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Home » Pumps » A Step-by-step Guide to Choosing the Right Pump for your Agriculture Needs

A Step-by-step Guide to Choosing the Right Pump for your Agriculture Needs

Posted: 21/06/2018
Category: Pumps

Pump selection plays a vital role in meeting the requirements of your irrigation needs. The right irrigation pump ensures that the water requirements are met for your crops as well as provides the best efficiency to get the most out of the layout of your field. Here, in today’s article, you can find all that you need to know to find the right type of pump for your agriculture needs. Understanding the Basics Though there are several types of irrigation techniques in practice, the goal is the same – to pump water from the source and to distribute it evenly within the field. The aim here is to keep the energy requirements low while ensuring that all plants receive adequate amounts of water – neither too low nor too high. Modern irrigation techniques can meet these goals with the help of the right water pumps. To ensure uniform irrigation of a field, the entire cultivable area is divided into smaller regions called as zones. Zones can be segregated based on soil types, crops cultivated, and irrigation requirements and so on. Each zone is watered with the help of pipes, tubes, sprinklers, and valves, which are connected to a pump. The entire field is divided into zones because a single sprinkler doesn’t have the required pressure and flow to irrigate the whole area at a time. An irrigation controller (it can either be mechanical, electrical, or digital) is responsible for turning on and off the sprinklers in a particular zone at a specific time. Step 1 – Choose your Irrigation Equipment Different equipment requires different amounts of water and pressure. Hence, it’s vital that you choose the equipment first before selecting your pump. While choosing irrigation equipment, make sure to consider the controller. The controller plays a crucial role in turning off and on water supply at specified periods, or during rains, heavy winds, direct sunlight, etc. The controller is responsible for water conservation, as it turns off the pump at a pre-set time, so that water seeps adequately into the soil. This reduces runoff and infiltration. Today, smart pump controllers are gaining popularity. These devices use plenty of data like soil humidity, weather, moisture and rain sensors to determine optimal water requirements for your crops. Step 2 – Consider the Water Source Type The rule of thumb for successful irrigation is adequate access to water. Just a few decades ago, water was considered as an infinite resource. Sadly, the situation is reversed today, and there is an acute shortage of water in all regions of the country. This means you need to take the right steps to ensure that water is managed efficiently in your field. The general sources of irrigation water include groundwater from wells, springs or bore wells, surface water from lakes, rivers, reservoirs and other non-conventional sources of water like reclaimed water, drainage water, desalinated water, wastewater and so on. Step 3 – Determining the Irrigation Pump Type The location of the water source plays a crucial role in determining the type of pump. Here’s a general guide on what pump works well for different water sources:

  • Turbine pumps and deep-well submersible pumps are suitable to draw water from deep underground, think wells, bore-wells, etc.
  • When it comes to surface water, you can use several different types of pumps. One advantage of using submersible pumps with groundwater is that the pump is not visible, thereby reducing chances of theft and reduced pump operation noise.
Two elements necessary to ensure uniform flow of water are – availability of adequate water and the crop’s specific requirements. While choosing water pumps, it’s considered a best practice to use more than one pump. Instead, of a single large pump, using several small pumps offers various benefits like – reduced aquifer drawdown, decreased energy consumption, easy cut in/cut off pumps based on varying requirements, etc. Step 4 – Figuring out the Right Pump Size Generally, irrigation pump used in irrigation are either over-sized or under-sized. Choosing the correct pump size is essential for the success of your irrigation system. Some factors to consider while deciding on the pump size are:
  • Power consumption
  • System pressure
  • Variable speed controls
  • Motor protection
Step 5 – Calculate the Efficiency of the Pump Calculating the overall efficiency of the system is a must before the final irrigation pump selection is made. The electricity costs depend on how many kW the motor runs on. The pumps and the motors in the system have varying efficiencies. Here’s a simple formula to calculate the efficiency: Efficiency% = Q * H / 3.67 * P1
  • Here, Q = water flow measured in m3/h
  • H = head pressure measured in meters
  • P1 = the kW of the motor
Most pump manufacturers provide you with all the required data. This helps in calculating the right efficiency. Remember that your pump must do more than delivering water to the pipes and ultimately the crops. Step 6 – Don’t forget System Integration Today, pumps are no longer stand-alone devices. They have to be integrated with the rest of the irrigation system. This means the pump you choose must match the irrigation equipment perfectly for the best results. All the elements listed above must be integrated to provide the maximum cost savings to the modern farmer. You can reduce operational costs by ensuring that the water pressure is not higher than required and by using the right controls. Similarly, maintaining the correct water flow and pressure translates to more energy savings. Water delivered at the right precision and at the right time to the crops results in higher yields, better harvests, thereby increasing profitability. Apart from profits, the right pump also ensures better water management, thus making sustainable agricultural practices a possibility. The Last Word We hope this article helps you in finding the right irrigation pump for your irrigation requirements. For any further clarifications, shoot your queries to our experts here at Sintech, India’s largest pump manufacturer and supplier. Click here to get in touch with us.

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