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2nd YEAR 2018-2019

By Twizeyimana Tharcisse
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
Understand the adoptability of different
Determination of different design parameters
Making and understanding a proper design,
layout, operation, maintenance and
performance evaluation of drip, sprinkler and
center pivot irrigation systems.
 Unit I: Introduction
 Unit II: Pumping stations
 Unit III: Sprinkler irrigation system
 Unit IV: Drip irrigation system
 Unit V: Center pivot irrigation system
 Unit VI: Miscellaneous

 CAT 1: /20 MARKS (5th Week of semester)

 CAT 2: /20 MARKS (11th Week of semester)
 Assignment, Quiz & reports: /20 marks
 Final exam: /40 marks


Introduction cont’d

A pressure piped irrigation system is a network installation
consisting of pipes, fittings and other devices properly
designed and installed to supply water under pressure from
the source of the water to the irrigable area.


 Water sources
 Energy sources (Gravity,Mechanical, Internal
combustion) and
 distribution network (pipe or canal) are basic irrigation
Introduction (cont’s)
A pressurized irrigation system operates through a
piping system where water flows under pressure as
compared to gravity systems where water flows due to
level difference.The pressurized irrigation system
provides opportunities of minimum water losses which
otherwise occur due to seepage, surface absorption and
through evaporation in gravity flow condition
particularly in open channel flow.
Introduction (cont’s)

This system also allows the irrigator to apply

more precise quantities of water wherever is
needed. Thus, the performance efficiencies are
much higher than the gravity irrigation systems.
Major types of pressurized irrigation systems
include drip or trickle irrigation system and
sprinkler irrigation system.

 There are many kinds of pressurized irrigation systems. However, a

thorough examination of the various system layouts, the equipment
and the principles in operation shows that the same approach is always
employed from the planning procedure to their application and that all
of them have most of their features and components parts in common.

 In all piped systems the main component parts are:

 The control station (head control unit);
 The mains and submains (pipelines);
 The hydrants;
 The manifolds (feeder pipelines);
 The laterals (irrigating pipelines) with the emitters.
The building
The hydraulic system: the
pump and related piping
The electrical system: the
motor and its related
The control system:
pressure, flow and level
A device or machine which is
used for transferring fluids
and/or gases from one place
to another, or to increase
the pressure of a fluid, or to
create a vacuum in an
enclosed space
A device which converts
mechanical energy into
pressure energy
Pumping Purpose
 to transfer energy from a power source to a fluid, and as a
result to create flow, lift, or greater pressure on the fluid.
A pump can impart three types of hydraulic energy to a
fluid: lift, pressure, and velocity
 In irrigation and drainage systems, pumps are commonly
used to lift water from a lower elevation to a higher
elevation and/or add pressure to the water
A booster pump, on the other hand, is used to increase the
water pressure of water that is already on its way
Principles in Water Pumping
(1) Atmospheric pressure
(2) Centrifugal force
(3) Positive displacement
(4) Movement of column of fluid caused
by difference in specific gravity.
Classification of Pumps
The pumps can be classified based on different
perspectives, such as
Mode of intake of fluid to pumps
Position of motor or prime mover
The type of use (field of use)
The principle by which energy is added to the fluid
Specific geometries commonly used
Design of the pump
Classification Based on Mode of Intake
of Fluid to Pumps
Suction mode pumps: which draw water into the
pump casing by applying suction force.
The pump is located above the water level (at the
soil surface or at specified location of the surface).
The theoretical limit of lifting water from the soil
surface is equal to the atmospheric pressure of the
location concerned. (reciprocating pumps is the
example of this type)
Classification Based on Mode of Intake
of Fluid to Pumps (cont’d)

Force mode pump, the pump is installed below

the water level and the lifting capacity is not
limited by atmospheric pressure, rather on the
force of the pump (or prime mover).
Turbine pumps and other submersible pumps fall
into this category.
Classification Based on the Position of
Prime Mover
 Surface-mounted pumps have motors
which are above ground although deep well
types may have pump parts hundreds of
feet below the surface.
 Submersible pumps , designed to spend
most of their life underwater, only being
pulled out every several years for routine
Classification Based on the Use
Water pumps
Wastewater pumps
Well pumps
Sump pumps(used to remove water that has accumulated in a
water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes)

Drum pumps(used to empty barrels, tanks)
Classification based on the principle by
which energy is added to the fluid

Dynamic pumps Displacement pumps

 where continuously  –where periodically
added energy added energy
increases velocity directly increases
of the fluid and pressure
later this velocity is
changed to
Classification Based on the Means by
Which the Energy Is Added
Rotodynamic (centrifugal, mixed flow
and axial flow), and

Positive displacement (pumps that use

gears, pistons, or helical rotors with
tight tolerance to the casing so that
pressure can build up beyond normal
Other Types of Pumps
 Helical rotor pumps force water through
with an auger type action.
Booster pumps
A booster
pump is a 
which will 
the pressure
 of a fluid
DC powered pumps

DC powered pumps use 
direct current from motor, 
battery, or solar power to 
move fluid in a variety of 
Hydraulic pumps
It generates flow with 
enough power to overcome 
pressure induced by the 
load at the pump outlet.

 A hydraulic pump is a 
mechanical source of power 
that converts mechanical 
power into hydraulic energy
Submersible pumps.

a device which has a 
hermetically sealed motor close-
coupled to the pump body. The whole 
assembly is submerged in the fluid to 
Pump categories (summary)
Factors Affecting the Practical Suction Lift of
Suction-Mode Pump
 Elevation
above the mean sea level, or actual
atmospheric pressure at specified location
 Density and viscosity of the fluid
 Temperature of the fluid
 Friction
loss in suction pipe and well loss
(entrance and formation loss, if applicable)
 Air-bubbling point of the liquid
Centrifugal Pumps
A centrifugal
pump is a
pump that uses a
rotating impeller
to increase the
pressure of a
fluid. Centrifugal pump with an electrical motor
Centrifugal Pumps (cont’d)

 A centrifugal pump is one of the simplest

pieces of equipment in any process plant.
 Its purpose is to convert energy of a prime
mover (a electric motor or turbine) first
into velocity or kinetic energy and then
into pressure energy of a fluid that is
being pumped.
 The energy changes occur by virtue of
two main parts of the pump, the impeller
and the volute or diffuser.
Centrifugal Pumps (cont’d)
The impeller is the rotating part that
converts driver energy into the kinetic
The volute or diffuser is the stationary
part that converts the kinetic energy into
pressure energy.
All of the forms of energy involved in a
liquid flow system are expressed in
terms of feet of liquid i.e. head.

 The fluid enters the pump

near the rotating axis,
streaming into the rotating
 The impeller consists of a
rotating disc with several
vanes attached.
 The vanes normally slope
backwards, away from the
direction of rotation.
PUMP (cont’d)
 When the fluid enters the impeller at a certain
velocity due to the suction system, it is
captured by the rotating impeller vanes.
 The fluid is accelerated by pulse transmission
while following the curvature of the impeller
vanes from the impeller centre (eye) outwards.
 It reaches its maximum velocity at the
impeller’s outer diameter and leaves the
impeller into a diffuser or volute chamber.
Figure – Principle of a centrifugal pump
 So the centrifugal force assists accelerating the fluid
particles because the radius at which the particles
smaller than the radius at which the individual particles
leave the impeller.
 Now the fluid’s energy is converted into static
pressure, assisted by the shape of the diffuser or volute
 The process of energy conversation in fluids mechanics
follows the Bernoulli principle (eqn.1) which states
that the sum of all forms of energy along a streamline
is the same on two points of the path.
 The total head energy in a pump system is the
sum of potential head energy, static pressure
head energy and velocity head energy.
 As a centrifugal pump increases the velocity of the fluid, it
is essentially a velocity machine.
 After the fluid has left the impeller, it flows at a higher
velocity from a small area into a region of increasing area.
 So the velocity is decreasing and so the pressure increases
as described by Bernoulli’s principle.
 This results in an increased pressure at the discharge side of
the pump.
 As fluid is displaced at the discharge side of the pump, more
fluid is sucked in to replace it at the suction side, causing
Main parts of a centrifugal pump

Casing or volute
Bearings and
Centrifugal Pumps
 This machine consists of an IMPELLER
rotating within a case (diffuser)

 Liquid directed into the

center of the rotating
impeller is picked up by
the impeller’s vanes and
accelerated to a higher velocity by
the rotation of the impeller and
discharged by centrifugal force
into the case (diffuser).
The impeller is the essential
part of a centrifugal pump. type
The performance of the pump impeller
depends on the impeller
diameters and design.
The pump’s TDH is basically
defined by the impeller’s inner Open
and outer diameter and the type
pump’s capacity is defined by impeller
the width of the impeller vanes.
Centrifugal Impellers


“Eye of the
Impeller” Thickness
Water of the impeller
Diameter of
the Impeller

 Thicker the Impeller- More Water

 Larger the DIAMETER - More Pressure
 Increase the Speed - More Water and Pressure
Liquid flow path inside a centrifugal pump
The pump’s casing houses the hole
assembly and protects is from harm as well
as forces the fluid to discharge from the
pump and convert velocity into pressure.

 It supports the shaft bearings and

takes the centrifugal forces of the
rotating impeller and axial loads
caused by pressure thrust
The shaft is the connection between impeller
and drive unit which is in most cases an electric
motor but can also be a gas turbine.
It is mainly charged by a radial force caused by
unbalanced pressure forces in the spiral casing and
an axial force due to the pressure difference
between front and backside of the impeller.
 Most common pump shafts
are made of carbon steel.
There are several cranks to
support the bearings and
The bearings keep the shaft in place to ensure
radial and axial clearance.
In double suction pumps bearings are located at
both sides of the impeller as at single suction pumps
all bearings are located behind the impeller.

 In horizontal process pumps, usually oil bath

lubricated bearings are used.
 Medium and heavy duty process pumps are used in
refineries, where highest reliability is required.
 In these pumps axial loads are supported by
universal single row angular contact ball bearings.
To protect the bearings against fluid and
prevent leakage, there are several seals fitted
into the casing.
Nowadays, rotary pumps are equipped with
mechanical seals.
A mechanical seal consists of primary and
secondary sealing.
In most cases the primary part, which is
fitted to the casing, is made of a hard material
like silicon carbide or tungsten carbide.
 The other, the rotating part of the
primary seal is made of a soft material
like carbon.
 Both parts are pressed against each
other by e.g. a spring. The secondary
sealings are not rotating relative to
each other and provide a fluid barrier.
 Mechanical seals can be separated into
pusher/non‐pusher seals, seal
driving/spring compression,
balanced/unbalanced and inside/outside

 First of all, and this is properly the most important part,

we have to take a close look at the application of the
 There should be as much details about the system
available as possible, to ensure choosing the right pump.
 Important selection parameters are required TDH, flow
rate, NPSHA, fluid and flexibility of the system. It is
also important to know the fluid.
 Parameters like pH‐value, viscosity, abrasives, fluid and
surrounding temperature range as well as quantity, size
and shape of solids.
Significance of using the “head” term instead of the “pressure”
The pressure at any point in a liquid can be thought of as being
caused by a vertical
column of the liquid due to its weight.
The height of this column is called the static head and is expressed
in terms of feet of liquid.
The same head term is used to measure the kinetic energy created
by the pump.
In other words, head is a measurement of the height of a liquid
column that the pump could create from the kinetic energy imparted
to the liquid. Imagine a pipe shooting a jet of water straight up into
the air, the height the water goes up would be the head.
 The head is not equivalent to pressure.
 Head is a term that has units of a length or feet and pressure has
units of force per unit area or pound per square inch.
 The main reason for using head instead of pressure to measure a
centrifugal pump's energy is that the pressure from a pump will
change if the specific gravity (weight) of the liquid changes, but
the head will not change.
 Since any given centrifugal pump can move a lot of different
fluids, with different specific gravities, it is simpler to discuss the
pump's head and forget about the pressure.
Conversion Factors Between Head and
 Head (feet of liquid) =Pressure in PSI x 2.31 / Sp. Gr.
 Pressure in PSI = Head (in feet) x Sp. Gr. / 2.31
 PSI is Pounds per Square Inch
 Sp. Gr. is Specific Gravity which for water is equal to 1
 For a fluid more dense than water, Sp. Gr. is greater
than 1
 For a fluid less dense than water, Sp. Gr. is less than
Static Suction Head and Suction Lift
• Suction head is the head at the pump inlet
(suction location)
• Static suction head is the suction head under
no-flow (static) conditions, equal to z from
the feed reservoir to the inlet

Pump below source;

static suction head
• (Static) Suction lift is the opposite of the
(static) suction head and is sometimes used
when the pump inlet is above the source

Pump above source;

negative static
suction head, or
positive static suction
Static and Dynamic Head
 Static Head:
Static Suction Head
Static suction head (or static suction lift) is the vertical
distance from the static water level in the suction pipe
to the centerline of the impeller.
Static Discharge Head
Static discharge head is the vertical distance from the
center of the impeller to the discharge outlet, or liquid
level when discharging into the bottom of a water tank.
Dynamic Head
Dynamic Suction Head
Dynamic suction head is the sum of static suction
lift plus friction loss in the suction pipe, plus the
loss of head in the formation (when the pipe is
installed in a aquifer).
Dynamic Discharge Head
It is the sum of static discharge head, friction head
for discharge pipe, and the velocity head of the
discharging fluid.
Total Head

Total dynamic head, or simply total head is the sum of

dynamic suction and discharge head. 
 This is the total pressure, in meter, that the pump must
overcome to perform its work as designed. Numerically,
it is the sum of the suction head, delivery head (if any),
velocity head, friction head for the suction and discharge
pipe, and formation loss (in terms of head) (if
applicable). That is,
 HT = DH + SH + VH + FH + FL
Total Head (cont…)
 DH = delivery head or discharge head (m)
 SH = suction head or lift (m)
 VH = velocity head (due to velocity of discharging water)
 FH = friction losses in the suction pipe and delivery pipe (m)
 FL = formation loss (m)
The relationship between height, pressure and velocity
Velocity head is 
the pressure which 
is needed to 
increase the speed 
at which a liquid 
Due to an increase 
in velocity head, 
there is a drop in 
pressure head, 
causing a partial 
vacuum in the 
suction chamber.
A line that represents the 
elevation of energy head (in  Recall
feet or meters) of water 
flowing in a pipe, conduit, or 

 If a pipe is under pressure, 
the hydraulic grade line is that 
level water would rise to in a 
small, vertical tube connected 
to the pipe.
Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH)
• Net Positive Suction Head Available (NPSHA): The
absolute dynamic head at the pump inlet
(suction) in excess of the vapor pressure

ps ,abs Vs2 pvap

NPSH A = + -
g 2g g

• NPSHA is the theoretical amount of head that could

be lost between suction and point of minimum
pressure without causing cavitation
(but this always overestimates actual amount that can be lost,
because some velocity head must remain, even at point of pmin).
Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) (cont…)
 NPSHa = BP −SH −FL −VP
 BP = barometric pressure at pump level (m)
 SH = suction head or lift (m)
 FL = friction losses in the suction pipe (m)
 VP= vapor pressure of the liquid at given
temperature (m)

Determine the net positive suction head available

at the pump inlet from the following data: suction
head = 5 m friction loss = 1 m, vapor pressure of
the liquid at water temperature = 0.5 m,
barometric (or atmospheric) pressure at pump level
= 10 m
NPSH and Cavitation
• Net Positive Suction Head Required (NPSHR): The
minimum value of NPSHA that is needed to
prevent cavitation in the pump, i.e., the value
of NPSHA that causes pmin to equal pvap.

