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SPIS Toolbox Glossary

From energypedia


Underground geological formation(s), containing usable amounts of groundwater that can supply wells or springs for domestic, industrial, and irrigation uses.
Position in balance sheet which represents what a company owns.
Capital Expenditures (CAPEX)
Are one-time expenses. Normally they are long-term investments in non-consumable parts of the business, for example money that is spent on pump, panels, machines, etc.
Cash Inflows
All cash receipts realized within a given period (e.g. from sales).
Cash Flow
The incoming and outgoing cash of a business. Cash outflows are considered as negative cash flows and cash inflows as positive ones.
Cash Outflow
Outgoing cash, all cash payments realized during a given period (e.g. for buying production inputs, loan installments, buying equipment).
The process of applying chemicals (fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, etc...) to crops or soil through an irrigation system with the water.
Property or other assets that a borrower offers a lender to secure a loan.
Conveyance Loss
Loss of water from a channel or pipe during transport, including losses due to seepage, leakage, evaporation, and other losses.
Payable occurring from past credit (money owed to suppliers for expenses).
Credit Sales
Sales made without receiving cash.
Crop Coefficient
Ratio of the actual crop evapotranspiration to its potential (or reference) evapotranspiration. It is different for each crop and changes over time with the crop's growth stage.
Crop Water Requirement
The amount of water needed by a plant. It depends on the climate, the crop as well as management and environmental conditions. It is the same as crop evapotranspiration.
Current (I)
Current is the electrical flow when voltage is present across a conductor, or the rate at which charge is flowing, expressed in amperes [A].
Current Assets
Cash and other assets which are expected to be converted into cash or consumed during the normal operating cycle of a business.
Deep Percolation
Movement of water downward through the soil profile below the root zone. This water is lost to the plants and eventually ends up in the groundwater. [mm]
A cost charged against fixed assets for their replacement.
Note: “depreciation” is one of the few expenses for which there is no associated outgoing cash flow.
Lowering of level of water in a well due to pumping.
Drip Irrigation
Water is applied to the soil surface at very low flow rates (drops or small streams) through emitters. Also known as trickle or micro-irrigation.
Small micro-irrigation dispensing device designed to dissipate pressure and discharge a small uniform flow or trickle of water at a constant discharge which does not vary significantly because of minor differences in pressure head. Also called a "dripper" or "trickler".
Loss of water as vapor from the surface of the soil or wet leaves. [mm]
Evapotranspiration (ET)
Combined water lost from evaporation and transpiration. The crop ET (ETc) can be estimated by calculating the reference ET for a particular reference crop (ETo for clipped grass) from weather data and multiplying this by a crop coefficient. The ETc, or water lost, equals the CWR, or water needed by plant. [mm]
Expenses / expenditure
Payment of cash or cash equivalent for good or services received. Cost of resources used up or consumed by the activities of the business.
Application of fertilizers through the irrigation system. A form of chemigation.
Financial Viability
The ability to generate sufficient income to meet operating expenditure, financing needs and, ideally, to allow profit generation. It is usually assessed using the Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) approaches together with estimating the sensitivity of the cost and revenue elements (See Module FINANCE). Both NPV and IRR are the most commonly used decision criteria of a cost-benefit analysis.
Finished Good Stock
An inventory of final products ready for sale.
Fixed Assets
Assets required for long-term use and for physical use in the business (machinery, buildings, office equipment, cars, etc.).
Fixed Cost
Costs that do not vary with the level of production.
Fixed Investment
Investment made in fixed assets (e.g. machinery).
Friction Loss
The loss of pressure due to flow of water in pipe. It depends on the pipe size (inside diameter), flow rate, and length of pipe. It is determined by consulting a friction loss chart available in an engineering reference book or from a pipe supplier. [m]
The Gross Irrigation Water Requirement (GIWR) is used to express the quantity of water that is required in the irrigation system. [mm]
Global Solar Radiation (G)
The energy carried by radiation on a surface over a certain period of time. The global solar radiation is locations specific as it is influenced by clouds, air humidity, climate, elevation and latitude, etc. The global solar radiation on a horizontal surface is measured by a network of meteorological stations all over the world and is expressed in kilowatt hours per square meter [kWh/m²].
Gravity Flow
The use of gravity to produce pressure and water flow, for example when a storage tank is elevated above the point of use, so that water will flow with no further pumping required.
Gross Margin
Gross income minus gross expenses.
Value of atmospheric pressure at a specific location and condition. [m]:
Head, total (dynamic ) Sum of static, pressure, friction and velocity head that a pump
works against while pumping at a specific flow rate.[m];

