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Modeling and designing the future of drip irrigation : a validated parametric analysis used to design low power, pressure compensating drip emitters

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dc.contributor.advisor Amos G. Winter, V. en_US
dc.contributor.author Shamshery, Pulkit en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial a-ii--- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-13T19:20:35Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-13T19:20:35Z
dc.date.copyright 2016 en_US
dc.date.issued 2016 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/104278
dc.description Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2016. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (pages 71-74). en_US
dc.description.abstract Drip irrigation is a means of distributing the exact amount of water a plant needs by dripping water directly onto the root zone. It can produce up to 90% more crops than rain-fed irrigation, and reduce water consumption by 70% compared to conventional flood irrigation. In the coming years, the demand for new, low-cost, low-power drip irrigation technology will continue to grow, particularly in developing countries. It will enable millions of poor farmers to rise out of poverty by growing more and higher value crops, while not contributing to overconsumption of water. The key inhibitor to drip adoption has been the high initial investment cost. A cost and pressure analysis revealed that a reduction in activation pressure of pressure compensating (PC) drip emitters - which can maintain a constant flow rate under variations in pressure, to ensure uniform water distribution on a field - can reduce the cost of off-grid drip systems by up to 50%. These emitter have been designed and optimized empirically in the past. In this thesis, I present a parametric model that describes the fluid and solid mechanics that govern the behavior of a common PC emitter architecture, which uses a flexible diaphragm to limit flow. The model was validated by testing nine prototypes with geometric variations, all of which matched predicted performance to within R2 = 0.85. This parametric model was then coupled with a genetic algorithm to achieve a lower activation pressure of 0.15 bar for not only the 8.2 lph emitter, but also the 4, 6, 7 lph emitters. These new drip emitters, with attributes that improve performance and lower cost, are a step closer to making drip irrigation economically accessible to all throughout the world. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Pulkit Shamshery. en_US
dc.format.extent 74 pages en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.title Modeling and designing the future of drip irrigation : a validated parametric analysis used to design low power, pressure compensating drip emitters en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree S.M. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 958161543 en_US


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