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Estimation of Drop Size and Kinetic Energy from a Rotating Spray-Plate Sprinkler

DeBoer, D.W., Monnens, M.J.
Transactions of the ASAE 2001 v.44 no.6 pp. 1571-1580
computer simulation, energy flow, irrigation water, sprinkler irrigation, sprinklers
Procedures for detecting drop sizes and associated kinetic energies for irrigation sprinklers are time-consuming and/or capital intensive. A quick, inexpensive, and reasonably accurate procedure was developed for the estimation of d 50 drop size and energy flux density (specific power) changes with distance for two rotating spray-plate irrigation sprinklers. Results from a single-leg irrigation sprinkler test and a ballistic computer simulation program were used for the estimation procedure that is applicable for both fast and slow rotating spray-plate sprinklers. Energy flux density patterns with maximum to average values of 6.0 or less can be expected to produce satisfactory irrigation water energy uniformity with a sprinkler spacing of 2 to 3 m. Unsatisfactory energy uniformity can be expected with sprinkler spacings of 5 to 6 m. The proposed estimation procedure provides results that are adequate for practical field application.