Head loss Energy loss in fluid flow. [m]
Income is money generated from the activities of the business.
The act of water entering the soil profile.
The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of currency is falling.
The rate at which solar energy reaches a unit area at the earth measured in Watts per square meter [W/m2]. Also called solar irradiance.
Internal Rate of Return
Gives the discount rate over the life-span of a capital investment; i.e. the profit rate generated by a certain investment (amount) over its life-span. By calculating IRR of a project you can answer the question whether the money is well spent or if less risky investment alternatives might be more profitable in the long run, e.g. putting the money on a bank account to get interest on it.
The integration or summation of insolation (equals solar irradiance) over a time period expressed in Joules per square meter (J/m2) or watt-hours per square meter [Wh/m2].
Irrigation is the controlled application of water to respond to crop needs.
Irrigation Efficiency
Proportion of the irrigation water that is beneficially used to the irrigation water that is applied. [%]
Irrigation Head
Control unit to regulate water quantity, quality and pressure in an irrigation system using different types of valves, pressure regulators, filters and possibly a chemigation system.
Pipe(s) that go from the control valves to the sprinklers or drip emitter tubes.
Latitude specifies the north–south position of a point on the Earth's surface. It is an angle which ranges from 0° at the Equator to 90° (North or South) at the poles. Lines of constant latitude, or parallels, run east–west as circles parallel to the equator. Latitude is used together with longitude to specify the precise location of features on the surface of the Earth.
Moving soluble materials down through the soil profile with the water.
Claims by creditors against the assets of a business.
Life Cycle Costing
A technique for evaluating total cost of ownership to compare different alternatives.
Long Term
A loan term is the length of time you have a disposal to pay your debt back.
Material Stocks
An inventory of all raw materials not yet used in production.
Maximum Power Point
Tracking (MPPT)
An important feature in many control boxes to draw the right amount of current in order to maintain a high voltage and achieve maximum system efficiency.
Net Irrigation Water Requirements (NIWR)
The sum of the individual crop water requirements (CWR) for each plant for a given period of time. The NIWR determines how much water should reach the crop to satisfy its demand for water in the soil. [mm]
Net Present Value
Determines the present worth of an investment by discounting the cash inflows and cash outflows generated by this investment over its life-span. For the determination of the NPV you need to define the expected life span of the investment as well as a discount factor, which might be near to the interest rate on deposits. You could also use the NPV for comparison of alternative investment options.
Net Working Capital
Current Assets minus Current Liabilities.
Operating Expenses (OPEX)
Are the ongoing costs for running a business that are related with the operation and maintenance. They are the expenses related to the production activity of the business and they are divided into fixed and variable costs.
Payback Period (PP)
The length of time required to recover the cost of an investment.
Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the organisms' activities (energy transformation).
Power (P)
Power is the rate at which energy is transferred by an electrical circuit expressed in watts. Power depends on the amount of current and voltage in the system. Power equals current multiplied by voltage (P=I x V). [W]
The measurement of force within a system. This is the force that moves water through pipes, sprinklers and emitters. Static pressure is measured when no water is flowing and dynamic pressure is measured when water is flowing. Pressure and flow are affected by each other. [bars, psi, kPa]
The process of hand-filling the suction pipe and intake of a surface pump. Priming is generally necessary when a pump must be located above the water source.
Income minus expenses. It is stated in the income statement (or Profit and Loss Statement), which reports a company's revenue, expenses, and net income over a period of time.
Converts mechanical energy into hydraulic energy (pressure and/or flow).
Submersible Pump - a motor/pump combination designed to be placed entirely below the water surface.
Surface Pump - pump that is not submersible and placed not higher than about 7 meters above the surface of the water.
Raw Material Purchases
Cost incurred on purchase of raw material
Is the income earned by a business typically through selling goods/products or services.
Root Zone
The depth or volume of soil from which plants effectively extract water from. [m]
Salinity (Saline)
Salinity refers to the amount of salts dissolved in soil water.
Secured Loan
A loan is considered secured when the debtor pledge a collateral. In case the debtor defaults, the creditor will obtain the possession of the collateral.
Seed Capital
The seed capital is the capital used to start a business activity.
Set Up Fee
A set-up fee is an initial fee requested by a Financial Institution (FI) in order to setup an account.
Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar panel efficiency is the ratio of light shining on the panel, versus the amount of electricity produced. It is expressed as a percentage. Most systems are around 16% efficient, meaning 16% of the light energy is converted into electricity.
Suction Lift
Vertical distance from the surface of the water to the pump. This distance is limited by physics to around 7 meters and should be minimized for best results. This applies only to surface pumps.
Surface Irrigation
Irrigation method where the soil surface is used to transport the water via gravity flow from the source to the plants. Common surface irrigation methods are:
Furrow irrigation- water is applied to row crops in small ditches or channels between the rows made by tillage implements;
Basin irrigation- water is applied to a completely level area surrounded by dikes, and
Flood irrigation- water is applied to the soil surface without flow controls, such as furrows or borders.
Water taken up by the plant's roots and transpired out of the leaves. [mm]
Variable Cost
Cost that varies directly with the level of production delivered.
Voltage (U or V)
Voltage is the electric potential between two points, or the difference in charge between two points, expressed in Volts [V].