Designing low pressure drip emitters

Goal: reduce the energy consumption of pressure compensating drip irrigation systems by optimizing the hydraulics of inline drip emitters

Methodology: used structural mechanics, fluid dynamics, CFD, and experimental techniques to design pressure compensating drip irrigation emitters with low operating pressure

Overview: 

The global market for drip irrigation is currently valued at $3.78 billion USD and is projected to reach $6.54 billion USD by 2022, largely due to increased demand in burgeoning markets like India.  The demand growth for drip irrigation technologies is being fueled by growing populations and increasingly scarce water resources.  Low pressure drip irrigation systems could operate more reliably and have lower energy consumption for small farmers with surface water sources.

I developed a predictive model to compare the operating pressure and flow rate of different emitter designs as a function of geometry.  The model used a combination of numerical, analytical, and experimental techniques.  The model had an average error of around 10 percent compared to experimental data and a lower computational time than a fully numerical model.  Using the model as a design tool, we designed and tested in the laboratory an inline drip emitter with an activation pressure 50% less than the conventional emitters sold by our project partner.  

Publications

Narain, J. and Winter V., A. G., "A Hybrid Computational and Analytical Model of Inline Drip Emitters".  2019.  Journal of Mechanical Design.  

Sokol, J., Narain, J., Winter, A.G., "Experimental apparatus for rapid prototyping of pressure-compensating inline drip irrigation emitters," 71st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics: Atlanta, GA.  November 2018.

Narain, J. and Winter V., A.G..  "A Hybrid Computational and Analytical Model of Inline Drip Emitters."  Proceedings of the 44th Design Automation Conference (DAC).  ASME IDETC/CIE Paper #DETC2018-85871.

Narain, J. and Winter V., A. G., "A Hybrid Computational and Analytical Model of Inline Drip Emitters".  70th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics: Denver, CO.  BAPS.2017.DFD.A25..  http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD17/Session/A25.1

Narain, J. and Winter V., A.G..  "Determination of Resistance Factor for Tortuos Paths in Drip Emitters."  Proceedings of the 43rd Design Automation Conference (DAC).  ASME IDETC/CIE Paper #DETC2017-67895.