Determination of Head Losses in Drip Irrigation Laterals with Cylindrical In-Line Type Emitters through CFD Analysis

1 Akdeniz University, Dept. of Agricultural Machinery, Faculty of Agriculture, Antalya, Turkey
2 The Politehnica University of Bucharest, Dept. of Manufacturing Engineering, Bucharest, Romania
3 Lancaster University, Lancaster Product Development Unit, Department of Engineering, Lancaster, United Kingdom


CELIK, H. K., D. KARAYEL, M. E. LUPEANU, A. E. W. RENNIE and I. AKINCI, 2015. Determination of head losses in drip irrigation laterals with cylindrical in-line type emitters through cfd analysis. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci.,21: 703–710

Drip irrigation techniques have been used in the agricultural production industry as an advanced water-saving irrigation method in recent decades. However advantageous this method, there are still some difficulties in projecting the efficiency of such systems. Most especially, determination of the losses because of the emitters is very important in order to set up an efficient irrigation system. This study is focused on determining head losses for agricultural drip irrigation systems with cylindrical in-line type drip emitters using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques. In the study, three-dimensional solid models of five in-line type drip emitters, which have a volumetric flow capacity of 4.0 [l h-1] and placed in a pipe with 250 [mm] intervals between each other, were considered and CFD analyses were carried out with different inlet pressure values. According to the results of the CFD analyses, hydraulic losses were calculated globally and locally and analysis outputs were presented to determine the head losses due to the inclusion of the emitters. Validations for results of the simulation were also achieved by using empirical equations taken from related literature. As a result, maximum simulation error rate of 8.824 [%] was observed between simulations and empirical equations taken from related literature results. This accordance between simulation and empirical results can be interpreted that CFD analyses could be used to calculate the critical flow parameters such as total head losses of drip irrigation pipes integrated with in-line emitters.

Key words: Computer Aided Engineering, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Drip Irrigation, Drip Emitter, Hydraulic Losses
Nomenclature: A: Cross-sectional area [m2]; D: Diameter [m]; f: Friction coefficient [-]; g: Acceleration due to gravity [9.81 m s-2]; Hf: Head loss due to insertion of emitter [m]; Hk: Friction loss of the pipe [m]; L: Length [m]; n: Kinematic viscosity of water [m2 s-1]; P: Pressure [Pa]; Q: Volumetric flow rate [m3 s-1]; Re: Reynolds Number [-]; t: Coefficient in head loss eq. [-]; v: Velocity [m s-1]
Subscripts: i - Numerical index; max- Maximum; min- Minimum
Abbreviations: CAD - Computer Aided Design; CFD - Computational Fluid Dynamics

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