• NPSHR is determined experimentally by pump

manufacturers and reported as a function of
pump flow rate (usually called ‘capacity’).

• To avoid cavitation, always operate with

The Maximum Allowable Elevation of a Pump

ps ,abs Vs2 pvap

NPSH A � + -
g 2g g
ps ,abs patm,abs Vs2
= - zsl - �hL -
g g 2g

patm,abs pvap
NPSH A = - zsl - �hL -
g g


patm,abs pvap
- zsl - �hL - �NPSH R
g g
patm ,abs pvap
- zsl - �hL - �NPSH R
g g

patm ,abs pvap

- �hL - - NPSH R �z sl
g g

Suction lift, zsl, must be less than the expression on the

left to avoid cavitation, so that expression indicates the
maximum allowable suction lift (i.e., maximum
elevation of the pump above the reservoir).
Performance of a Single-Stage, Fixed-Speed
Centrifugal Pump
 Conduct a test using a pump with a constant
impeller rotational speed. Measure head added
between suction and discharge (Total Dynamic
Head, TDH) at various valve openings.
 As
valve is opened
more, Q increases
and TDH decreases
e) curve
Factors Affecting Pump Performance
 For each model there are two variables which affect the pump
performance. The first is the horsepower of the motor attached to
the pump. Remember, what we commonly refer to as a pump is
actually a pump and motor. The pump is the part that moves the
water; the motor is the part that moves the pump. Most pumps can
be attached to several different sizes of motor. Bigger motors
mean more volume and pressure.
 The second variable is the size of the impeller. The impeller spins
inside the case and this is what moves the water. Larger impellers
fit tighter in the case leaving less room for slippage. This results in
higher pressures.

 The capacity and pressure needs of any system can

be defined with the help of a graph called a system
 Similarly the capacity vs. pressure variation graph
for a particular pump defines its characteristic
pump performance curve.
 The pump suppliers try to match the system curve
supplied by the user with a pump curve that
satisfies these needs as closely as possible. A
pumping system operates where the pump curve
and the system resistance curve intersect .
 Theintersection of the two curves defines the
operating point of both pump and process.
 However, it is impossible for one operating point
to meet all desired operating conditions. For
example, when the discharge valve is throttled,
the system resistance curve shift left and so does
the operating point.
Figure: Typical system and pump performance curves
Normal Operating Range

A typical performance curve (Figure above) is a plot

of Total Head vs. Flow rate for a specific impeller
The plot starts at zero flow. The head at this point
corresponds to the shut-off head point of the pump.
The curve then decreases to a point where the flow is
maximum and the head minimum.
This point is sometimes called the run-out point.
The pump curve is relatively flat and the head
decreases gradually as the flow increases.
Normal Operating Range (cont’d)
This pattern is common for radial flow pumps.
Beyond the run-out point, the pump cannot operate. The pump's
range of operation is from the shut-off head point to the run-out
Trying to run a pump off the right end of the curve will result in
pump cavitation and eventually destroy the pump.
In a nutshell, by plotting the system head curve and pump curve
together, you can determine:

1. Where the pump will operate on its curve?

2. What changes will occur if the system head curve or the pump
performance curve
Developing a system curve

 The system resistance or system head curve is the

change in flow with respect to head of the system.
 It must be developed by the user based upon the
conditions of service.
 These include physical layout, process conditions, and
fluid characteristics.
 It represents the relationship between flow and
hydraulic losses in a system in a graphic form and, since
friction losses vary as a square of the flow rate, the
system curve is parabolic in shape.
Developing a Pump performance Curve
Hydraulic losses in piping systems are composed
of pipe friction losses, valves, elbows and other
fittings, entrance and exit losses, and losses from
changes in pipe size by enlargement or reduction
in diameter.

A pump's performance is shown in its

characteristics performance curve where its
capacity i.e. flow rate is plotted against its
developed head.
Developing a Pump performance Curve (cont’d)
 The pump performance curve also shows its efficiency
(BEP), required input power (in BHP), NPSHr, speed (in
RPM), and other information suc h as pump size and
type, impeller size, etc.
 This curve is plotted for a constant speed (rpm) and a
given impeller diameter (or series of diameters).
 It is generated by tests performed by the pump
 Pump curves are based on a specific gravity of 1.0. Other
specific gravities must be considered by the user.
Two Basic Requirements for Trouble-Free Operation of
Centrifugal Pumps
In general there are two basic requirements that have to be met at all the times
for a trouble free operation and longer service life of centrifugal pumps.

The first requirement is that no cavitation of the pump occurs throughout

the broad operating range and
 The second requirement is that a certain minimum continuous flow is
always maintained during operation.

A clear understanding of the concept of cavitation, its symptoms, its causes,

and its consequences is very much essential in effective analyses and
troubleshooting of the cavitation problem.
Problems at centrifugal Pumps

 A major problem at centrifugal pumps is, like at

all fast moving parts in a fluid, cavitation.
 Other difficulties obtain solid handling,
abrasives and corrosives as well as leakage.
 Most errors during pump operation can be
avoided by selecting a quality pump designed
for the application and adequate maintenance.
Cavitation occurs when the static
pressure in a fluid is lower than the
fluids vapour pressure, mostly
caused by high velocities.
Due to Bernoulli’s law, static
pressure decreases when velocity is
If this happens, the fluid locally
starts boiling and forms gas
bubbles which need more space
than the fluid would take.
 This implosion of gas bubbles causes high,
temporarily pressure fluctuations of up to a few
1000bar. As the fluid flows from higher to lower
pressure, this flow causes a jet of the surrounding
fluid, which may hit the surface.
 These high energy micro‐jets cause high compressive
stress weakening the material.
 Finally, crater‐shaped deformations and holes known
as cavitation pitting occur. Other reasons for cavitation
can be a rise of fluid temperature, a low pressure at the
suction side or an increase of delivery height.
 Cavitation in centrifugal pumps mainly occur at the
impeller leading edges but also at the impeller vane,
wear rings and thrust balance holes.
 To avoid cavitation, it is important to deliver sufficient
NPSH and to keep fluid temperature low. High fluid
temperatures can occur if the pump is on to keep the
pressure up but no fluid is taken out
Figure-regions of impeller cavitation
Figure typical impeller wear due to cavitation
Types of Cavitation
There are five different types of cavitation. It is important to understand
these for when we look at ways to prevent cavitation from happening. 
The cavitation types are:
 Vaporisation
 Turbulence
 Vane Syndrome
 Internal Re-circulation
 Air Aspiration Cavitation
Types of Cavitation (cont…)

1.Vaporisation: Also known as inadequate NPSHa

cavitation or ‘classic cavitation’, this is the most
common form. It occurs when a centrifugal pump
imparts velocity on a liquid as it passes through the eye
of the impeller. If the impeller isn’t functioning
correctly, some of the liquid may be boiled quickly
Types of Cavitation (cont…)
2. Turbulence: If parts of the system - pipes, valves,
filters, elbows etc. - are inadequate for the amount or
type of liquid you are pumping, this can create vortexes
in said liquid. In essence, this leads to the liquid
becoming turbulent and experiencing pressure
differences throughout. These differences can erode
solid materials over time, in the same way that a river
erodes the ground. 
Types of Cavitation (cont…)

3. Vane Syndrome: Also known as ‘vane passing

syndrome’, this type of cavitation occurs when either
the impeller used has too large a diameter, or the
housing has too thick a coating. Either or both of these
creates less space within the housing itself. When this
happens, the small amount of free space creates
increased velocity in the liquid, which in turn leads to
lower pressure. This lower pressure heats the liquid,
creating cavitation bubbles.
Types of Cavitation (cont…)

4. Internal Re-circulation: In this instance, the pump

cannot discharge at the proper rate and so the liquid
is re-circulated around the impeller. The liquid
travels through low and high pressure zones resulting
in heat and high velocity. The end result? Vaporised
bubbles. Common cause for this, is when a discharge
valve has been closed while the pump is running. 
Types of Cavitation (cont…)
5. Air Aspiration Cavitation: Another common form. Air
can sometimes be sucked into a pump through failing
valves or other weak points such as joint rings. Once
inside, the air has nowhere to go but along for the ride.
As the liquid is swished around, the air forms bubbles
which then gets popped under pressure by the impeller.
Symptoms of Cavitation
As with any structural or mechanical issue, it’s important to
have a reliable maintenance process. Checking on components
and the performance of your pump is a great way to identify
early warning signs of cavitation.
One or a combination of the following symptoms can be a result
of cavitation: 
 Decreased Flow or Pressure: If your pump is not producing the
amount of flow as stated by the manufacturer, this could mean
that cavitation is occurring.
 Unexpected Vibrations: Cavitation can cause unusual vibrations
not accounted for by both the equipment used and the liquid
being pumped.
Symptoms of Cavitation (cont…)
 Impeller Erosion: Pieces of impeller within the system, or eroded
parts are a sure fire sign of cavitation.
 Seal/Bearing Failure: Cavitation can also cause the seals to leak or
 Erratic Power Consumption: If bubbles are forming around the
impeller, or the impeller itself has already started to fail, you may
notice that your pump requires more power than usual to transport
its media. You may also notice fluctuations of power use as suction
rises and falls depending on how the impeller is performing.
 Noise: Ifthere’s one sign of cavitation, it’s noise. When the bubbles
implode they can make a series of bubbling, cracking, sounds.
Alternatively, it might sound like tiny marbles or ball bearings rattling
around inside the impeller housing.
Symptoms of Cavitation(cont…)
In addition to the above, operating a centrifugal pump to the
far right of the best efficiency point (BEP),(or off the end of
curve) can cause cavitation. When the flow increases, Net
Positive Suction Head required (NPSHr) also increases and when
the NPSHr exceeds the Net Positive Suction Head available
(NPSHa), cavitation occurs.
The Best Efficiency Point is defined as the flow at which the
pump operates at the highest or optimum efficiency for a given
impeller diameter. When we operate a pump at flows greater
than or less than the flow designated by the BEP, we call this
“operating pumps away from the Best Efficiency Point”
Pump Efficiency
 The efficiency of a pump is a measure of its hydraulic
and mechanical performance.
 Itis defined as the ratio of the useful power delivered
by the pump (water horsepower) to the power
supplied to the pump shaft (brake horsepower). The
efficiency of the pump is expressed in percent and
can be calculated using the following equation:
E = WHP X100
Pump Efficiency (cont,,,,)
 Where
E = pump efficiency
 WHP = Water horsepower
 BHP = Brake horsepower
The efficiency range to be expected varies with the pump
size, type, and design.
However, it is normally between 70 and 80%. A pump
should be selected for a given application so that it will
operate close to its point of maximum efficiency.
Specific Speed of centrifugal pump
By definition, specific speed is the speed of a
geometrically similar pump that would deliver 1m 3/sec
under a head of 1m
Two pumps are geometrically similar when the ratios of
corresponding dimensions in one pump are equal to the same
ratios of the other pump. Specific speed is a constant for any
geometrically similar pump. It is an index number correlating
pump flow, head, and speed at the optimum efficiency point
which classifies pump impellers with respect to their geometric
similarity. Specific speed is usually expressed as:
Ns = N√Q
Specific Speed (cont,,,)
Ns = specific speed of the pump (rpm)
N = rotational speed of pump at optimum efficiency (rpm)
Q = flow of pump at optimum efficiency (m3/s)
H = head at optimum efficiency (m).
The specific speed is an index which is used when selecting
impellers to meet different conditions of head, capacity, and
speed. Knowing this index is very helpful in the determination of
the maximum permissible suction lift, or minimum suction head,
which is necessary to avoid cavitation under different capacities,
heads, and pump speeds.
Affinity Laws
Effect of Change of Speed
 Affinity laws state that for a given pump, the capacity will vary directly
with a change in speed, the head will vary as the square of speed, and the
required horsepower will vary as the cube of speed. Mathematically,
affinity laws can be expressed as
For flow: Q N
For head: H N2
Q = pump capacity (gpm),H = pump head (ft)
N = rotational speed of the pump (rpm) BHP = required brake horse power
Affinity Laws(cont,,,)
Affinity Laws(cont,,,)
 Theabove equations assume that the diameter of the
pump impeller is constant.
 In some cases the size of the impeller can be changed.
Often a pump is very precisely matched to a specific
application by trimming the impeller. It is not feasible to
increase impeller diameter. Basically, the above
relationships mean that an increase in pump speed will
produce more water at a higher head but will require
considerably more power to drive the pump.
 For increase in pump speed, the NPSHr increases
Affinity Laws(cont,,,)
 Effect of Change of Diameter
There is a second set of affinity laws, which describes the
relationships between the same variables when the
impeller size is changed under constant speed conditions.
These laws relate the impact of impeller diameter
changes to changes in pump performance. Since change of
impeller diameter changes other design relationships in a
pump, therefore, this second set of affinity laws does not
yield the accurate results of the first three laws discussed
above and must be applied with caution.
Affinity Laws(cont,,,)

 D1 = initial diameter of the impeller
 D2 = diameter of the impeller after changes
 This
second set of affinity laws strictly applies only to radial-flow
The effect on pump performance for a given change in pump speed
and pump impeller diameter can be estimated from the
relationships below:
Power Requirement
 Power requirement in pumping can be expressed as follows:

P = power requirement, in watt (W) m = mass of fluid delivered, inkg
QT = total discharge for the time t, in m3
ρ= density of fluid, in kg/m3 (∼1,000 kg/m3 for normal water) g =
acceleration due to gravity (∼9.81 m/s2)
H = total head of water, in m
t = pumping period, in seconds ,
Q =QT/t = discharge rate, m3/s
Power Requirement(cont…)
 Letthe efficiency of the electric motor to be used is Em, then the
motor size or capacity would be
 Pm = (Q × ρ× g × H)1/Em
Where Pm = motor capacity, in W
 Ifthe density of water, ρ= 1,000 kg/m3, g = 9.81 m/s, then the
above equation can be written as Pm = (Q × 9.81 × H) × 1/Em [kW]
 Unitsof other elements will be same as mentioned earlier. 1
kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 W
 Kilowatt can be converted into horse power by the relation: 1 kW=
1.341 hp
Pumps Connected in Series and Parallel
Multiple pumps can operate in series or parallel. Pumps
placed in parallel provide additional flexibility in the
range of flow rates. When pumps are connected
together in series (or multi staged), the total flow (GPM)
will stay the same, while the pressures generated by the
pumps will be additive. When pumps are connected in
parallel, the pressure stays the same, while the flow
volume is additive.
Pumps Connected in Series and Parallel


Pumps operation and maintenance
Pumping machinery and pumping station are very important
components in a water supply system. Pumping machinery is
subjected to wear, tear, erosion and corrosion due to their nature of
functioning and therefore are vulnerable for failures.
Generally more number of failures or interruptions in water supply
are attributed to pumping machinery than any other component.
Therefore, correct operation and timely maintenance and upkeep of
pumping stations and pumping machinery are of vital importance to
ensure uninterrupted water supply.

