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Designing a Low Activation Pressure Drip Irrigation Emitter With Constraints for Mass Manufacturing

[+] Author Affiliations
Pulkit Shamshery, Amos G. Winter, V

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2016-60078, pp. V004T05A025; 8 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 21st Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 10th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5014-5
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


This work discusses the modeling and optimization of a drip irrigation emitter for reducing activation pressure. Our model formulation focuses on analytically characterizing fluid-structure interactions in an existing 8 liters per hour (lph) pressure-compensating online emitter. A preliminary experimental validation of the resulting model was performed for three different emitter architectures. This model was used as a basis for a genetic algorithm-based optimization algorithm that focused on minimizing activation pressure. The design variables considered in our formulation include, geometric features of the emitter architecture, and practical constraints from manufacturing. We applied our optimization approach to four emitters (with flow rates of 4, 6, 7 and 8.2 lph) and were able to lower activation pressure by more than half in each case. The optimization results for all four emitters were experimentally validated in lab-studies. We performed a more exhaustive validation study for the 8.2 lph emitter with an emitter manufacturer. Results from these experiments (which followed ISO standards) showed that the optimized 8.2 lph emitter had a 75% lower activation pressure when compared to the original emitter design.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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