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Open AccessArticle

Energy Reduction and Uniformity of Low-Pressure Online Drip Irrigation Emitters in Field Tests

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Rabat 10100, Morocco
3
Civil Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan
4
Methods for Irrigation and Agriculture, Amman 11194, Jordan
5
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Rabat 10090, Morocco
6
National Agricultural Research Center, Amman 19381, Jordan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061195
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Agriculture and Irrigation)
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PDF [4199 KB, uploaded 7 June 2019]
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Abstract

A promising way of addressing the issue of growing water scarcity is through wider use of drip irrigation, which delivers water and fertilizer to crops in a slow, targeted manner, and has been shown to increase yields and water use efficiency. Yet, drip irrigation system adoption is low, primarily due to the high capital cost of the pressurized piping network and the pump, and operating energy cost. Lowering the water pressure needed for drip emitters to deliver water can reduce both capital and operating costs of drip systems. Here we present the results from field trials of new pressure-compensating online drip emitters that operate with a minimum compensating inlet pressure of 15 kPa (0.15 bar), in comparison to typical commercial emitters with minimum pressures of 50–100 kPa (0.5–1.0 bar). The field trials were carried out on nine farms in Morocco and Jordan over the course of one irrigation season with freshwater and treated wastewater. Low-pressure emitters are shown to reduce hydraulic energy per unit volume of water delivered by 43% on average compared to commercial emitters, without significantly sacrificing water emission uniformity (low-pressure emitters show uniformities of 81–91%, compared to 87–96% for commercial emitters). This energy reduction could lead to savings of 22–31% in the capital cost of a pump and emitters and the energy cost for a typical drip irrigation system. Thus, the low-pressure online emitters can be used as substitutes to commercial emitters that require higher water pressures, leading to reduced environmental impact and lower system costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: drip irrigation; drip emitter; hydraulic energy; uniformity; treated wastewater drip irrigation; drip emitter; hydraulic energy; uniformity; treated wastewater
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Sokol, J.; Amrose, S.; Nangia, V.; Talozi, S.; Brownell, E.; Montanaro, G.; Abu Naser, K.; Bany Mustafa, K.; Bahri, A.; Bouazzama, B.; Bouizgaren, A.; Mazahrih, N.; Moussadek, R.; Sikaoui, L.; Winter, A.G. Energy Reduction and Uniformity of Low-Pressure Online Drip Irrigation Emitters in Field Tests. Water 2019, 11, 1195.

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