Optimized Designing of Solar Powered Direct Pumping Small Scale Sprinkler Irrigation Pipe Networks
Today, the agricultural sector world over is confronted with a water scarcity crisis and the related numerous challenges. Harnessing the scarce water resources to meet the irrigation water requirement in a more economical way without compromising sustainability is very vital. The present study aims at applying EPANET2.2, a hydraulic modelling tool, in the optimization design of a solar-powered direct pumping sprinkler irrigation system. This study has shown that the designed solar-powered sprinkler irrigation system capacity is 20.88 m3/hr per shift with a precipitation rate of 6.02 mm/h. A submersible pump, Grundfos SP17-13, shall be installed, operating at a maximum head of approximately 85 to deliver water up to 20.88 m3/hr. 48 in number, 250 Watts monocrystalline panels shall be installed, and, are more than sufficient to meet the peak water irrigation requirement of 5.72 mm/day for tomato crop thus, sufficient to meet the water demands of other horticultural crops. Choice of solar energy was majorly ascribed to proven efficiency in addition to low costs involved in operation and maintenance. Hydraulic simulation results from the EPANET2.2 model indicate that the minimum pressure within the systems is 33.10 m observed at the last sprinkler of the farthest plot while the maximum pressure is 82 m of water observed at the node next to the pumping station. The velocity of flow within the system ranges from 0.67-2.37 m/s which is within the acceptable limit. The transmission pipeline shall be made of OD75 mm HDPE pipe of pressure rating PN10 of 500 m length. The sub-main shall be OD63 mm UPVC pipes of pressure rating PN 6, 210 m length. The sprinkler laterals shall be OD25 mm HDPE pipes of pressure rating PN6 spaced at 12 x 12 m
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