Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Biological and Irrigation Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Gary P. Merkley

Abstract

The hydraulics of IDEal drip irrigation system components were analyzed under controlled laboratory conditions and the results can be applied to the design of IDEal systems. The hydraulic loss coefficient for the lateral-submain connector valves was determined based on laboratory measurements. It was found that the hydraulic loss due to friction in the lay-flat laterals can be accurately estimated with standard friction loss equations using a smaller effective diameter based on the wall thickness and inlet pressure head. The equivalent length barb loss, expressed as an equivalent length of lateral, was calculated for button emitters, as well as for micro-tubes inserted to lengths of 5 and 10 cm. It was concluded that the barb loss is essentially constant over the micro-tube insertion range of 5-10 cm. The head-discharge relationship and coefficient of manufacturer's variation of pre-punched lateral holes (without emitters), button emitters, and micro-tubes were characterized.

Finally, several IDEal drip irrigation systems in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia were evaluated in the field. Recommendations were given for future research and improvements in the manufacturing, installation, operation, and maintenance of IDEal drip irrigation equipment.

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