Wear and tear is the normal degradation of an asset from ongoing usage, even when it is being properly maintained. Wear and tear gradually
reduces the value of an asset.
Important points as follows shall be observed while operating the
a)Dry running of the pumps should be avoided.
b)Centrifugal pumps have to be primed before starting.  
c)Pumps should be operated only within the recommended range on
the head-discharge characteristics of the pump.
 Ifpump is operated at point away from duty point, the pump
efficiency normally reduces.
 Operation near the shut off should be avoided, as the operation
near the shut off causes substantial recirculation within the
pump, resulting in overheating of water in the casing and
consequently, in overheating of the pump.
d)Whether the delivery valve should be opened or closed at the time
of starting should be decided by examining shape of the power-
discharge characteristic of the pump.
 Normally the pumps used in water supply schemes are of low and
medium specific speeds. Hence, such pumps need to be started
against closed delivery valve.
 Thepumps of high specific speed draw more power at shut off. Such
pumps should be started with the delivery valve open.
e) The delivery valve should be operated gradually to avoid sudden
change in flow velocity which can cause water hammer pressures.
f) When the pumps are to be operated in parallel, the pumps should
be started and stopped with a time lag between two pumps to
restrict change of flow velocity to minimum and to restrict the dip in
voltage in incoming feeder.
When the pumps are to be operated in series, they should be started
and stopped sequentially, but with minimum time lag. Any pump,
next in sequence should be started immediately after the delivery
valve of the previous pump is even partly opened. Due care should
be taken to keep the air vent of the pump next in sequence open,
before starting that pump.
g)If any undue vibration or noise is noticed, the pump should
be stopped immediately and cause for vibration or noise be
checked and rectified.
h)Frequent starting and stopping should be avoided as each
start causes overloading of motor, starter, contactor and
contacts. Though overloading lasts for a few seconds, it
reduces life of the equipment
Following undesirable operations  should be avoided.
i)Operation at Higher Head
The pump should never be operated at head higher than
maximum recommended. Such operation results in excessive
recirculation in the pump, overheating of the water and the
ii) Operation at Lower Head
If pump is operated at lower head than recommended
minimum head, radial reaction on the pump shaft increases
causing excessive unbalanced forces on shaft which may
cause failure of the pump shaft.
iii)Operation on Higher Suction Lift
If pump is operated on higher suction lift than permissible
value, pressure at the eye of impeller and suction side falls
below vapour pressure. This results in flashing of water into
vapour. These vapour bubbles during passage collapse
resulting in cavitation in the pump, pitting on suction side
of impeller and casing and excessive vibrations. In addition
to mechanical damage due to pitting, discharge of the
pump also reduces drastically
iv)Operation of the Pump with Low Submergence
Minimum submergence above the bellmouth or foot valve is
necessary so as to prevent air entry into the suction of
the pump which gives rise to vortex phenomenon causing
excessive vibration, overloading of bearings, reduction in
discharge and efficiency.
v) Operation with Occurrence of Vortices
If vibration continues even after taking all precautions,
vortex may be the cause. All parameters necessary for
vortex-free operation should be checked.
Lack of preventive and timely maintenance or poor
maintenance can cause undue wear and tear of fast moving
parts, and premature failure of the equipment. Such
premature failure or breakdown causes immense hardship
to the consumers and staff, and avoidable increase in repair
Daily Observations and Maintenance
Daily Maintenance
 Clean the pump, motor and other accessories.
 Check coupling bushes/rubber spider.
 Check stuffing box, gland etc.
 Routine observations of irregularities
The pump operator should be watchful and should take appropriate action on any irregularity
noticed in the operation of the pumps. Particular attention should be paid to following
 Changes in sound of running pump and motor
 Abrupt changes in bearing temperature.
 Oil leakage from bearings
 Leakage from stuffing box or mechanical seal
 Changes in voltage
 Changes in current
 Changes in vacuum gauge and pressure gauge readings
 Sparks or leakage current in motor, starter, switch-gears, cable etc.
 Overheating of motor, starter, switch gear, cable etc.
Exercises on pumping station
1.Determine the net positive suction head available at the
pump inlet from the following data: suction head = 5 m
friction loss = 1 m, vapor pressure of the liquid at water
temperature = 0.5 m, barometric (or atmospheric) pressure
at pump level = 10 m.
2. A centrifugal pump has been installed to a depth of 35 m.
The pump is discharging 0.0708 m3/s of water. Determine
the capacity of the motor to operate the pump.
Assume motor efficiency of 82%, discharge velocity of
water = 2.0 m/s, friction loss = 5% of discharge head.
Exercises on pumping station(cont,,,)
3. A submersible pump lifts 70,500 l of water/h against a total head of 25 m.
Determine the power requirement to lift the water in (i) kilowatt, and (ii)
horse power.
4. In a wheat growing area, the cultivable land is 80 ha and wheat will be
cultivated to all of the lands. The permissible interval between two irrigations
at peak period is 15 days and the depth of irrigation required for that
particular soil & agro-climatic region at peak period is 6.0 cm. If the total head
for pumping is 25 m, pump efficiency is 85%, motor efficiency is 80%, and the
maximum allowable operating period of the pump is 16 h/day, determine:
a)The pump capacity required for that command area,  
b)Capacity of the motor
Exercises on pumping station(cont,,,)
5. Maize crop of 20 ha is to be irrigated from a submergible
pump. The maximum permissible interval between two
irrigations at peak period is 12 days and the depth of each
irrigation is 60 mm. If the maximum allowable operating
period of the pump is 10 h/day, determine the pump
capacity to meet the water demand of the farm.
Exercises on pumping station(cont,,,)
6. In a residential area having population of 2,000 and
expected population growth rate of 5%, the average daily
water demand per capita is 100 l/day. Projecting for a
time period of 30 years, determine the required capacity
of the pump to satisfy the water demand of that area.
Assume that the pump can be operated 8 h/day at its
maximum. If the pump is installed at 25 m below the
ground surface, the velocity head of the flowing water is
1.5 m/s, friction loss in the discharge pipe and within
pump casing is 10% of the discharge head, determine the
optimum size of the motor to operate the pump.
Exercises on pumping station(cont,,,)
7. Four pumps are connected in series, each one pumping 30
GPM at 25 PSI. What is the total output in flow volume and
8.Four pumps are connected in parallel, each one pumping 30
GPM at 25 PSI. What is the total output in flow volume and
9. The diameter of a centrifugal pump, which is discharging 0.03
m3/sec of water against a total head of 20m, is 0.40 m. the
pump is running at 1500 RPM. Find the head, discharge and the
ratio of powers of a geometrically similar pump of diameter
0.25m when it is running at 3000 RPM.
Sprinkler irrigation
 Uniform application by “artificial rain”
 Good application efficiencies (0.7 – 0.8)
dependent on wind, temperature, humidity
 Fairly terrain independent (but design must take terrain into account)
 Can have a low labour content
 High(ish) investment cost
 High maintenance cost due to pumping
 Can be complex to run
Sprinkler irrigation: Criteria
 Must permit cost recovery within one to two years (and
double investment in a short time)
 Must be suitable for use on small and irregular shaped
 Must require only simple maintenance and tools
 Have a low risk of component failure
 Be simple to operate
 Be durable and reliable – able to withstand rough and
frequent handling without serious damage
Sprinkler irrigation: System layout

Main components

(i)A pump unit

(ii) Tubings

(iii) Couplers

(iv) Sprinkler head

(v) Other accessories such as

bends, plugs and risers.
System layout
General classification of different types of
sprinkler systems

on the basis of the arrangement

for spraying irrigation water.

1. Rotating head or revolving

sprinkler system.
2. Perforated pipe system.

Fully portable sprinkler irrigation system

Sprinkler head
Sprinkler irrigation: Spray pattern

A good sprinkler
distribution profile will
have a greater depth of
application near the
sprinkler head and the
profile will decrease in
a reasonably uniform
rate to the most
distance point of throw
Spray pattern
 The area watered by each
sprinkler must overlap
substantially the area
watered by the adjacent
• This overlap may seem like a
waste at first, but it is a very
important necessity.
• Without this overlap it would
be impossible to design
sprinkler systems that
provided uniform water
Spray pattern: Variation in pressure
 Sprinklers release enormous 
of water using pressures (2to 
4 bar).
 Low-pressure sprinklers can 
further reduce energy by 
increasing irrigation efficiency. 
 High-pressure impact 
sprinklers throw 
small water droplets into the 
air in a concentrated stream.
Variation in pressure
Classification based on the portability
(i) Portable system

(ii)Semi portable system

(iii)Semi permanent system

(iv)Solid set system

(v) Permanent system

Solid set system

A solid set system

has enough
laterals to
eliminate their
movement. The
laterals are
positioned in the
field early in the
crop season and
remain for the
Hand move laterals
Hop along system
Drag hose system
Drag hose system
Centre pivot system
irrigation, also 
called water-wheel 
and circle irrigation, 
is a method of crop 
irrigation in which 
equipment rotates 
around a pivot and 
crops are watered 
with sprinklers.
Centre pivot system
Centre pivot system
Centre pivot system
Linear move system

A linear move sprinkle system is a

continuous, self moving, straight
lateral that irrigates a rectangular
field. It is similar to the center pivot
in that the lateral is supported by
trusses, cables, and towers mounted
on wheels.
Linear move system
Linears are one of the most 
efficient forms of farm 
irrigation —  irrigating up to 
98% of your field!
Mobile raingun
A traveling gun system consists of a
high capacity single nozzle sprinkler
mounted on a chassis to which a
flexible hose, usually 3 to 5 inches
in diameter and up to 1320 feet
long, is connected.
Raingun has an
advantage of
sprinkler irrigation
along with water
usage economy.
Mobile raingun
 The procedure for designing sprinkler systems can be divided into
two phases:
 Preliminary design steps
 Adjustment or final design steps

 Preliminary design steps comprise the procedure for synthesizing
farm data in order to determine preliminary design parameters,
which will be needed in the final design adjustment process.

 The final design steps reconcile the preliminary design

parameters obtained with the irrigation equipment performance
characteristics, as well as human, physical and financial factors.
Steps in Sprinkler Irrigation Design
Step 1: Collect basic resource data at farm
The data include:
 A topographic map showing:
 The proposed irrigated area, with contour lines
 Farmand field boundaries and water source or
 Power points, such as electricity lines, in
relation to water source and area to be
irrigated, roads and other relevant general
features such as obstacles
Step 1 (CONT’D)
 Dataon water resources, quantity and quality over
time, on water rights and on cost of water where
 Theclimate of the area and its influence on the water
requirements of the selected crops
 Thesoil characteristics and their compatibility with
the crops and irrigation system proposed
 Thetypes of crops intended to be grown and their
compatibility with both the climate in the area, the
water availability and the soils; current agricultural
practices should be identified
Steps in Sprinkler Irrigation Design
Step 2 : Analyze the farm data in order to
determine the following preliminary design
 peak and total irrigation water requirements
 infiltration rate of soils to be irrigated
 maximum net depth of water application per
 irrigation frequency and cycle
 gross depth of water application
 preliminary system capacity
To achieve this, designer will;
 Determine moisture extraction depths (root zone
 Calculate Peak Water consumption use (ETc)
 Define allowable depletion (P)
 Calculate net irrigation application (dnet)
 Calculate gross depth of application (dgr)
 Calculate the irrigation frequency and cycle
 Calculate preliminary system capacity (Q)
The final design process
 Involve:
 identification of irrigation system options with farmer
 preparation of system layout for the field shape and
 the hydraulic design and iterative adjustments
 irrigation equipment selection taking into
consideration economic and financial aspects
 final irrigation system selection as well as options,
taking into consideration farmers' preferences,
management capabilities, labour aspects, financial
capabilities and constraints
The final design process (CONT’D)
 The final design process is intended to make
the irrigation system selected compatible with
the preliminary design factors.
 Variesbetween the periodic-move systems
and the continuous-move systems.
 Also vary among the different types of
sprinkler systems mentioned in the
introductory section of this module.
Steps in Sprinkler Irrigation Design: Final Design Steps
To get to the final design, the designer will carry
out the following steps;
 Step 3; Sprinkler selection and spacing
 Step 4; Determine Hydrant spacing
 Step 5;Size Laterals and header lines.
 Step 6 Sub main and Main line design/ sizing
 Step 7 Size Delivery/supply line
 Step 8 Determine the Total Dynamic Head (TDH)
 Step 9 Determine the power requirements
Final Design Steps (CONT’D)
 Step 10 Select pump and power source
 Step 11 Select other components and fittings
 Step 12 Prepare Drawings and Map of Design
 Step 13 Make a list of materials (Bill of quantities)
 Step 14 Estimate the capital cost
Note: Several design options should be prepared and the final
option should be chosen with the participation of the
farmer / client;
 Step 15 Choose final option.
 Step 16 Prepare operation instructions

 Peak and total irrigation water

 Infiltration rate of soils to be irrigated
 Maximum depth of water application per
 Irrigation frequency and cycle
 Goss depth of water application
 Preliminary system capacity

1. Net depth of water application

 The depth of water application is the quantity of water
which should be applied during irrigation in order to
replenish the water used by the crop during

 The computation of the net depth of water application

requires the following inputs:

 The available soil moisture (FC_CWP)

 The allowable soil moisture depletion (P)
 The effective root zone depth of the crop (RZD)
The maximum net depth to be applied per irrigation can be
calculated using following equation.

dnet = (FC – PWP) x RZD x P

Where :
 dnet: Readily available moisture or net depth of water
application per irrigation for the selected crop (mm).
FC: Soil moisture at the permanent wilting point
RZD: The depth of soil that root exploit effectively (m)
P: The allowable portion of available moisture
permitted for depletion by the crop before the next
Sample worked out
1. An experiment showed that a rapessed crop gave the optimum yield when two
irrigations of 5 cm depth each were applied. The crop received a effective
rainfall of 9.5 cm during the crop period. The average soil water content at
sowing and at harvesting of the crop were 21.32 and 14.25 per cent
respectively. The root zone of the crop was 75cm and the bulk density of the
soil was 1.49g/cm3. estimate the water requirement of the crop. (Ans. 27.4cm)
2. Estimate the available soil water holding capacity of a soil in centimeters in
60cm soil profile from the following data:
Soil depth (cm) Field capacity (%) PWP (%) Bulk density (g/cm3)

0-15 25.1 10.8 1.51

15-30 24.8 11.1 1.52
30-45 24.4 11.4 1.54
45-60 23.9 11.3 1.55
Sample worked out (cont’d)
1. Soil samples were drawn from a chickpea field two days after an
irrigation when the earliest soil sampling could be made and just
before the next irrigation applied 25days after. The soil water
content was estimated by the thermo-gravimetric method. The
soil data are given in the following table. Calculate (a) daily
consumptive use during the period between two sampling and (b)
soil water deficit in the crop root zone of 60cm.
Soil depth (cm) Soil water Soil water Field capacity Bulk density
content (%) 2 content (%) (%) g/cm3
days after before the
irrigation following
0-30 25.5 14.1 25.8 1.49
30-60 25.4 14.6 26.0 1.52
2.Volume of water applied
In order to express the depth of water in terms of the
volume, the area proposed for irrigation must be
multiplied by the depth.

