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Generalisation of supply energy efficiency in irrigation distribution networks

Abadía, Ricardo, Vera, Jorge, Rocamora, Carmen, Puerto, Herminia
Biosystems engineering 2018 v.175 pp. 146-155
energy efficiency, engineering, irrigated farming, irrigation systems, models, water supply
Energy efficiency in irrigation distribution networks can be estimated by following the method proposed by Abadia et al (2008) [Biosystems Engineering, 101, 21–27], in which energy efficiency is quantified in terms of global energy efficiency (GEE), a parameter that is a compound of the pumping energy efficiency (PEE) and the supply energy efficiency (SEE). PEE is related to pump functioning, while SEE is related to the design and management of the distribution system. Calculation of SEE by this method is limited to irrigation networks that have a single water intake at an elevation below that of the irrigated area and a single supplied sector. Results from the method are confusing for networks with more than one water supply point or irrigation sectors supplied by intakes located at elevations higher than that of the irrigated area. This paper proposes a modification of the earlier method that is appropriate to any type of layout and configuration of the irrigation network, with one or several water intake points and supplied sectors. The new model is applied to four different types of collective pressurised irrigation network, and the results are compared with those of the previous model. The influence of different measures taken to improve the SEE and determine the variables that affect this efficiency was analysed. The results show that adequate SEE values can be obtained with the proposed model for all the situations analysed, and that it is possible to quantify the improvements in SEE with the model.