Diesel and electric pumping costs

Regarding the choice between electric and diesel, you should use formulas to calculate the operating cost.

Eff: Pump efficiency factor. 0.61 is common for pumps used for irrigation
H: Pressure in meters
Flow: Cubic meters per hour

Flow (gpm) x H (feet) / 3,960 x Eff = HP

Calculate the expected operating cost.


  • HP x 5.18 = l/h (1.37 gpm) of fuel required
  • l/h (gpm) of fuel required x the cost of fuel = cost per hour



  • HP x 0.746 = kWh required
  • kWh required x the cost of power (factor in different tariffs where necessary)



An hourly cost is part of the picture, but you should look at the price of the total season, and ideally the cost of multiple years, along with upfront costs. This is simply completed by multiplying the hours by the expected duration of the season in addition to the upfront costs for the first season, and then adding the running costs for subsequent seasons.



  • Energy source

  • Cost of the energy source ($/KWh), including variances due to different time of day tariffs

  • Cost of the connection

  • Static water level (m) (ft)


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