Equation 2:
Volume of water to be applied (m3) = 10xAxd

A: Area proposed for irrigation (ha)
d = Depth of water application (mm)
Example 1
The following soil and crop data are provided: Area to be
irrigated = 18 ha Soil: medium texture, loam Crop: Wheat with
peak daily water use = 5.8 mm/day, Available moisture (FC-
PWP) = 140 mm/m, P = 50% or 0.5,RZD = 0.7 m, Soil
infiltration rate = 5-6 mm/hr Average wind velocity in
September = 10 km/hr Average wind velocity in October = 11
km/hr What is the maximum net depth of water application?

dnet = 140 x 0.7 x 0.5 = 49 mm

For an area of 18 ha, a net application of 8 820 m3 (10 x 18 x
49) of water will be required per irrigation to bring the root
zone depth of the soil from the 50% allowable depletion level
to the field capacity.
Root characteristics
Shallow Moderated Deep rooted Very deep
rooted 60cm deep rooted 120 cm rooted 180
90 cm cm
Rice Wheat Maize Sugar cane
Potato Tobacco Cotton Citrus/Orang
Cauliflower Ground nuts Sorghum Coffee
Cabbage Musk melon Pear millet Apple
Onions Pea Sugar beet Salt flower
Beans Tomato Lucerne
Root zone depth
Source: FAO, 2000, irrigation and drainage paper 24
3. Irrigation frequency at peak demand and irrigation cycle
The peak daily water use is the peak daily water
requirement of the crop determined by subtracting the
rainfall (in any) from the peak daily crop water

Irrigation frequency is the time it takes the crop deplete

the soil moisture at a given soil moisture depletion level.

 After establishing the net depth of water application, the

irrigation frequency at peak water demand should be
determined using the following equation.
IF = Irrigation frequency (days)
dnet = Net depth of water application (mm)
Wu = Peak daily water use (mm/day)

 Different crops require different amounts of water at the different

stages of growth.
 From the meteorological data of the nearest meteorological station
and using internationally recognized methods the crop and irrigation
water requirements can be estimated.
Example 2
The peak demand for wheat was estimated to be 5.8
mm/day. Therefore, using Equation 3 and the same
data of Example 1: Irrigation Frequency (IF) = 49
mm/5.8mm = 8.4 days .The system should be designed
to provide 49 mm every 8.4 days.

For practical purposes, fractions of days are not used

for irrigation frequency purposes.
Hence the irrigation frequency in our example should
be 8 days, with a corresponding dnet of 46.4 mm (5.8 x
8) and a moisture depletion of 0.47 (46.4/(140 x 0.7)).
4. Gross depth of water application
 The gross depth of water application (dgross) equals the net
depth of irrigation divided by the irrigation system efficiency
includes possible loss of water from pipe leaks.

Equation 4: dnet
dgross =


dnet: net depth of water application

E= The irrigation system efficiency.

Note: The farm irrigation efficiency of sprinkler systems varies

from climate to climate
Example 3

Assuming a moderate climate

for the area under
consideration and applying
Equation above, the gross depth
of irrigation should be:

dgross = 46.4/0.75 = 61.87 mm

Climate Farm
irrigation irrigation
efficiencies efficiency
for sprinkler
irrigation Cool 80%
system in
Moderate 75%
climates Hot 70%
Desert 65%
5. Preliminary system capacity
The next step is to estimate the system capacity. The system capacity
(Q), can be calculated using the equations:

Q= 10 xAxdgross
1 xNsxT

Q : System capacity (m3/hr)
A: Design area (ha)
dgross: Gross depth of water
application (mm)
I: Irrigation cycle (days)
Ns: Number of shifts per day
T: Irrigation time per shift
Preliminary system capacity (cont’d)

Q = 2780 Axdgross

Q : System capacity(litres per second)
A: Design area (ha)
dgross: Gross depth of water application (cm)
F: Number of days allowed for the completion of
one irrigation
H: Number of actual operating hours per day
E: water application efficiency, per cent
6. The set time (Ts)
The next step is to determine the set time (Ts) which is the time
required for each set of sprinkles operating at the same position
and in order to deliver the gross irrigation depth, and establish
whether it is acceptable.

Equation 6: Ts = dgross

Ts = Set time (hr)
Pr = Sprinkler precipitation rate (mm/hr)
Discharge of a sprinkler
The discharge of individual sprinkler depends on the
spacing of laterals, spacing of sprinklers in each lateral as
well as application rate. It can be computed:

q=discharge of individual sprinkler , liter/sec
Sl=sprinkler spacing along the lateral, m
Sm=lateral pipe spacing along the main, m
I=water application rate , cm/hr
7. System capacity
Q = Nc x Ns x Qs


Q = System capacity (m3/hr)

Nc = The number of laterals operating per shift
Ns = The number of sprinklers per lateral
Qs = The sprinkler discharge
8. Selection of size of main line sub main, lateral line and
calculation of friction head loss.
 The sizes of main line and lateral line are selected as per the discharges
carried through them and the friction loss corresponding to these discharges.

 Discharge through lateral line:

q = Sprinkler discharge x number of sprinklers in lateral line.

 Discharge through main line, and sub main line

Q= Sum of the discharges through all the laterals operating at any
time, taking account of losses.

 For diameter of pipelines is selected by generally a trial and procedure, and

a balance drawn between the cost of pipe and friction losses.
Soil texture and profile, slope and maximum application rate
Maximum sprinkler
spacing vs wind
Sample questions

1. Work out the capacity of a sprinkler system to apply

water at the rate of 1.5 cm/hr. Two sprinkler lines 200m
long each with 18 sprinklers are spaced at 11 m interval
on each line. The sprinkler lines are spaced at 16 m
interval. (Ans. 26.28l/s)
2. Compute the time required to irrigate a square area of 4
ha to a depth of 5cm with two movable laterals 200 m
long each fitted with 16 sprinklers at an interval of 13 m
on each lateral. A sprinkler applies 1.25 cm of water per
hour and the laterals are spaced at 20 m interval. Five
hours are required to move the lateral each time. (Ans.
1. Determine the required capacity of a sprinkler system to apply
water at the rate of 1.25cm/hr. the two lines 186 meters long are
required. Sixteen sprinklers are spaced at 12 meter intervals on
each line. The spacing between lines is 18 meters

2. Allowing 1hr for moving each 186 meter sprinkler line described
in the above example, how many hours would be required to apply
5cm irrigation to a square 16hactares field? How many days are
required assuming 10hours days?

3. Determine the system capacity for a sprinkler irrigation system to

irrigate 16 hectares of maize crop. Moisture replaced in soil at
each irrigation is 6 cm. Design moisture use rate is 5mm per day.
Irrigation efficiency is 70per cent. Irrigation period is 10days in a
12day interval. The system is to be operated for 20hrs per day.
5. A sprinkler irrigation system is to be designed to irrigate 8
hectares of vegetable crops in deep silt loam soil in moderate
dry climate. The field is flat. Determine the limiting rate of
application, the irrigation period, the net depth of water
application, the depth of water pumped per application and
the required system capacity in hectare-cm per day. Assuming
that the system is operated for 25hours each day, determine
the pump capacity in liters/second.
Hydraulic design of sprinkler system

Discharge of a sprinkler nozzle

Q=nozzle discharge, m3/sec
A=area of the nozzle or orifice, m2
G=acceleration due to gravity, 9.81m/sec2
H=pressure head at the nozzle, m
C=coefficient of discharge (0.80-0.95)

Sprinkler nozzle
Water spread area of the sprinkler
For rotating head sprinkler, are covered by a
sprinkler is given:

R=radius of wetted area covered by a
ssprinkler, m
d=nozzle diameter, m
h=pressure head at the nozzle
Rate of application
The average rate of application of a single sprinkler
can be computed as:

Ra = water application rate, cm/hr
q= discharge of individual sprinkler,
A=wetted area of the sprinkler, m2
9. Computing Friction Loss
 A pipeline with outlets has a lower friction loss than a
conveyance pipe because the velocity decreases with
distance along the pipe.
 To correct for the effect of outlets, a multiple outlet
factor, F is used. The value of F is one, for pipelines
without outlets.
 Major losses or head loss due to friction may be
computed from the following formulae:
 Darcy-Weisbach formula
 Hazen Williams formula
 Manning's formula
 Combined Darcy-Weisbach and Colebrook-
White equation
Darcy- Weisbach equation:

f = “friction factor”
L = length of pipe
D = diameter of pipe
The Darcy-Weisbach equation
Example –
A pipe with dia. = 0.15 ft, length = 200 ft and
friction factor, f, = 0.1 is to carry a flow of 10
gal/min (0.022 ft3/min) from point 1 to point 2.
Elevation difference between point 1 and 2 = 25
ft. Determine the “head” a pump must provide
to deliver this flow. “Head” provided by the
pump must be the sum of the elevation + friction
head loss. (assuming that velocity and pressure
in the pipe are constant)
First calculate frictional head loss:

L V2 100 ft (1.26 ft / sec) 2

h L = f � � = 0.1 � � 2
= 3.3 ft
D 2g 0.15 ft 2 �32.2 ft/sec

Note: V = Q/A

Total pump head = 3.3 ft + 25 ft = 28.5 ft.

(or in terms of pressure = 12.13 psi (head x 62.4 lb/ft3)

Manning’s Equation
 Irish Engineer
 “On the Flow of Water in Open
Channels and Pipes” 1891


Q=flow rate (cms)
A=wetted cross-sectional area (m2)
Rh=Hydraulic Radius=A/WP (m)
WP=Wetted Perimeter (m)
S=slope (m/m) 198

n=friction coefficient (dimensionless)

Manning’s formula
 Determine the friction loss Hf in 396 meters of a 15 cm
diameter aluminum pipe with couplers, made of 12
meter sections having 22 sprinklers spaced 18 meters
apart, each discharging 1.58 liters per second. The
first sprinkler is 18 meters from the main.

 Determine the size of sprinklers , laterals, pump and

power unit for the sprinkler system layout shown
With the following conditions: Ha: 30m, Hj: 0.5m,
He: 22m, Hs: 3.5, I: 1.25cm/hr, maximum length of
main=60m, S1=15m, Sm=20m and allowable variation
in pressure in lateral is 20 percent.
9. Size of pumping unit
 The size of pumping unit depends on the total discharge carried through
the system and total pressure head.

TDH=(hf + ho + hs + hr) m

hf=pressure head drop due to friction in lateral line+ pressure head
drop due to friction in main line + pressure head changes due to
elevation of land surface (-/+)+ friction head loss through fittings
such as bends, joints etc.
ho: Operating pressure head required at nozzle (m)
hs: Total static head (m) and
hr: Height of riser (m)(depends on crop height)
10. Power requirement

Equation 10:

             BHP = QXTDH

273 xXEp


Kw or BHP: Energy transferred form the pump to the water.

