Low-Pressure Sprinkling System
Automatic Irrigation System with Low-Pressure Sprinkling Machines and Turbo-Pump Station
Tech Area / Field
3 Approved without Funding
National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan / Institute of Automatics, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek
- CIRAD, France, Montpellier
Project summaryThe goal of the project is the development and creation of automatic irrigation system with low-pressure sprinkling machines.
Introduction. The application of conventional technologies of irrigation along the furrows of agricultural crops has led to ecological crisis in Central Asia. Use of this irrigation method causes significant water losses for tailwater and infiltration. As a result of this, more than 60% of irrigated lands in the region had been salinated and became unused. Nowadays the possibility of irrigation water increasing is practically exhausted in the region. At the same time, because of population upsurge and decrease of glaciers dimensions the further increasing of water resources lack and strengthening of desertification processes are forecasted in the region.
In such conditions the more preferable way of irrigation is sprinkling, as it allows to exactly manage the water usage rates, to eliminate losses of irrigation water for infiltration, to prevent the soil erosion and destruction of soil structure, to control the microclimate of irrigated fields and, as a result, to increase the yield productivity and soil fertility.
The main obstacle for wide implementation of sprinkling irrigation is big energy expenditures for irrigation and the cost of irrigation systems. This circumstance restricts the possibility of wide implementation of sprinkling systems working with the use of the power of electrical pump stations. The leading world companies, for example “Valmont Industries Inc.”, “Lindsay Vfg. Co”, “Pierce Corp.”, “Lock Wood”, “Noble Linear Irrigation Inc.” (USA), “Irrico”, “Olson Irr. Sys.”, “Perrot-France”, “Palma Irrigation” (France), carry out a great scope of works on the creation of perfected sprinkling equipment. For example, since 1952 the sprinkling irrigation machine “Valley” with hydraulic drives has been manufactured in the USA. This machine has worked on water pressure of 0.6 MPa and therefore has spent too much power for irrigation. For decreasing the power expenditures in 1980s some US and French companies developed the low-pressure sprinkling machines with hydraulic drives and working water pressure less than 0.2 MPa. These sprinkling machines consumed less power; they replaced machines with hydraulic drives and were widely spread in the developed countries. The analogue of American sprinkling machine “Valley” – high-pressure sprinkling machine “Fregat” with hydraulic drives has been produced in Russia since 1960s. Attempts of using the sprinkling machines with electric drives in the CIS-counties have showed that these machines are several times more expensive than those with hydraulic drives and the operation of these machines requires the highly qualified staff, which is often lacking in the rural regions of these countries.
These reasons restrain the use of sprinkling machines in developing countries. Therefore, at present the most important task is the creation of low-pressure sprinkling machine with hydraulic drives, working on water pressure no more than 0.2 MPa, which could be widely used in many countries. Application of such machines will allow to decrease the power expenditures for the operation of pump stations, to reduce the losses of irrigation water for infiltration, to replace the expensive high-pressure steel conduits of supply net by cheaper low-pressure plastic conduits with longer service life, as well as to decrease expenditures for creation of drainage systems.
The peculiarity of Central Asian irrigated lands is the surface slope. In 1930-50s in the Kyrgyz Republic the small hydroelectric power stations (HPS) were built in lower parts of valleys at small inclinations along the canals and rivers. Such constructions can be effectively used at present for supplying the pump stations of sprinkling irrigated systems with power. In such conditions the creation of pump stations, working from hydraulic power of irrigation canals and rivers seems to be very promising. At the same time, it is not necessary to transform the hydraulic power into electric one. That will allow to reduce the cost of irrigation systems significantly, to increase their reliability and to simplify their usage.
Previous experience. The Institute of Automation of the National Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz Republic during several decades has fulfilled the researches on irrigation systems automation. The executors of the Project have know-how and also they have a large experience in the development of sprinkling systems and environmentally friendly and water-saving technologies of irrigation. The executors of the Project have more than 100 scientific articles and inventions on that direction. They have patents for invention of the Kyrgyz Republic for the construction of low-pressure sprinkling machine with hydraulic drives and the system of its operation control. The patent KG for invention on automation low-pressure irrigated system with hydraulic pumping station is received. At the same time, most of these developments require scientific researches and field trials. Further, other countries may use the results of these trials.
Scientific inventors and know-how of the Project executors and “ex- weapon” scientists and also their experience in the field of automatic hardware development allow to judge about successful decisions of the given tasks.
Expected Results and Their Application.
The process of the Project implementation envisages the solution of following tasks:
- Development of the conception of automatic low-pressure sprinkling irrigation system construction;
- Development and research of automatic low-pressure sprinkling machine with hydraulic drives;
- Development and research of turbo-pump station using power of irrigation canals water flow;
- Development of hydro-technical construction of turbo-pump station;
- Development and research of low-pressure sprinkling machines functioning automatic control system and irrigation processes;
- Creation of industrial prototype of low-pressure sprinkling irrigation system.
On the completion phase of the Project fulfilment the plan of technologies application will been developed. It will consist of identification of companies/organizations (firms) which are interested in results received during the Project fulfilment. And also on this phase the search of partners for whom the work continuation of perfection of low-pressure sprinkling machines with hydraulic drivers is interesting.
Application of low-pressure sprinkling machines with turbo-pump stations will promote the solution of environmental problems of irrigation agriculture in Central Asia, Kyrgyz Republic, as well as other countries, which use the sprinkling method of irrigation.
Meeting the Goals and Tasks of ISTC. The process of project fulfilment provides employment of “weapon” specialists in the peaceful area. These specialists in the past were engaged in the creation of weapon systems for the USSR military industrial complex. For this purpose we offer to use the knowledge and experience of scientists of the Institute of Automation of the NAS KR and foreign countries in the field of development of automatic control systems. Such cooperation will allow “weapon” scientists to faster join the new field of developments and investigations. In its turn, it will provide more effective use of their intellectual potential in the proposed field, without necessity for them to search for possibilities of their knowledge application in the field of military technologies.
For the assessment of possibility and quality of implementation of the set tasks from the side of both “weapon” experts and other scientists participating in the Project it is envisaged to conduct joint discussions of occurring problems during the personal meetings between collaborators and direct project participants. Involvement of non-“weapon” specialists and foreign collaborators in the Project in a view of their more open kind of activities will facilitate the problem of searching the parties, interested in results of the project implementation. Problems, connected with the prevention of deterioration of environmental situation in irrigated agriculture, are not local, peculiar only to Kyrgyz Republic, they are international. It could be confirmed by developing processes of desertification in many countries, even where modern irrigation systems are used. Taking this into consideration, we can affirm that Project fulfilment will promote the support of applied researches in the field of ecology and agriculture and will allow to involve “weapon” scientists into the international scientific community.
Technical Approach and Methodology. During the project implementation the usage of computer, functional and physical modelling methods are planned. Field tests of technical facilities of automatic irrigation system with low-pressure sprinkling machines and turbo-pump station will allow to develop recommendations for designing similar systems and also to implement environmentally friendly and water-saving technologies of low-pressure sprinkling.
Role of Foreign Collaborators. During the execution of Project researches the following activities are planned:
- The information exchange between Project executors and collaborators;
- Carrying out joint symposia and workshops;
- Joint checking and assessment of irrigation system equipment and technologies.
In connection with this, the authors of the project invite foreign collaborators to take part in the implementation and support of this project.
The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.
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