Submitted to: Energy Climate Environment and Water Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2002
Publication Date: 7/17/2002
Citation: Trout, T.J., Gartung, J.L. 2002. Energy use for microirrigation.. Energy Climate Environment and Water Conference, pp. 465-474.
Interpretive Summary: Electric energy costs are high in California. Pumping irrigation water is a major cost for many irrigated farms. Microirrigation systems are commonly considered to be low pressure systems with relatively low energy requirements. A survey of 127 California Central Valley microirrigation systems determined that although some are operated at low pressures, half of the systems use over 35 psi pressure at the pump. Pressures loss, and thus energy, could be reduced with improved design, improved operation and maintenance, and improved equipment. Reducing system pressure by 10 psi would save about $30 per acre per year in electricity costs. It will often be economical to invest more in the system to save pressure and energy costs.
Technical Abstract: Microirrigation systems can operate with low pressure. Microirrigation emitters require only 7 - 15 psi. However, cleaning, regulating, and delivering the water to the emitters often consumes an additional 20 - 40 psi. A survey of 127 California Central Valley microirrigation systems showed that 50% of the systems operate with more than 35 psi pump pressure. Pressure was lost at the filter station, in the distribution system, and at the emitters. Some devices such as filters and pressure regulating valves require substantial pressure or pressure loss to operate. Extra pressure is required to irrigate undulating land. Reducing system pressure by 10 psi in a system would save about $30 per acre per year in electricity costs. It will often be economical to invest more in the system to save pressure and energy costs.