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Variable Pulsed Irrigation Algorithm (VPIA) to Reduce Runoff Losses under a Low-Pressure Lateral Move Irrigation Machine

1
School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University, Nathan 4111, Australia
2
Automated Manufacturing Engineering Department, Al-Khwarizmi College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Al Jadriya 10070, Iraq
3
School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith University, Nathan 4111, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2019, 5(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5010010
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management of Horticultural Crops)
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Abstract

Due to restrictions and limitations on agricultural water worldwide, one of the most effective ways to conserve water in this sector is to reduce the water losses and improve irrigation uniformity. Nowadays, the low-pressure sprinkler has been widely used to replace the high-pressure impact sprinklers in lateral move sprinkler irrigation systems due to its low operating cost and high efficiency. However, the hazard of surface runoff represents the biggest obstacle for low-pressure sprinkler systems. Most researchers have used the pulsing technique to apply variable-rate irrigation to match the crop water needs within a normal application rate that does not produce runoff. This research introduces a variable pulsed irrigation algorithm (VPIA) based on an ON–OFF pulsing technique to conserve irrigation water through (1) decreasing the runoff losses by considering the soil infiltration rate, surface storage capacity, and sprinkler wetting diameter; and (2) ensuring a high level of water distribution uniformity in the direction of machine movement. From a wide range of pulse numbers and widths tested applying a certain water depth to a sandy loam soil, the best solution that gives the lowest runoff and highest uniformity while delivering an acceptable water depth was selected. A MATLAB code was written to simulate the soil infiltration rate, the sprinkler application rate, and to apply the proposed algorithm. The simulation results showed a runoff reduction of at least 90.7% with a high level of distribution uniformity in the direction of movement while delivering the highest possible irrigation depth using the lowest number of pulses. View Full-Text
Keywords: variable pulse; low-pressure sprinkler; runoff losses; distribution uniformity; MATLAB software variable pulse; low-pressure sprinkler; runoff losses; distribution uniformity; MATLAB software
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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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Al Al-Baaj, A.A.; Lewis, A. Variable Pulsed Irrigation Algorithm (VPIA) to Reduce Runoff Losses under a Low-Pressure Lateral Move Irrigation Machine. Horticulturae 2019, 5, 10.

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