As part of the Mahatma Gandhi Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation System in Telangana, ABB, a pioneering technology leader, deployed five of its high-capacity motors - each capable of pumping 23,000 litres per second.
The 12-year-long project, aimed at irrigating 137,000 hectares in drought-prone Mahabubnagar region, was recently completed.
Years of severe drought have created a water crisis in the region. The water table had also depleted and the only option for providing adequate water for farming and drinking is to pump it from the Krishna River to a reservoir nearly 300 meters above. From there, through a gravity-driven "lift irrigation" system, the water can be channeled through nearly 100 km of canals to the parched farms and more than 300 villages that were at risk of turning to desert.
This was made possible only through considerable feats of civil engineering: industrial-strength water pumping technology and electric-power management systems that ABB, with decades of irrigation experience in India, provided.
ABB is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally.
Pumping water at thousands of litres per second to reach a reservoir 298 metres above river level - the height of the Eiffel Tower - requires huge motors and high-voltage power systems. The MGKLIS project called for lifting the water in three separate stages, with ABB handling the critical middle stage - Lift II, with an 86-meter rise.
The key features of the Lift II project were five 30 MW, 11 kV motors, each with a 23,000-litres-per-second pumping capability. They are the largest capacity and physically biggest motors used yet by ABB India in an irrigation project. Each motor has a footprint of more than 30 square metres.
According to the company, the villages now have a dependable supply of drinking water. Just as crucially, with the canals and a network of storage tanks irrigating about 137,000 hectares of land (an area nearly as large as the sprawling city of Los Angeles in California, farmers who had retreated to cities in search of a livelihood, are now returning to cultivate the soil once again.
"Agriculture is one of the largest sectors of the Indian economy, employing almost half of the population. Best in class technology from ABB which can be used to manage availability of water and create the last mile connect with farmers, can have a significant impact on India's future development," said Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director of ABB India.
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