Components of a localized irrigation system (part II)
We now analyze the components of the irrigation network and the programming systems, as a continuation of the article to define the components of a drip irrigation installation.
The main components that a drip irrigation installation should have are:
- Regulating dam
- Watering head, both described in a previous article,
- Irrigation network
- Control elements
The irrigation network is the system of pipes that carry the filtered water and with nutrients and fertilizers from the irrigation head to the emitters that supply the water to each plant.
The installation, depending on the size of the farm or greenhouse, usually includes a main irrigation network, formed by main and secondary pipes, which carry the water to the beginning of each plot, where the units or sub-units of irrigation begin.
At the head of each irrigation sub-unit a casing is installed with a pressure regulator, a shut-off valve and, optionally, a water meter from which the tertiary pipeline emerges. From this, the emitter or irrigation branch pipes, where the drippers are placed, which supply the water to the reticular zone of each plant.
The main and secondary pipe network is usually made with PVC conduits (polyvinyl chloride), which allows larger diameters at lower cost. It is placed in ditches buried at a certain depth to avoid deterioration and allow the work of the field on its surface.
The tertiary pipes can be installed in PVC or PE (polyethylene), which provides more flexibility. While the branches are always PE.
Types of droppers
The drippers or emitters, are the most delicate elements of the irrigation network, are responsible for controlling the output of water to the soil evenly throughout the crop. In localized irrigation facilities, the pressure varies substantially between zones, so the type of dripper chosen is key to obtain a uniform harvest, to avoid these changes you can choose different types of drippers:
- Self-compensating drippers: with a fixed flow within a range.
- Anti-drip drippers: close automatically when the pressure in the irrigation system decreases.
- Adjustable drippers: allow remote regulation of the flow.
In addition, during the installation of the irrigation network other accessories and special pieces are used that allow the union between sections of pipe, and are usually manufactured in PE and PVC.
The Prakor tools facilitate all the work of linking pipes of different diameters and materials, with the machines EAGLE MACHINE, GORILLA and BUFFALO, the connection of accessories and drippers to hoses and pipes, with equipment of all prices and sizes, which save up to 50% of hand work and avoid up to 80% of leaks arising from the installation. Consult the Online Catalog
Control and measurement elements for drip irrigation
The drip irrigation installations must install complementary elements that allow us to control, program and measure the water that is supplied. These are:
Equipment that measures the amount of water consumed, both instantaneous flow rate and the total amount of water accumulated. They allow us to control the total volume of water used to optimize costs and detect leaks. They can be installed:
- Rotameters: measure only the instantaneous flow rate and is used to check that the quantity of fertilizers is injected properly into the water.
- Pressure gauges: measure the water pressure in the irrigation network, and are used for the control of the installation, since they allow detecting if there is any breakage, if there is any risk of overpressure, or if the filtering equipment works correctly or needs to be cleaned, installing a manometer at the entrance and exit of each filtering system.
- Pressure regulators: keep the water pressure constant. They are usually installed at the beginning of each irrigation unit so that the drippers work correctly.
- Hydraulic valves: open or close the water passage of the different areas of the irrigation installation. If they are activated by an electrical system, they are called electrovalves, and can be connected to an irrigation controller, allowing the automation of the installation and remote control.
- Suction cups: used to empty the air trapped in the pipes, protect the installation. Some suction cups allow the entry of air to increase the pressure in the network and empty the pipes at the end of an irrigation cycle, optimizing the use of water and avoiding seals by deposits.
Devices that allow the automation of irrigation by times and sectors or zones. They are usually placed next to electrovalves at the beginning of each unit or sub-unit of irrigation.
There are many types of irrigation programmers. The most basic control solenoid valves and fertilizer tanks, and the most complex, which can manage the entire fertigation system for multiple irrigation sectors, start and stop pumps, automate the cleaning of filters, dose fertilizers and nutrients according to external conditions, control the pH, electrical conductivity, etc.
For the control of the pH a probe is used that regulates the injection of acid in the nutritious solution, to maintain the ideal indexes. The control of the electrical conductivity of the nutrient solution allows to balance the nutrients and regulate the total amount contributed.
The enormous advantages that the implementation of a drip irrigation system in an agricultural farm, a greenhouse or a garden can be limited by an inadequate installation or by the choice of components that are not adapted to the terrain, to the type of water , the climate and the crop or area to be irrigated. Therefore, be sure to carry out a design and study of the installation analyzing all the parameters that may affect you, consult with specialists in the installation of irrigation systems, and make an adequate maintenance of the installed equipment.
From Prakor we will help you in your work of installation of the entire irrigation network, from the main pipes to the placement of the emitters, with ergonomic, quality tools that prevent leaks and breakages, and save up to 50% installation time and the workforce. Ask us, we will help you to use the most appropriate tools for your workers and type of crop, in farm or greenhouse.