearest Senninger distributor, Borel replaced his old metal impact applicators with Xcel-Wobbler HA (high angle) sprinklers and PRLG pressure regulators manufactured by Senninger. He transformed his irrigation system into a Low Pressure – High Performance™ one.
The Société du Canal de Provence installed the new products with the advice of Mr. Éric Martin, with SCP, and Christophe Calzada, Senninger Area Manager for Europe and Northwest Africa.
The Xcel-Wobbler HA sprinklers operated at 1.4 bars instead of the 4.5 bars the old metal impacts used. By reducing the pressure of the irrigation system, Borel lowered his fuel expenses by more than half.
Senninger Xcel-Wobbler sprinklers also provided superior uniformity, giving his trees better protection from frost.
In addition to fuel savings and better protection from frost, Borel was also able to save water and energy.