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Modeling the future of irrigation: A parametric description of pressure compensating drip irrigation emitter performance

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Drip irrigation is a means of distributing the exact amount of water a plant needs by dripping water directly onto the root zone. It can produce up to 90% more crops than rain-fed irrigation, and reduce water consumption by 70% compared to conventional flood irrigation. Drip irrigation may enable millions of poor farmers to rise out of poverty by growing more and higher value crops, while not contributing to overconsumption of water. Achieving this impact will require broadening the engineering knowledge required to design new, low-cost, low-power drip irrigation technology, particularly for poor, off-grid communities in developing countries. For more than 50 years, pressure compensating (PC) drip emitters—which can maintain a constant flow rate under variations in pressure, to ensure uniform water distribution on a field—have been designed and optimized empirically. This study presents a parametric model that describes the fluid and solid mechanics that govern the behavior of a common PC emitter architecture, which uses a flexible diaphragm to limit flow. The model was validated by testing nine prototypes with geometric variations, all of which matched predicted performance to within R2 = 0.85. This parametric model will enable irrigation engineers to design new drip emitters with attributes that improve performance and lower cost, which will promote the use of drip irrigation throughout the world.

No MeSH data available.


Experimental setup used to test drip emitters.The inlet pressure of water connected to the emitters is controlled by a pressure regulating valve. Flow rate was determined by measuring the time to fill 250 ml graduated cylinders. Two drip emitters could be tested simultaneously.
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pone.0175241.g008: Experimental setup used to test drip emitters.The inlet pressure of water connected to the emitters is controlled by a pressure regulating valve. Flow rate was determined by measuring the time to fill 250 ml graduated cylinders. Two drip emitters could be tested simultaneously.

Mentions: The experimental setup used to validate the theoretical models developed in the Parametric Modeling section is shown in Fig 8. The setup was designed to measure pressure versus flow rate behavior of drip emitters, to form graphs like that in Fig 3 which can be compared to manufacturers’ published data. The setup is a scaled-down version of the apparatus used to characterize drip emitter behavior in industry, as well as the setup described in the Irrigation Training and Research Center technical report of 2013 [29]. This similarity ensured that the data collected was comparable to data available for commercial emitters. The emitter testing setup was comprised of three main components: a pressurized tank, the test bench, and a flow measurement system.


Modeling the future of irrigation: A parametric description of pressure compensating drip irrigation emitter performance
Experimental setup used to test drip emitters.The inlet pressure of water connected to the emitters is controlled by a pressure regulating valve. Flow rate was determined by measuring the time to fill 250 ml graduated cylinders. Two drip emitters could be tested simultaneously.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383273&req=5

pone.0175241.g008: Experimental setup used to test drip emitters.The inlet pressure of water connected to the emitters is controlled by a pressure regulating valve. Flow rate was determined by measuring the time to fill 250 ml graduated cylinders. Two drip emitters could be tested simultaneously.
Mentions: The experimental setup used to validate the theoretical models developed in the Parametric Modeling section is shown in Fig 8. The setup was designed to measure pressure versus flow rate behavior of drip emitters, to form graphs like that in Fig 3 which can be compared to manufacturers’ published data. The setup is a scaled-down version of the apparatus used to characterize drip emitter behavior in industry, as well as the setup described in the Irrigation Training and Research Center technical report of 2013 [29]. This similarity ensured that the data collected was comparable to data available for commercial emitters. The emitter testing setup was comprised of three main components: a pressurized tank, the test bench, and a flow measurement system.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Drip irrigation is a means of distributing the exact amount of water a plant needs by dripping water directly onto the root zone. It can produce up to 90% more crops than rain-fed irrigation, and reduce water consumption by 70% compared to conventional flood irrigation. Drip irrigation may enable millions of poor farmers to rise out of poverty by growing more and higher value crops, while not contributing to overconsumption of water. Achieving this impact will require broadening the engineering knowledge required to design new, low-cost, low-power drip irrigation technology, particularly for poor, off-grid communities in developing countries. For more than 50 years, pressure compensating (PC) drip emitters—which can maintain a constant flow rate under variations in pressure, to ensure uniform water distribution on a field—have been designed and optimized empirically. This study presents a parametric model that describes the fluid and solid mechanics that govern the behavior of a common PC emitter architecture, which uses a flexible diaphragm to limit flow. The model was validated by testing nine prototypes with geometric variations, all of which matched predicted performance to within R2 = 0.85. This parametric model will enable irrigation engineers to design new drip emitters with attributes that improve performance and lower cost, which will promote the use of drip irrigation throughout the world.

No MeSH data available.