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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Drop Size Distributions for Irrigation Sprinklers

Authors
item Kincaid, Dennis
item Solomon, K - IRRIG.TECH.CTR. FRESNO,CA
item Oliphant, J - IRRIG.TECH.CTR. FRESNO,CA

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 7, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Sprinkler irrigation comprises nearly half of the irrigated area in the U.S. and the percentage is increasing. A wide range of sprinkler types is available for use on both stationary and traveling laterals, and for a wide range of operating pressure. Drop sizes from sprinklers are of major concern because of drift and evaporation losses from small drops, and droplet impact on the soil which increases erosion potential. Selecting the optimum type of sprinkler and operating conditions for a particular application requires knowledge of the drop size distributions. This paper provides a consistent set of drop size data covering a wide range of sprinkler and nozzle types, and provides a method for estimating the percent of volume in small (<0.5 mm) and large (>3 mm) size ranges.

Technical Abstract: A consistent set of drop size distribution data is presented covering a wide range of sprinkler types including single nozzle impact sprinklers with straight bore and square nozzles, and sprayheads with various types of deflector plates. The data was measured by the laser optical method, and comparisons with other types of drop size measurement techniques are presented. A method is provided to estimate the percentage of drops in small and large size ranges given the type of sprinkler and the nozzle size and pressure head and pressure head.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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