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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

Most farms now have electric energy supplied from central stations. As the number of farms using electricity increased and as the application of the electrical energy to agricultural production expanded, it became evident that the electric load characteristics of farms were different from those of residential consumers. The farm is a business establishment as well as a residence. Electricity is used in brooding, water pumping, machinery repair, feed handling and processing, milking, refrigeration and many other productive operations. These uses of electricity often occur at the same time as similar uses on adjacent farms and at a time when electrical household equipment is in operation.

Load research is a detailed examination of small numbers of consumers assumed. to be representative of a large group to determine load characteristics. Many such studies have been made by the larger utilities. The information obtained is used in system design, rate analyses, long-range planning and sales promotion programs. Since most farms are served by smaller electric distribution companies and cooperatives which have been unable to undertake this type of research, the United States Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station and several Iowa power suppliers is making a series of studies of farm load characteristics.

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