Q : Discharge (m3/hr) for system capacity.
TDH : Total dynamic head (m)
EP : The pump efficiency(%) from the pump performance chart
360 and 273: Conversion constants for metric unit.
Quick coupling system Determine
ή = 70% 1.Delivery rate of source Q in m3/h
Eo = 8 mm/day 2.Applicable sprinkler spacing in
f = 0,9 metre X metre
ERD = 1200mm 3.Sprinkler delivery rate in m3/h
ESD = 1500mm 4.Lateral size in mm
Infiltration = 8mm/h 5.Pressure and delivery of pump in
ά = 50% kPa and m3/h
WHC = 180mm/m 6.kW needed by pump
Rainfall = O mm 7.Number of sprinklers
Wind Speed = 2km/h 8.Show lay-out on map
Sprinkler Pressure= 300 kPa
Pump ή = 72%
Exercise on Design (2)
• Given a surveyed piece of land (18ha) Fig 1, Design a
suitable commercial semi portable system:
• The following soil and crop data are provided;
 Soil medium texture loam
 Crop Wheat peak daily use 5.8mm/day
 Availablemoisture 140mm/m and Allowable depletion
(P)=50% or 0.5
 RZD=0.7
 SoilInfiltration rate 6mm/hr: Calc net depth of
Exercise on Design (CONT’D)
• Determine the gross depth for the system
operating at 85% efficiency
• Calculate Irrigation frequency
• Calculate the set time
• Calculate the preliminary system capacity
• Select appropriate sprinklers for the given
• Complete the design , layout and produce a Bill of
Figure 1 : Farm map
 Design a sprinkler irrigation system for a square, 10-hectare field to
irrigate the entire area within 10 days period. Not more than 16 hours
per day are available for moving the pipe and sprinkling. The required
depth of irrigation is 5cm and the water application rate is not to
exceed 0.75 cm/hr. A 30m deep well located in the centre of the field
will provide the following discharge draw-down relationship: 12.5 litres
per second at 15 cm and 15.8 lit/sec at 20 m. Design the system for an
average pressure of 3 kg/cm2 at the sprinkler nozzle. The highest point
in the field is 1.25 m above the well site and 1 m risers are needed for
the sprinklers. Assuming a pump efficiency of 60 per cent and
supposing that the engine will furnish 70 percent of its rated output for
continuous operation, determine the rated output for a water cooled
internal combustion engine.
Further Exercises on
Design (3) “HAND BOOK

Theory and
2nd Edition
 Performance terms
measure how close
an irrigation event
is to an ideal one.
An ideal or a reference
irrigation is one that
can apply the right
amount of water over
the entire area of
interest without loss.
Irrigation performance Objectives
 To identify the causes of irrigation inefficiencies
 To identify the problem/weak point of irrigation
 To diagnose the water management standard of
the irrigation project
 To determine the main principles leading to an
improvement of irrigation performance

 to improve irrigation performance

 to improve management process
 to improve sustainability of
irrigated agriculture
Benefits of Evaluation
 Improved quality of activities
 Improved ability of the managers to manage the
 Savings of water and energy
 Ensure maximum production/benefit and
minimum cost
Queries That Should Be Answered
 Does the supply of water meet the demand (especially at
peak demand period) of the irrigators?
 Is the quality of water acceptable for the intended use?
 What is the pumping plant efficiency?
 How much water is lost in supply canal (conveyance) and
in the field (deep percolation and runoff)?
 How is the demand of water estimated?
Queries That Should Be Answered (cont’d)
How frequently is the water applied?
How much water (in depth) is applied per application?
Are other crop management events done at the right
time and in the right way?
Are there any pollution problems from the project?
Is the quality of drainage water reasonable?
What are the values of water application efficiency,
storage efficiency, and distribution uniformity?
What is the overall irrigation efficiency?
Pumping Plant Efficiency

Epp = (Output horsepower) × 100/(Input

= (water horsepower) × 100/(Input
= [{(Q ×where
ω) × H}/550] × 100/(Input
horsepower) Q is the discharge rate
ω is the density of water (1b/ft3)
H is the head of water (ft) [here, head
indicates the velocity head]
“550” is the factor to convert “ft-lb/s”
to horse power
In SI unit, the above formula can be expressed as

Epp = (Water power) × 100/(Input

= [(Q × 9.81 × H) × 100]/(Input
power) where
“Input power” in Kilowatt
Q = discharge rate (m3/s)
H = head of water (m)
Catch can test set-up
A catch can test is only one of
the tests we perform when we
conduct a water audit.
A catch can test can serve several purposes including:

1. Establishment of a Distribution Uniformity

(D.U.) baseline for future comparison or
budgeting upgrades
2. Comparison of old conversions and sprinklers
compared to completely new conversions or
3. Comparison of different manufacturers'
4. Comparison of different nozzles and sprinkler
pressure settings
5. Develop run times and irrigation schedules
6. Compare system performance on different
areas of the golf course.
Distribution of
an industry accepted mathematical formula
which has been developed by 
Cal State Poly University Irrigation Research and
Training Center
. By Cal State Poly’s model, an irrigation system
is rated based on the following results:
•Excellent -85% or
•Very Good -80%
•Good       -75%
•Fair -70%
•Poor -65% or less
Uniformity coefficient
 A measurable index of the
degree of uniformity
obtainable for any size
sprinkler operating under In which
given conditions is known as m=average value of all
observations (average application
the uniformity coefficient rate), mm
(Cu). n=total number of observation
 This uniformity coefficient is x=numerical deviation of
affected by the pressure- individual observations from the
nozzle size relations, by average application rate, mm
sprinkler spacing and by wind
Uniformity coefficient (cont’d)

 A uniformity coefficient of 100 per cent

(obtained with overlapping sprinklers) is
indicative of absolutely uniform application,
whereas the water application is lower with
a lower percentage.

 A uniformity coefficient of 85 % or more is

considered to be satisfactory.
Uniformity coefficient (cont’d)

 The data on uniformity coefficient are useful as a basis for

selecting the combination of spacing, discharge, nozzle size
and operating pressure to obtain high values of irrigation
efficiency at specific operating conditions.

 The leading manufactures of sprinkler irrigation equipment

usually provide information on the diameter of coverage of
each nozzle size and the pressure required at the sprinkler.

 Some manufacturers give the Cu values for each sprinkler,

for each set of nozzles, each common spacing and for each
Example 8.1 8.9 9.4 8.9 7.6

 Determine the uniformity coefficient

from the following data obtained 7.6 9.9 9.1 9.1 9.1
from a field test on a square plot
bounded by four sprinklers:
 Sprinkler-4.365x2.381 mm nozzles at 6.6 6.6 10.2 9.4 7.9
2.8 kg/cm2
 Spacing-24mx24m
 Wind-3.5km/hr from south west 8.6 6.8 8.3 8.9 7.9
 Humidity-42 per cent
 Time of test-1.0 hour
Operation and maintenance of sprinkler
irrigation system
To realize the full benefit of the sprinkler
system, it must be operated according to
design and properly maintained throughout
the irrigation season. This may involve
special operating techniques such as using
an offset hose or alternating between day
and night on successive irrigation cycles to
improve distribution uniformity.
Operation and maintenance of sprinkler
irrigation system (cont’s)
 Onlyoperate the system when needed to furnish
water for plant growth, for salt management, or to
store moisture within the rooting depth of the
plant. Monitor crops regularly, noting areas of
moisture stress, and repair or adjust system
operation as needed.
 Operate the system at the pressure, discharge
rate, speed, duration and frequency as designed.
Periodically examine each sprinkler and spray
head, etc., for proper operation. Clean plugged
nozzles, and replace if defective and worn. Use
shank end of steel drill bits to check diameters.
Operation and maintenance of sprinkler
irrigation system (cont’s)
 Promptly repair all leaks in delivery facilities by
replacing valves, fittings,and worn or damaged
 During non-seasonal use, place appurtenances in
an area where they will not be damaged but are
secure, if necessary.
 Maintain all screens, filters, valves, timers and
other electrical and mechanical equipment in good
operating condition, following manufacturer’s
recommendations. Drain and protect from
freezing, as necessary.
Operation and maintenance of sprinkler
irrigation system (cont’s)
 Eradicate or otherwise remove all rodents and/or
burrowing animals that have or can potentially
damage any part of the delivery, or application
facilities. Immediately repair any damage caused
by their activity.
 Immediately repair any vandalism, and vehicular
or livestock damage. Do not allow livestock near
equipment during operation.
Drip irrigation refers to application of water in small
quantity at the rate of mostly less than 12 lph as drops to
the zone of the plants through a network of plastic pipes
fitted with emitters. Drip irrigation in its present form
has become compatible with plastics that are durable
and easily moulded into a variety and complexity of
shapes required for pipe and emitters.
 Increased water use efficiency
 Better crop yield
 Uniform and better quality of the produce
 Efficient and economic use or fertilizer through fertigation
 Less weed growth
 Minimum damage to the soil structure
 Avoidance of leaf burn due to saline soil
 Usage in undulating areas and slow permeable soil
 Low energy requirement (i.e.) labour saving
 High uniformity suitable for automization
 Clogging of drippers
 Chemical precipitation
 Salt
accumulation at wetting
Drip irrigation is sometimes called trickle
irrigation and involves dripping water onto
the soil at very low rates (2-20 litres/hour)
from a system of small diameter plastic pipes
fitted with outlets called emitters or
drippers. Water is applied close to plants so
that only part of the soil in which the roots
grow is wetted, unlike surface and sprinkler
irrigation, which involves wetting the whole
soil profile.

With drip irrigation, water applications are

more frequent (usually every 1-3 days) than
with other methods and this provides a very
favourable high moisture level in the soil in
which plants can flourish.
Drip irrigation system
In this irrigation system:
 Water is applied directly to the crop ie. entire field is
not wetted.
Water is conserved
Weeds are controlled because only the places
getting water can grow weeds.
There is a low pressure system
There is a slow rate of water application somewhat
matching the consumptive use. Application rate can be
as low as 1 - 12 l/hr.
There is reduced evaporation, only potential
transpiration is considered.
There is no need for a drainage system.
Suitable crops

Drip irrigation is most suitable for row crops

(vegetables, soft fruit), tree and vine crops
where one or more emitters can be provided for
each plant. Generally only high value crops are
considered because of the high capital costs of
installing a drip system.
Suitable slopes
Drip irrigation is adaptable to any farmable
slope. Normally the crop would be planted
along contour lines and the water supply
pipes (laterals) would be laid along the
contour also. This is done to minimize
changes in emitter discharge as a result of
land elevation changes.
Suitable soils

Drip irrigation is suitable for most soils. On

clay soils water must be applied slowly to
avoid surface water ponding and runoff. On
sandy soils higher emitter discharge rates
will be needed to ensure adequate lateral
wetting of the soil.
Type of soil and bulb shape
Suitable irrigation water
One of the main problems with drip
irrigation is blockage of the emitters. All
emitters have very small waterways ranging
from 0.2-2.0 mm in diameter and these can
become blocked if the water is not clean.
Thus it is essential for irrigation water to be
free of sediments. If this is not so then
filtration of the irrigation water will be
Suitable irrigation water

Blockage may also occur if the water contains

algae, fertilizer deposits and dissolved
chemicals which precipitate such as calcium
and iron. Filtration may remove some of the
materials but the problem may be complex to
solve and requires an experienced engineer
or consultation with the equipment dealer.

A typical drip irrigation system consists of the

following components:
 Pump unit  
 Control head
 Main and submain lines  
 Laterals
 Emitters or drippers.

1.Conveyance line - Main line, sub
1. Water source - Subsurface main, gromet take off assembly, laterals,
tank minor tubes and end caps.
2.Pump - Suction, monoblock 2.Drippers - Pressure corresponding
pump, delivery non return valve, drippers (moulded/threaded type)
gate valve 3.Non-return valve (NRV), Ball valves,
Air release valve (ARV), flush valves
3.Filter station - Sand filter,
screen filter, manifold and 4. Water meter - If necessary
pressure gauge
4.Fertiliser application -
Fertiliser tank and ventury

 Water source subsurface tank

 To minimize the energy requirement and also to get a uniform or

constant level of water owing to the accumulation of bore wells
in one pat1 of the irrigation regime; keeping in the effective
hydraulic DIS design, it is necessary to construct a subsurface
tank in an elevation point at the center.

 The capacity of the tank is calculated from the water

requirement of the crop, dripper capacity, type of soil etc.
 Pump

 Pump/Overhead Tank: It is required to provide sufficient

pressure in the system. Centrifugal pumps are generally used
for low pressure trickle systems. Overhead tanks can be used
for small areas or orchard crops with comparatively lesser
water requirements.

 Filters: The hazard of blocking or clogging necessitates the

use of filters for efficient and trouble free operation of the
microirrigation system. The different types of filters used in
microirrigation system are described below.
Components of Microirrigation System

a)Gravel or Media Filter:

 Media filters consist of fine gravel or coarse quartz sand, of selected sizes
(usually 1.5 – 4 mm in diameter) free of calcium carbonate placed in a
cylindrical tank.
 These filters are effective in removing light suspended materials, such as
algae and other organic materials, fine sand and silt particles.
 This type of filtration is essential for primary filtration of irrigation water
from open water reservoirs, canals or reservoirs in which algae may develop.
 Water is introduced at the top, while a layer of coarse gravel is put near the
outlet bottom.
 Reversing the direction of flow and opening the water drainage valve cleans
the filter.
 Pressure gauges are placed at the inlet and at the outlet ends of the filter to
measure the head loss across the filter. If the head loss exceeds more than 30
kPa, filter needs back washing.
Different types of Media filters
b) Screen Filters
 Screen filters are always installed for final filtration as an additional
safeguard against clogging.
 While majority of impurities are filtered by sand filter, minute sand
particles and other small impurities pass through it.
 The screen filter, containing screen strainer, which filters physical
impurities and allows only clean water to enter into the micro
irrigation system.
 The screens are usually cylindrical and made of non-corrosive
metal or plastic material.
 These are available in a wide variety of types and flow rate
capacities with screen sizes ranging from 20 mesh to 200
Screen filter showing steel wire mesh strainers
c) Centrifugal Filters
 Centrifugal filters are effective in filtering sand, fine gravel and
other high density materials from well or river water.
 Water is introduced tangentially at the top of a cone and creates a
circular motion resulting in a centrifugal force, which throws the
heavy suspended particles against the walls.
 The separated particles are collected in the narrow collecting vessel
at the bottom.

Hydro cyclone filters/centrifugal filters

d) Disk Filters
 Disk filter contains stacks of grooved, ring shaped disks that capture
debris and are very effective in the filtration of organic material and
 During the filtration mode, the disks are pressed together. There is an
angle in the alignment of two adjacent disks, resulting in cavities of
varying size and partly turbulent flow.
 The sizes of the groove determine the filtration grade.
 Disk filters are available in a wide size range (25-400 microns).
Back flushing can clean disk filters.
 However they require back flushing pressure as high as 2 to 3
Disk filter showing stacks of discs
 Pressure relief valves, regulators or bye pass arrangement

 These valves may be installed at any point where possibility exists for
excessively high pressures, either static or surge pressures to occur.
 A bye pass arrangement is simplest and cost effective means to avoid
problems of high pressures instead of using costly pressure relief valves.
Check valves or non-return valves
 These valves are used to prevent unwanted flow reversal.
 They are used to prevent damaging back flow from the
system to avoid return flow of chemicals and fertilizers
from the system into the water source itself to avoid
contamination of water source.
Distribution Network

It mainly constitutes main line, submains line and laterals with

drippers and other accessories.
 Mainline

 The mainline transports water within the field and distribute to

 Mainline is made of rigid PVC and High Density Polyethylene
 Pipelines of 65 mm diameter and above with a pressure rating 4 to
6 kg/cm2 are used for main pipes.
 Submains

 Submains distribute water evenly

to a number of lateral lines.
 For sub main pipes, rigid PVC,
HDPE or LDPE (Low Density
Polyethylene) of diameter ranging
from 32 mm to 75 mm having
pressure rating of 2.5 kg/cm2 are

 Laterals
 Laterals distribute the water uniformly along their length by
means of drippers or emitters.
 These are normally manufactured from LDPE and LLDPE.
 Generally pipes having 10, 12 and 16 mm internal diameter with
wall thickness varying from 1 to 3 mm are used as laterals.
 Emitters / Drippers

 They function as energy dissipaters, reducing the inlet pressure

head (0.5 to 1.5 atmospheres) to zero atmospheres at the outlet.

