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Project Example

Design of a Water Irrigation System for a Farm in the Rural Community of Laguna, Huarmey, Peru

Course: 22.342 - Convective Processes
Semester: Fall 2008
Instructor: Eugene E. Niemi, Jr
Partner: Village Empowerment Peru Project

PA solar water pumping system was introduced to the rural community of Laguna, Huarmey, Peru in June 2007 by a team of UML students as a Service-Learning project to improve community life. The solar pumping system is located on a hill, where water from the system flows down to the community by gravity.

In order to apply this solar pumping system for maximum benefit, an irrigation system was designed by another team of UML students in fall 2007 as an additional tool for an avocado farm to replace the existing diesel powered water pumping irrigation system. As a result, the system can perform its task, but the size of the piping system in the design was found to be too large, which is too expensive for the application in the installation site, and may not be attractive for other farmers to replicate in terms of cost and benefit tradeoffs.

Therefore, within this fall’08 semester, the best service-learning project for this Convective Processes course was to redesign the irrigation system with restricted pipe sizes to fully suit the site requirement to increase the avocado production and to bring convenience to the life of people in the rural community of Laguna, Huarmey, Peru.

A water irrigation system was to be designed for the good of an avocado farm using the gravitational water flow from the solar water pumping system located on top of a hill near the farm with the following requirements.

  1. The peak water requirement for avocado plantation during the growing season is estimated to be about 21 liters/tree/day.
  2. The plants are to be watered twice a day, early in the morning and in the afternoon.
  3. The distance between plants is 10 meters for a total of 100 trees per hectare.
  4. The total horizontal distance between the water source and the bottom of the hill is 100 m or about 330 ft
  5. The tank will be placed on a hill which starts 30 meters opposite from the river, assuming that the hill has a slope of 30 degrees
  6. Use of PE pipe is restricted at the diameter of 1 inch

Students delivered reports with complete task asked as follows: Design the system according to the above requirements and site specifications and specify;

  1. Number and diameter of the holes in the pipes for each tree to irrigate water at the rate specified
  2. Tank volume for two days supplies of water
  3. A sketch of the system design and calculation procedures are expected within the final report

A solar-powered irrigation system was installed near Laguna on a farm (for asperagus, as it turns out).