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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Wind Powered Drip Irrigation Systems for Fruit Trees

Authors
item Vick, Brian
item Clark, Ray
item Evett, Steven

Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: July 12, 2000
Publication Date: July 12, 2000
Citation: Vick, B.D., Clark, R.N., Evett, S.R. 2000. Wind powered drip irrigation systems for fruit trees. In: Meeting Paper, American Society of Agricultural Engineers Annual International Mtng, Milwaukee, WI. ASAE Paper No. 00-4030. p.13.

Technical Abstract: The feasibility of using a wind-electric drip irrigation system for watering fruit and nut trees at 3 different locations in Texas was analyzed. Two wind-electric systems (a 1.5 kW and a 10 kW) have been extensively tested at Bushland for several years, so flow rate as a function of wind speed and pumping depth has been determined for several different pumps. Using these pumping performance data with measured wind distributions in the 3 locations together with the measured water requirements of each tree species, the overall effectiveness of the wind-electric drip irrigation systems were evaluated. With no storage capability or pre-watering, only 0.1 ha of deciduous fruit trees could be watered with the 1.5 kW system in the Eastern Texas Panhandle with a tower height of 18.5 m and a pumping depth of 40 m. However, if water could be stored or the land could be pre-watered in the windier months, 0.5 to 1.0 ha could be watered. Also increasing the tower height from 18.5 m to 40 m can result in 2 to 3 times as many trees that can be watered. The additional cost in tower height was more than offset by the increased area of irrigation. Using the 10 kW unit on a 50 m tower, 3.5 ha of pecan trees could be watered from a well with a 45 m pumping depth in Lubbock Co., TX. Although the feasibility of locating a wind-electric drip irrigation system in the Rio Grande Valley for irrigating citrus fruit was expected to be the least successful of the three systems because of the lower wind speed regime, this system appears to be the most economical because of the low pumping head requirements and a good match between citrus fruit tree monthly water demand and the wind speed monthly distribution.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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