Delivering a low-cost, reliable drip irrigation filtration system for micro-irrigation in developing countries
Author(s)Greenlee, Alison S.; Murray, Timothy; Lesniewski, Victor; Jeunnette, Mark Nathaniel; Winter, Amos
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The cylindrical filters presently used in drip irrigation systems frequently clog, increasing pressure loss and lowering the flow rate through the filters. This work investigates alternative filtration strategies that increase the reliability of, and are compatible with, existing systems. To test different filtration strategies, a drip irrigation test setup was built to measure the pressure loss across different filters as particles accumulated. These experiments found that pleated cartridge filters, with high effective surface area, incurred the lowest pressure losses. More significantly, it was observed during these tests that the filtered out particles settled to the bottom of the filter housing when flow through the filter ceased. This inspired the redesign of the filter housing such that the housing extended far below the filter, providing a catch basin away from the filter for the particles to settle. Fixing the filter independently of the bottom casing significantly improves the overall performance of the filtration system and can be inexpensively manufactured via blow molding. This paper experimentally demonstrates that the cartridge filter inside the redesigned housing can filter out over 2 kg of sand while maintaining less than a .03 bar pressure drop across the filter at a flow rate of 25 l/s.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hatsopoulos Microfluids Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Photovoltaic Research Laboratory; MIT Energy Initiative; Sloan Automotive Laboratory
Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conference & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Greenlee, Alison, Timothy Murray, Victor Lesniewski, Mark Jeunnette, and Amos G. Winter, V. "Delivering a low-cost, reliable drip irrigation filtration system for micro-irrigation in developing countries." ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conference & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (August 2014).
Author's final manuscript