New anti-clogging perspective by discharging sediment from drip irrigation emitters with high-sediment loaded water

Hou, Peng
Liu, Lu
Xiao, Yang
Zhou, Bo
Li, Yunkai
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The promotion of drip irrigation technology has been severely constrained by the emitter clogging caused by sediment deposition when using high-sediment loaded water. To fill this gap, a novel solution to the emitter clogging issue has been developed by allowing fine sediment particles to drain as much through the emitter as possible. The sediment deposition and discharge ratio, the sediment discharge rate, and the control threshold for particle size were used to determine the sediment discharge capacity (SDC) of the emitter. The result shows that almost all (> 99%) the fine-grained sediment (< 100 µm) can be discharged from the flow path of eight emitters, which varied greatly in different emitters. Specifically, pressure-compensating emitters (PCE) had higher SDC than non-pressure-compensating emitters (NPCE), with relative average flow rate increased by 16.9-33.0%. Meanwhile, the emitter flow path structure significantly affects SDC. The side wall of the flow path could be changed from a toothed structure to a swirl wash wall optimized structure, which would significantly improve the SDC. Furthermore, the SDC of NPCE was primarily affected by the flow path length (L) and the ratio of the cross-sectional area to the length (A−−√/L). Lastly, stronger emitter SDC closely related to both smaller particle size and concentration of water source. This study presents a fresh idea of sediment treatment for drip irrigation systems with high sediment content water and may contribute to the design of emitters with high sediment discharge capacity, and the effective management and filtration treatment of high-sediment loaded water ​
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