 The commonly used drippers are online pressure compensating or

online non-pressure compensating, in-line dripper, adjustable
discharge type drippers, vortex type drippers and micro tubing of
1 to 4 mm diameter.

 These are manufactured from Poly- propylene or LLDPE.

A) Online Pressure Compensating drippers

 A pressure compensating type dripper

supplies water uniformly on long rows and
on uneven slopes.
 These are manufactured with high quality
flexible rubber diaphragm or disc inside the
emitter that it changes shape according to
operating pressure and delivers uniform
 These are most suitable on slopes and
difficult topographic terrains
B) Online Non-Pressure Compensating drippers

 In such type of drippers discharge

tends to vary with operating

 They have simple thread type,

labyrinth type, zigzag path, vortex
type flow path or have float type
arrangement to dissipate energy.

 However they are cheap and

available in affordable price.
C) In-Line Drippers or Inline tubes

 These are fixed along with the line, i.e., the pipe is cut and
dripper is fixed in between the cut ends, such that it makes a
continuous row after fixing the dripper.
 They have generally a simple thread type or labyrinth type flow
path. Such types of drippers are suitable for row crops.
 Inline tubes are available which include inline tube with
cylindrical dripper, inline tubes with patch drippers, or porous
tapes or biwall tubes.
 They are provided with independent pressure compensating
water discharge mechanism and extremely wide water passage to
prevent clogging.
In-Line Drippers or Inline tubes

 Other accessories are take-out/starter, rubber grommet, end

plug, joints, tees, manifolds etc.

The installation of the drip system can be divided into 3 stages.

1.Fitting of head equipments

2. Connecting mains and sub mains

3. Laying of lateral with drippers.

Drippers’ position

Spatial placement of laterals

 On-Surface Drip Irrigation

 Subsurface Drip Irrigation

On-surface drip irrigation advantages

Easy maintenance
Cheap installation, compared with SDI

On-surface drip irrigation limitations

Sensitivity to damage by mechanical tools and animals
High labor investment in annuals
Weeds infestation
SDI advantages SDI disadvantages

 Negligible interference with farm  High installation costs

 Plugging hazard by intruding roots
 Elimination of mechanical damage to and sucked-in soil particles
 Inconvenience in monitoring the
 Decreased weed infestation performance of drippers and laterals
 Elimination of runoff and evaporation  Strict maintenance is mandatory
from soil surface
 Improved uptake of nutrition
elements by the roots, notably
Sub- surface drip irrigation lateral burying

40%-60% 50%-70% 70%-85% 80%-90% 80%-95%

Flood Furrow Sprinkler Center pivot Dripper


Preliminary design factors

 The preliminary design factors are

 Amount of water application per irrigation,

 interval between irrigations
 Hours per set and
 Required flow per unit area.

 These design factors are derived from basic data

about climate, soil and plants to be irrigated.

 The design should also address the spacing of

emitters and the percentage of wetted area.
Water Use for Trickle Irrigation System

 The design of drip system is similar to that of the sprinkler

system except that the spacing of emitters is much less than
that of sprinklers and that water must be filtered and treated
to prevent blockage of emitters.

 Another major difference is that not all areas are irrigated.

 In design, the water use rate or the area irrigated may be

decreased to account for this reduced area.
The following water use rate for trickle irrigation design

ETC = ET x P/85

ETc: is average evapotranspiration rate for crops under trickle irrigation;
P: is the percentage of the total area shaded by crops;
ET: is the conventional evapotranspiration rate for the crop. E.g. If a
mature orchard shades 70% of the area and the conventional ET is 7
mm/day, the trickle irrigation design rate is: 7/1 x 70/85 = 5.8 mm/day
OR use potential transpiration,
Tp = 0.7 Epan where Epan is the evaporation from the United States
Class A pan.
Design of emitters
 Consist of fixed type and variable size types.
 The fixed size emitters do not have a mechanism to compensate
for the friction induced pressure drop along the lateral while the
variable size types have it
Emitter discharge may be described by:

Q: Is the emitter discharge- l/h
K: is constant for each emitter (Emitter discharge coefficient)
h: is pressure head at which the emitter operates (Pressure (Head) at the
emitter's inlet – m)
x: is the exponent characterized by the flow regime (Emitter discharge
The exponent x can be determined by measuring the slope of the log-
log plot of head Vs discharge.
With x known, K can be determined using the above equation.
Emitter discharge variability is greater than that of sprinkler
nozzles because of smaller openings (lower flow) and lower
design pressures.

Eu = 1 - (0.8 Cv/ n 0.5 )

Eu is emitter uniformity; Cv is manufacturer's coefficient of
variation(s/x ); n is the number of emitters per plant.
Application efficiency for trickle irrigation is defined as:

Eea = Eu x Ea x 100. Where

Eea is the trickle irrigation efficiency; Ea is the application
efficiency as defined earlier
Gross irrigation depth and application efficiency
Spacing of emitters and percentage of wetted area

 Spacing and flow rates for trickle systems are primarily related to
the soil conditions and also the type of crop are considered
because some crops may have big aerial part other not or many
roots other not.

 But spacing should not be close than necessary, in order to keep

costs to minimum.

 In addition, when salinity is problem spacing may have to be

reduced to prevent salt accumulation in the root zone.
Irrigation interval

Ii is irrigation interval (days)
ETc is crops evapotranspiration (mm/day) and
Idn is the gross irrigation depth of each irrigation expressed in
Emitter discharge and duration of application

 If necessary, the net time of applying irrigation can be equal to

the irrigation interval since trickle irrigation does not interfere
with agronomic activities.
 Continuous system operation during peak transpiration periods is
recommended in order to reduce pipe sizes.
The total time of operational unit during each irrigation cycle I t
is given by:
Precipitation rate
P.R. =(Q x n) / (E x D)
P.R. Precipitation Rate mm/h (l./m2/h)
Q flow rate of each dripper (l./hour)
n number of lines per bed
E spacing between drippers (m).
D distance (width) between beds (m).
Equation 1
 dnet = (FC-PWP) x RZD x P
 dnet = readily available moisture or net depth of water
application per irrigation for the selected crop (mm)
 FC = soil moisture at field capacity (mm/m)
 PWP = soil moisture at the permanent wilting point
 RZD = the depth of soil that the roots exploit
effectively (m)
 P = the allowable portion of available moisture
permitted for depletion by the crop before the next
Equation 2
 Volume of water to be applied (m3) = 10 x A x d
A = area proposed for irrigation (ha)
d = depth of water application (mm)
Equation 3
 Irrigation frequency (IF) = dnet/wu
 IF = irrigation frequency (days)
 Dnet = net depth of water application (mm)
 wu = peak daily water use (mm/day)
The irrigation frequency need to take into consideration
other aspects such as farm management, soil
type,automatization,labour, risks and economy
Equation 4
the gross depth of irrigation
 dgross = dnet/E
 Dnet= depth of water application (mm),
equation 1
E = the farm (or unit) irrigation efficiency (as a
Calculating energy requirement

The basic formula for power requirement (Kw or HP), calculations is provided below:

Power requirement in HP = QXTDH

270 xXEp

  Power requirement in KW = QXTDH

367 xEp

Kw or BHP: Energy transferred form the pump to the water.

Q : Discharge (m3/hr) for system capacity.
TDH : Total dynamic head (m)
EP : The pump efficiency(%)

Increasing either the volume of water or the head

will directly increase the energy required for
Calculation of the system capacity
The following soil, crop and climate data are provided:
- Area to be irrigated = 18 ha
- Soil: medium texture, loam
- Crop: Wheat with peak daily water use = 5.8 mm/day
- Available moisture (FC-PWP) = 140 mm/m
- P = 50% or 0.5
- RZD = 0.7 m
- Soil infiltration rate = 5-6 mm/hr
- Average wind velocity in September = 10 km/hr
- Average wind velocity in October = 11 km/hr
Try to answer the following questions:
1. What is the net depth of water
2. What is the volume of water to be applied
3. What is the irrigation frequency
4. What is the gross depth of irrigation
5. What is the system capacity (m3/hr)

A center pivot irrigation system can be defined

as a method of crop irrigation in which
equipment rotates around a pivot. A circular
area centered on the pivot is irrigated, often
creating a circular pattern in crops when
viewed from above.
The Center-Pivot had been introduced in the
early fifties in Colorado by Frank Zybach that
later sold the patent to Valley (Valmont
In Center-Pivot the lateral rotates in a circle around a
fixed point (pivot) like a clock hand. The pivot is
connected to the water supply. Because of the circular
movement, each emitter along the lateral covers a
different area.
Square plots are best suitable to Center-Pivots. The
wetted area will be roughly 80% of the square. Wetting
up to 95% of the square area is possible by the use of
corner attachments.
Net irrigated area
  is a form of overhead (sprinkler)
Central pivot irrigation
irrigation consisting of several segments of pipe (usually
galvanized steel or aluminium) joined together and
supported by trusses, mounted on wheeled towers with
sprinklers positioned along its length. The machine moves
in a circular pattern and is fed with water from the pivot
point at the center of the circle. The outside set of
wheels sets the master pace for the rotation (typically
once every three days).
  are mounted at hubs between
The inner sets of wheels
two segments and use angle sensors to detect when
the bend at the joint exceeds a certain threshold, and
thus, the wheels should be rotated to keep the
segments aligned.Center pivots are typically less than
500m in length (circle radius) ,To achieve uniform
application, center pivots require a continuously
variable emitter flow rate across the radius of the
machine. Nozzle sizes are smallest at the inner spans
to achieve low flow rates and increase
Water is supplied to the Center-Pivot from a buried mainline or
directly from a well located near the pivot point. Water flows
through a swivel joint to the rotating lateral and emitters. When
irrigating, the lateral rotates continuously around the pivot, wetting
a circular area.
One revolution can take from 20 to 100 hours depending on lateral
length, the amount of water to be applied and the capacity of the
water source.
The slower the lateral rotates the more water is applied to the
wetted area. Typical applied water depths vary from 5 to 30 mm. A
Center-Pivot lateral can effectively apply light, frequent irrigations.
The lateral consists of a series of spans with steel
trusses, each is 25 - 75 m long and is carried
about 2.5 - 5 m above the ground by drive units
(“towers”). -A drive frame” supported-driven wheels
(commonly,motor 1hp electric motor).
The taller machines are used for orchard irrigation.
Rubber tires, metal wheels, tracks or skids are
mounted under each "A" frame to enable the machine
travel. Most machines use rubber tires. High flotation
tires used when needed.
The outermost drive-unit moves continuously or intermittently to
set the rotation speed, and all other drive-units move
intermittently to maintain the lateral pipe in an approximately
straight alignment. Speed of rotation of the machine is controlled
from the main control panel in the pivot point.
The most common Center-Pivot lateral is made of pipe,
approximately 400 m long.
It irrigates a circular area of 50 hectares plus 1 –3 hectares
irrigated by the end sprinkler. Laterals 80 –800 m. long are
available for irrigation of fields of different dimensions.

Center-Pivot Main Tower

Corner attachments; allow the corners of square fields
and odd-shaped areas of irregularly shaped fields to be
The corner attachment is an additional tower that is
operated only as needed. It swings out from the end of
the lateral line to irrigate the corners or other odd
shaped areas. Operation of the corner attachment is
controlled by a signal sent through a buried electric
cable. The corner arms have angle detectors for turning
individually or in groups on and off the emitters as the
arm swings out and back again.
Some Center-Pivots have an end-gun that turns the
water on in the corners. The machine can stop in the
corner, the emitters along the lateral are closed by
solenoid actuated valves. The end-gun irrigate for the
pre-determining duration, then it is closed and the
system continues its regular operation. In some cases
the lateral just slowdown in the corner and the end-
gun is opened while the other sprinklers continue
running at lower flow-rates.
The moving lateral pipeline is fitted with emitters to
distribute the water evenly over the circular field. Because
the lateral moves in a circle, uniform watering is achieved
by linearly increasing the application-rate toward the outer
end of the lateral. This is performed by varying either the
nozzle size or the spacing of sprinklers.
The area to be irrigated by each nozzle along the lateral
becomes progressively larger toward the moving end, and
the lateral speed becomes progressively faster.
 Toprovide uniform application, the sprinklers must be
designed to have progressively greater discharges, closer
spacing, or both, toward the moving end. The first option
uses equally spaced sprinklers with small nozzles close to
the pivot that gradually increase in size toward the outer
 Thedistance traveled by each emitter along a Center-
Pivot lateral is equal to 2πr,where r is the distance of
the sprinkler or spray nozzle along the lateral from the
pivot point.
The application-rate must increase with increasing r to
obtain a uniform application depth. Since the lateral is
traveling faster toward the end, also the “opportun
reduced. The reduction is proportional to the speed of the
lateral, which is proportional to the distance r from the
pivot. If the same depth of water is requested all along
the lateral, and because application depth equals the
application-rate multiplied by opportunity time (i.e.
mm/minute multiplied by minutes = mm), then as the
travel speed increases toward the outer spans of the
lateral, in even spaced emitters, the flow-rate has to
gradually increase towards the lateral end.
The second option employs emitters of the same flow-rate but
they are placed closer together toward the outer end. This
configuration simplifies maintenance since all the emitters are the
same and require the same spare parts.
In many cases, the application-rate near the moving end is 65
mm/h and higher. This may exceed the intake rate of many soil
types except during the first few minutes at the beginning of each
wetting event. To minimize runoff, the laterals are usually timed
to rotate once every 12 to 96 hours depending on the soil's
infiltration characteristics, the system's capacity, and the
maximum allowed soil moisture deficit.
 Center-Pivot systems are suitable for almost all field crops but
require areas free from any obstructions above ground such as
telephone lines, electric power poles, buildings, and trees. They
are best adapted for use on soils having high intake rates, and on
uniform topography.
 When used on soils with low intake rate and irregular topography,
runoff can cause erosion and puddles that may interfere with the
uniform movement of the lateral and traction of wheels
 Most pivot systems are permanently installed in a given field.
However, in supplemental irrigation or for dual cropping, it may be
practical to move a standard 400 m. Center-Pivot lateral back and
forth between two 50-hectare fields.
Five types of power units are commonly used to drive the wheels of
 Electric motors,
 Hydraulic oil motors,
 Water pistons,
 Water spinners / turbines, and
 Air pistons.
The first pivots were powered by water pistons only. Today,
electric motors are most common because of their speed,
reliability, and capability to run forwards and backwards. Electric
and hydraulic oil motors allow the system to be operated also
while not irrigating ("dry operation").
 Water delivery is simplified through the use of a stationary pivot
 Guidance and alignment are controlled relative to the fixed pivot
 Speed is set by the exterior tower of the base circle.
 High
water application uniformities are easily achieved with the
moving emitters.
 Aftercompleting one irrigation, the system is at the starting point
for the next irrigation.
 Irrigation
management is improved by accurate and timely
application of water
 Capability of accurate and timely applications of
fertilizers in the irrigation water.

 These attributes diminish mechanical and

operational problems associated with other types of
self-propelled irrigation machines.
Center-Pivots have two drawbacks
 Since the concentric band irrigated increases with each
increment of radius, most of the water must be carried
toward the end of the lateral, which results in high
friction losses in the lateral.
 When elevation differences between uphill and
downhill lateral positions are significant, pressure
regulation and or flow control nozzles have to be used
to eliminate large variations in emitters discharge.
 Control panel
 Tower
 Alignment guidance
 Span
 Gooseneck
 Sprinkler
 Pressure regulator
 Dropper
 Boomback
 Electric drive motor
 Gear box
5.8.1 Introduction
Designing a Center-Pivot for a particular field is
determined by the dimensions of the field. Initial map can
be illustrated from an aerial photograph. Then a ground
survey is conducted to decide on the exact pivot point
location and to identify obstacles that have to be removed.
Next, the water source capacity is determined. With this
information, plus soil infiltration capacity, and peak daily
evapotranspiration (ET) data, the system manufacturer
uses a computer program to determine the lateral line size,
emitter flow-rate and spacing, pump capacity and the
required horsepower.
5.8.1 Introduction (cont’)
The fixed costs for a Center-Pivot system depend on the
area the system covers. The operating costs are about
the same or lower than in other mechanized systems.
The biggest savings are in man-power. Energy costs
depend on the system attributes and the type of energy
used. Maintenance and repair costs are higher than in
other techniques since there are more mechanical parts
than in the other systems. Total operating costs are
competitive with the other types of movable sprinklers.
5.8.2.Calculations of design parameters
 Area irrigated by center-pivot (Assumes end-gun
on all the time.)

A = area (ha)
Lp = pivot length (m) Rg= end-gun radius (m)
Example: the area irrigated by a 400 m long Center-Pivot
with an end-gun radius of 40m. By replacing in the above
formula 60.8 ha will be irrigated hours per pivot revolution @ 100% TIMER.
 Tr = (0.105 x Lt)/Vt

 Tr = hours per revolution (hr.)
 Lt = distance to last tower (m) 
 Vt = last tower speed (m/min.)

The time needed for the center-Pivot above to

complete a revolution at the maximum tower
speed of 3m/min. (100% timer). The machine
includes a 15m overhang.

 Tr = 13.5 hours per revolution Depth of water applied by a center-pivot.

D = depth of water applied (mm) Qp= pivot flow-rate
Tr = hours per revolution (hrs.)
Lp = pivot length (m)
Rg= end-gun radius (m)
Depth of water applied by the above pivot. Flow-
rate is 240 m3/hr. Last tower speed is 0.75
m/min (25% timer).

D = 21.3 mm Required flow for a given center-pivot sprinkler

Qe= sprinkler flow-rate (lpm)
Ls = distance to sprinkler (m)
Qp= Center-Pivot flow-rate (m3/hr) 
Le = sprinkler spacing (m)
Lp = length of lateral (m)
Rg = end-gun wetting radius (m)
The flow-rate required by a sprinkler located 250m
from the pivot point, if the Sprinkler spacing is 5m.
Center-Pivot flow-rate is 240 m3/h.

Qe = 51.8 lpm = 3.1 m3/h Average application-rate

Ia = average application-rate (mm/hr.) Ls = distance to
sprinkler (m) 
Qp= Center-Pivot flow-rate(m3/hr)
Lp = length of lateral (m) 
Rg = end-gun wetting radius (m) Ld = sprinkler throw
diameter (m)
The average application-rate at the distance of
250 m from the pivot point. System flow-rate is
240 m3/hr and sprinkler coverage diameter is
18 m.

Ia = 34.4 mm/h Required system flow

Qs = system flow-rate (m3/hr/ha)
ETp = peak evapo-transpiration (mm/day)
Tp = pumping hours per day
Ea = water application efficiency (decimal)
The required system flow-rate when the
peak crop water requirement is 8 mm/day,
water application efficiency is 90% and the
system can be operated 18 hours per day.
Qs = 4.9 m3/hr/ha is required. Power required (kw)

P = power (kW) 
Qp = system flow-rate (m3/hr)
H = head that the pump has to generate (m)
Ep = pump efficiency (decimal)

The power required to pump 240 m3/hr against a

head of 60 m. Pump efficiency is 75%

P = 52.3 kW Nozzle or non-regulated system flow-rate with
changing pressure

Q1 = flow to determine (lpm)

Q2 = known flow (lpm)
P1 = pressure (bar) for Q1 
P2 = pressure (bar) for Q2

Determination of the flow-rate of a #30 3TN

nozzle at 1 bar, knowing the flow-rate at 0.7
bar is 18.7 lpm.

Q1 = 22.35 lpm
6.1.1 Fertigation Introduction and definition
Fertigation is the technology of applying nutrition
elements via the irrigation water by injection of fertilizer
solutions into the irrigation system. Contemporary
fertigation technology emerged at the sixties of the 20th
century, following the introduction of commercial drip
irrigation. Prior to that era, direct application of nutrition
elements to the water had been implemented only in
hydroponics growing systems. Introduction and definition

 Later it was realized that crops benefit of fertigation in

all the pressurized irrigation technologies and in some
circumstances, although rarely, in surface irrigation too.
 The combined application of water and fertilizers
through the irrigation system increases the efficiency of
fertilizer utilization, raises yields, improves produce
quality and minimizes environmental pollution caused by
excess fertilization. Advantages of Fertigation
a)Improved efficiency
1)Uniform distribution with irrigation water
2)Better synchronization with crop demands
3)Adjustment of amounts and ratio between nutrients along the growing
4)Deeper penetration of the nutrients into the soil
5)Avoiding nutrient losses from soil surface
b)Avoiding soil compaction by fertilizer spreaders
c)Avoiding damage to canopy and yield
d)Reduction of fertilizer losses
e)Additional functionality
f) Application of herbicides and pesticides via the irrigation water Limitations and Risks in Fertigation
a.Hazard of backflow of nutrient solution into the drinking
water supply network
b.Only fully soluble fertilizers are applicable
c.Hazard of corrosion, precipitate-formation and clogging
in the irrigation system
d.Use of dangerous acids and inflammable materials
e.Costly investment in accessories and storage installations
f.Incorrect application may cause damage to crop, nutrient
losses by leaching beneath the root-zone and
contamination of underground water resources Limitations and Risks in Fertigation
g.Hazard of foliage and fruit scorching in overhead
h.Large storage volumes are needed for nutrient solutions Technologies of Fertigation
A variety of technologies have been developed for injecting
fertilizers into the irrigation system. Patterns of Injection
 Fertilizer Concentration
a.Decreasing along time (Fertilizer tank)
b.Uniform –pulsating (piston and diaphragm pumps)
c.Uniform –constant (venturi, internal mixing pumps, mixers)
 Energy Sources
Inherent pressure of the irrigation system
External energy sources
Internal Electricity
combustion engines Injector Types
Pressure differential
Venturi (suction)
Fertilization pumps
Pressure differential
Pressure differential tanks are closed tank systems
that require a minimum of 35 kPa pressure
difference from inlet to outlet to operate
correctly. Normally used at the field near filter
banks, these tanks are prefilled with the required
quantity of fertiliser for the block in question,
filled with water, closed and then pressurised via
the mainline. As a general rule 6-8 tank volumes
of water are required to pass through the tank to
ensure all fertiliser has been injected.

Throttling the water flow in the control head creates

pressure differential that diverts a fraction of the
irrigation water through a tank containing the
fertilizer solution. A gradient of at least 1 –2 m. (0.1
–0.2 bars) is required to redirect an adequate stream
of water through a connecting tube of 9 –12 mm
diameter. The tank, made of corrosion-resistant
enamelcoated or galvanized cast iron, stainless steel
or fiberglass, has to withstand the irrigation network
working pressure.

The diverted water is mixed with solid soluble or

liquid fertilizers.
When solid fertilizers are used, the nutrient
concentration remains more or less constant, as
long as a portion of the solid fertilizer remains in
the tank. Once the solid fertilizer had been fully
dissolved, continuous dilution by water gradually
decreases the concentration of the injected
Fertilization-tank Advantages
 Simple construction and operation
 Low cost (of small units)
 Extensive field experience
 No need of external energy source
 Good mobility
 Wide dilution ratio
Fertilization-tank Limitations
 Head losses by throttling
 High cost of large units
 Non-uniform nutrient concentration along the period
of application
 Fertilizerreplenishment is needed prior to each
 Integration with automation is problematic
 The tank and the accessories have to withstand the
mainline operating pressure
Venturi Injector
Suction of the fertilizer solution is created by water flow
through a constricted passageway.
The high flow velocity of water in the constriction
reduces water pressure below the atmospheric pressure so
that fertilizer solution is sucked from an open tank into
the constriction through a small diameter tube.
Venturi devices are made of corrosion-resistant
substances such as copper, brass, stainless steel and
plastic materials. The injection rate depends upon the
pressure loss, which ranges from 10% to 75% of the
irrigation system's pressure and is determined by the
injector type and operating conditions.
Venturi Injector
venturi devices require extra pressure to allow for the necessary
pressure-loss. Maintaining a constant pressure in the irrigation
system guarantees uniform nutrient concentration in the irrigation
water along the application period.
The customary head-losses are above 33% of the inlet pressure.
Double-stage Venturi injectors have lower pressure-losses downward
to 10%. The suction-rate depends on the inlet pressure, pressure-loss
and the diameter of the suction tube. It can be adjusted by valves
and regulators. Suction rates vary from 0.1 l/h to 2000 l/h. Venturi
injectors are installed in-line or on a bypass.
In greenhouses, the water flow in the bypass may be boosted by an
auxiliary pump.
Figure: Venturi Injector
Venturi Suction Injector Advantages
a.Simple to operate, easy to install, no moving parts
b.Wide-range of flow-rates (in different models)
c.Low cost of small devices, The solution is sucked from an
open tank
d.Good mobility
e.Constant suction-rate (in constant pressure regime)
f.Easy integration in automation
g.Cheap, open to the atmosphere tanks may be used
h.Corrosion resistance
Venturi Suction Injector Limitations
 High head-losses

 Sensitivity to pressure fluctuations

 Narrow discharge-range of each model

Fertilization pumps
 Fertilizer pumps are driven by electricity, internal
combustion engines, tractor power takeoff (PTO) or
hydraulically by the inherent water pressure in the
irrigation system.
Pump Injectors Advantages
 Uniform nutrient concentration along the fertigation
 Easycontrol of amount and concentration of the nutrient
 Convenient integration with automation
 No pressure losses
Pump Injectors Limitations
 High initial cost
 Complicated operation
 Wear of moving components
 Suitable only with fertilizer solutions
 Some models need external power source
 Some models emit surplus driving-water outside
Hydraulic Pumps
 Versatile devices, reliable and feature low operation and
maintenance costs. A diaphragm or piston movement
injects the fertilizer solution into the irrigation system.
 Water-driven diaphragm and piston pumps combine
precision, reliability and low maintenance costs.
Hydraulic Pump Types
 Piston pumps
 Diaphragm pumps
 Internal-mixer pumps
 Centrifugal Pumps
Centrifugal pumps are used when high capacity is
needed or the fertilizer solution is turbid. 
 Roller Pumps
Roller pumps are used for precise injection of small
amounts of a nutrient solution. Their life-span is
relatively short due to bearings' corrosion by the
injected chemicals.
 Electric Pumps
Electric Pumps Advantages

 Precise and reliable

 Suitable for extremely low dosage
 Conveniently integrated with automation
 Wide range of flow-rates
Electric Pumps Limitations
a.Need of external energy source
b. Fails in blackout occasions
 Electric pumps are inexpensive and reliable. Operation costs are
low and they are readily integrated into automatic systems. A
wide selection of pumps is available, from small low-capacity to
massive high-capacity pumps. The working pressure is 10 - 100 m.
(1 –10 bars).
 Electricpiston pumps are exceptionally precise and suitable for
accurate mixing inconstant proportions of a number of stock
 Variable speed motors and variable stroke length allow for a wide
range of dosing from 0.5 to 300 L/h.
Figure: Piston (left) and Diaphragm (right) Fig:No-drain
Hydraulic Pumps Internal-mixer
Hydraulic Pump
Figure: Piston Pump Installation on Control-head Injection Control
 Hydraulic pumps used in fertigation can be automated. A
pulse transmitter is mounted on the pump. The movement
of the piston or the diaphragm's spoke sends electrical
signals to the controller that measures the delivered
 Measurement can also be performed by small fertilizer-
meters installed on the injection tube. Fertilizer-meter is
a modified water-meter, corrosion resistant and precise in
measurement of small solution quantities. The controller
allocates fertilizer solution according to a preset program. Injection Control
 In glasshouses, simultaneous application of a multi-nutrient
solution is routine. When the distinct chemical compounds
in the fertilizers are incompatible and cannot be combined
in a concentrated solution due to the risk of decomposition
or precipitation,
 Two or three injectors are installed inline one after
another, in the control head.
 The application ratio between the injectors is coordinated
by the irrigation controller.
 Inhigh-income crops grown in glasshouses on detached
media, the irrigation water is mixed with fertilizer in a
mixing chamber (mixer).
Figure:Fertilizer Solution Meter with Pulse Fig: Mixer Array
Transmitter Site

 Injection at the Main Control-head - the most
convenient and cost effective alternative. ü Injection
at Sub-main Heads - a common practice in field crops.
 Injection at the Control-head of Each Block –more
expensive than the above-mentioned alternatives. and Automation
Dosing patterns:
 Quantitative Dosing: a preset amount of fertilizer is
injected into the irrigation system during each water
application. Injection may be initiated and controlled
automatically or manually.
 Proportional Dosing: maintains a constant
predetermined ratio between the irrigation water and
the fertilizer solution. Pumps inject the fertilizer
solution in a pulsating pattern. Venturi injectors apply
the fertilizers continuously and in constant
Avoiding Corrosion Damage:
  corrosive. Accessories exposed to the
Most fertilizer solutions are
injected solution should be corrosion-resistant. The injection
device and irrigation system must be thoroughly flushed after
fertilizer injection.
 Back-flow Prevention
Whenever the irrigation system is connected to a potable water
supply network, strict precautions should be taken to avoid
backflow of fertilizer-containing irrigation water.
 Back-siphonage occurs when low pressure in the supply line is
created by an excessive hydraulic gradient in undersized pipes in
the supply line, a break in the supply line, pump or power
Avoiding Corrosion Damage:
 Back-pressure occurs when the pressure in the irrigation system
is higher than in the water supply network. This happens when
booster pumps are used for pressure increase in the irrigating
area or when the irrigated area is topographically higher than the
local water supply tank.
A dual check valve assembly has two check valves in tandem,
loaded by a spring or weight. The device is installed upstream
from the injection system and is effective against backflow
caused by both back-pressure and back-siphonage.
A reduced pressure backflow preventer is also consisted of two
internally loaded check valves separated by a reduced pressure
zone. When pressure downstream is higher than the pressure
upstream, water is released to the atmosphere and does not flow
Tandem Back-flow Preventer
6.2.1 Overview
In modern irrigation systems, automation is an essential
constituent of the operating system. It saves manpower and
facilitates precise and on-time application of water and
nutrients. Automation relies on four basic components:
 Sensing and measuring devices
 Control and regulation appliances
 Input and output tools; and
 Communication between the different components. Time and
quantity controllers are the two basic tools of automation.
 Anautomated irrigation system refers to the
operation of the system with no or just a minimum of
manual intervention beside the surveillance. Almost
every system (drip, sprinkler, surface) can be
automated with help of timers, sensors or computers
or mechanical appliances.
 On the other hand, such a system can be expensive
and very complex in its design and may needs experts
to plan and implement it.
Water control and automation

Types of Automation :
A-Time-based system
In this system, time is the basis for operation. The basic
objective is to prepare a schedule based on crop water
requirements. The operation sequence will be set by user
as desired.
B-Volume-based system
In this type, every section will receive the preset volume
of water. This is possible with the help of following two
A- Time based control
Controller for 1 single (built in)       or several  electric valves
Hydraulic +Electric control hydraulic control
B- Volume based control
In this type, every section will receive the preset volume of water. This is possible with the help of following 3 

   1-electronic control

   2-mecanic control (single)

Mechanic volume control (single)
Electronic Control :Watermeter is an essential component in this method, 
which gives the feedback to controller after the preset water volume is 
delivered. One after the other every section receives the preset water 
Automation systems can be classified according to the
extent of control:
a.Point automation means an automatic device mounted
directly on the valve, exclusively controlling this valve
with no relevance to other valves or systems.
b.Local automation: Several valves in the plot that are
controlled and coordinated by one unit.
c.Central automation: A number of local automation units
that are connected to and controlled by a main central
1.Name the following parts of centrifugal
2.Calculate the area in hectare irrigated by a 400 m long
Center-Pivot with an end-gun radius of 40m What will
be the time for the center pivot to complete one
revolution if the speed for last tower is 2.5 m/min and
is located at 390m away from the center point?
3.Explain why sprinklers along the lateral of center
pivot system are arranged in such way that their
application rates increase toward the outer end in
even spaced sprinklers.
6.2.3 Functions
Automation can be activated at diverse levels of
a.Shut-off of water flow. Water opening is done manually.
b.Time-based automatic opening and shut-off of the water.
c.Time determined irrigation start according to time, shut-
off after a preset water amount had been delivered.
d.As above plus feedback and recording of the delivered
water amount.
6.2.3 Functions(cont….)
e.Control of irrigation combined with fertilizer application (fertigation),
with or without recording of water and fertilizer amounts.
f.Sequential operation of valves, one after another, in the plot.
g.Irrigation control that relies on information obtained from monitors
and sensors. E.g.: Temperature, wind, rain, soil moisture, water head
h.Control of water sources in correspondence with irrigation demands.
i.Integrated control of water sources and irrigation.
j.Integrated design and operation and control of irrigation systems .
6.2.4 Flow-meters

a.WaltmanFlow-meterb .Flow-meter cross-section c. Flow-meter with electric output

Figures: Flow-meters
6.2.4 Flow-meters
The flow-meter is the basic appliance for the monitoring and
control of water application in pressurized irrigation systems. It
is the only means that facilitate irrigation control in quantitative
terms. The common flow-meter consists of a casing containing a
horizontal or vertical impeller. The impeller is rotated by the
flowing water and transmits its rotational motion to a measuring
scale mounted on top of the casing. The scale is calibrated and
counts the actual water quantity that passed through the casing.
The flow-meter displays the readings of the delivered water
amount visually or, by means of an electric output device, sends
the information to irrigation controllers, computers or data-
 6.2.5 Metering-valves (Hydrometers)
The metering-valve is a combination of a water meter with
a hydraulic valve. The desired volume of water to be
applied is dialed in.
The valve is closed automatically after the assigned volume
of water has been delivered. The actuator in the metering
valve can be of diaphragm or piston type. A diaphragm is
less sensitive to dirt in the water, but can be torn in
pressure surges and may wear due to chemical degradation.
The hydrometer can be operated manually or controlled by
a remote computer or controller by means of hydraulic,
electric or wireless communication.
Figure-43: Hydrometer –Manual and

Remote-controlled Dial
6.2.6 Control Patterns
Two basic types of control patterns that are applied in
irrigation systems:
 Open control loop systems that implement only a preset

 Closed control loop systems that collect feedback from

sensors, make decisions and apply the decisions to the
irrigation system. Open-control Loop Systems

In open control loop systems, decisions are taken by the

operator who presets the controller according to the
desired performance. The devices that require external
manual intervention are referred to as open loop
In time-based open loop control systems, the irrigation
duration is preset. The basic control parameters are
 Irrigation timing,
 Irrigation intervals and
 Watering time-span. Open-control Loop Systems

A combination of time and amount-control employs the

clock to start the irrigation and terminates the irrigation
after the preset volume of water has been applied. Open
loop control systems are inexpensive, readily available
and flexible but require frequent manual resetting to
attain efficient water application. Closed-control Loop Systems
In a closed-control loop, the operator presets the general
layout. The control system makes the decisions when and
how much water to apply. Feedback is sent in real-time
to the controller from one or more sensor units. Closed
loop controllers acquire environmental parameters, such
as soil-moisture, temperature, radiation, wind-velocity
and relative humidity. The data are compared to the
preset program and the decision is made whether
irrigation should be applied or not. The decision can be
based on the measurement of soil-moisture and
calculation of the water consumption of the plants.
6.2.7 Irrigation Timers
 An irrigation timer is based on a clock unit that activates
one or more units of the irrigation system at preset times.
Irrigation timers may provide several of the following
a.A clock/ timer measures the time for the irrigation
b.A calendar selector allows presetting the days in which
the system has to be operated.
c.Stat ion time setting allows the presetting of start time,
day and hour and duration of application for each station.
6.2.7 Irrigation Timers
d.Manual start allows the operator to start the automatic
cycle, overriding the preset schedule.
e.Manual operation of each station allows the operator to
manually start the irrigation cycle without changing the
preset schedule.
f.Master switch controls the activation of the whole
irrigation system.
g.Station skip is used to exclude specified stations from
the next irrigation cycle.
6.2.7 Irrigation Timers
h.Master valve controls back-flow prevention equipment
and automatically terminates irrigation in case of a
failure in the system.
i.Pump start lead connects the pump start solenoid to the
actuator of each station. Thus the pumping control is
synchronized with the irrigation control.
The timers can be electromechanical or electronic.
6.2.8 Controllers
Controllers used in automatic irrigation system can be
classified as Electromechanical Controllers 
Electromechanical controllers are based on an
electrically powered clock and mechanical switching to
activate the irrigation valves. They are reliable and are
not affected by spikes in the power supply. In case of
power outage, the programmed schedule will not be
erased. However, the scheduling options are limited,
compared with electronic controllers. Electronic Controllers

Electronic controllers rely on solid state and integrated circuits to

actuate the clock/timer, memory and control functions. Some of
these systems are sensitive to the trustworthiness of the power
supply and to spikes, surges and brownouts.
These controllers are modular and contain many options at a
relatively low cost.
Time-based devices are widely used in home-gardens, nurseries
and propagation houses. Irrigation lasts for relatively short
periods, and lack of precision in water amount, due to pressure
fluctuations, is not crucial. Improved accuracy can be maintained
by keeping constant pressure with the combination of a buster
pump and pressure regulators.
6.2.9 Sensors
A sensor is closing an electrical circuit response to change in a
specific measured parameter. There are two basic types of
 Continuous
 Discrete.
Continuous sensors transmit a continuous electrical signal, such as
voltage, conductivity, capacitance, or any other measurable
electrical current.
Continuous sensors are used where values taken by a state variable
are required and an on/off state is not sufficient, for example, to
measure pressure fluctuations in the system.
6.2.9 Sensors
 Discrete sensors are basically mechanical or electronic switches
that indicate on/off states. Discrete sensors are useful for
indicating thresholds, such as the opening and shut-off of
devices. They can indicate when a threshold of a state variable
has been reached.
Examples of discrete sensors are a float switch in a storage tank
and a switching tensiometer that detects if soil moisture is above
a defined threshold.
The variables measured in computer-based control systems are:
Flow rate, pressure, soil moisture, air temperature, wind
velocity, solar radiation, relative humidity, electrical
conductivity and the pH level of the irrigation water.
6.2.10 Computer-based Irrigation Control Systems
A computer-based control system consists of a
combination of hardware and software that manages
both irrigation and fertigation by a closed control loop.
 The system monitors the measured variables, compares
them with the target status, makes decisions about the
actions to be taken and carries them out. A/D Interface
Since computer systems work internally with digits, the
electrical signals sent from the sensors have to be
converted from analog to digital data. The conversion is
accomplished by Analog-to-Digital (A/D) interfaces.
Discrete signals resulting from switch closures and
threshold measurements are registered in memory.
Continuous electrical (analog) signals are converted to
binary numbers of the sensed variable. Conversion
accuracy is affected by the resolution of the conversion
equipment. Computer Types
 TheA/D conversion hardware is directly connected to
the computer system. The computer system may be a
PC or a dedicated programmed controller. Functions of the Central Computer
The fast development and price drop of microcomputers
enables high sophistication in automatic control of irrigation.
The new irrigation computers and controllers use industry
standard microprocessors as well as standard memory boards
and terminals. This configuration enhances the integration of
irrigation scheduling, operation and control at the same unit.
Conditional operation, relating to the feedback information
that is transmitted from the local units and from sensing units
in the field, is now a common routine, as well as the
integrated management of the whole irrigation system, from
water source to the last end-valve in the field.
 6.2.11 Communication
 Apartfrom point automation, in which the automation
control unit is mounted directly on the end valve, in all
other automation systems, a communication link connects
sensors with the control unit to the end valve. In some
circumstances, a multi-stage communication linking is
 Signalsbetween the control unit and the end units can be
sent as hydraulic or electric pulses. The electric pulses
can be transmitted by wire or wireless.
6.2.11 Communication

 In some circumstances, for short distance, hydraulic communication

is advantageous compared with electric communication. There is no
need for an external energy source and in hydraulically operated
wide-diameter valves; there is no need for conversion of electric
signals to hydraulic signals by means of solenoid. The control water
tube of 4 - 8mm. diameter pipe is cheaper than electric cable.
 The drawbacks of hydraulic communication are topography
interference, vulnerability to mechanical damage and air
penetration. In the past the length of communication lines was
restricted to a few hundred meters. Latelr-on, accessories have been
developed that facilitate longer lines and overcome the topographic
6.2.11 Communication
 Anotherdrawback of hydraulic communication is the one-
way communication pattern that does not enable
transmission of feedback information back to the main
 Electric
pulses can be transmitted by cables or by
wireless devices. Cable communications are prone to
mechanical damage.
 Dueto cost reduction, improved credibility and
elimination of broadcasting interference, the wireless
communications are favored on cable communications.
6.2.12 Configuration
Local automatic systems control the irrigation timetable
and the fertigation device.
In sequential automatic systems, a main controlling unit is
optional. In sequential irrigation, the shut-off of one
hydraulic valve sends a hydraulic signal which opens the
subsequent hydraulic valve. In more sophisticated systems,
the sequence is controlled by a central controller.
There are two basic models of wired central automation:
 Star
 Ring
Star Configuration

Each local unit is connected directly to the central unit.

The cable is of the twinwire type that enables the
central unit to send signals as well as to supply energy
to the field units. If feedback information is required, a
triple-wire cable has to be installed.
Ring Networks
 Allthe field units are chain connected in a ring by one cable to
the central unit.
 The cable is of the multi-wire type in which each local unit is
connected by two or three wires to the central unit. Another setup
is based on twin-wire cable. Both the two cables are connected to
each one of the local units. The computer of the central unit is
scanning continuously the local units with high frequency pulses,
identifying each unit, feeding it with the relevant information and
picking up feedback information. In this configuration, the field
equipment is cheaper but a high level computer is required. In the
last decade, most of the wired communication systems are
replaced by wireless ones.
6.2.13 Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition
In the last decade, Supervisory Control And Data
Acquisition (SCADA) software applications in Water &
Irrigation systems are increasingly used. The SCADA
system is a remote control and status indicator of the
water distribution equipment that provides early warning
of system malfunction. When failure occurs there is
immediate detection of water leakages and pressure
fluctuations. This enables immediate response to changes
in demand, maintenance of adequate pressure, flow-
rates, pump-functionality and overall system
Figure: SCADA Control System Adapted Adapted from "Motorola"


1.Determine the net positive suction head available at the pump
inlet from the following data: suction head = 5 m friction loss =
1 m, vapor pressure of the liquid at water temperature = 0.5 m
barometric (or atmospheric) pressure at pump level = 10 m
2. A centrifugal pump has been installed to a depth of 35 m. The
pump is discharging 0.0708 m3/s water. Determine the capacity
of the motor to operate the pump.
Assuming that:
 motor efficiency of 82%.
 discharge velocity of water = 2.0 m/s
 friction loss = 5% of discharge head
3.A submersible pump lifts 70,500 l of water/h
against a total head of 25 m. Determine the power
requirement to lift the water in (i) kilowatt, and
(ii) horse power.
4. Compute the time required to irrigate a square
area of 4 ha to a depth of 5cm with two movable
laterals 200 m long each fitted with 16 sprinklers at
an interval of 13 m on each lateral. A sprinkler
applies 1.25 cm of water per hour and the laterals
are spaced at 20 m interval. Five hours are required
to move the lateral each time.