Conserving Energy with Low-Pressure Center Pivots

by James R. Gilley, Assoc. Prof.; Agricultural Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.,
Lloyd B. Mielke, Soil Scientist; U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Science and Education Administration-Agricultural Research; also, Assoc. Prof., Agronomy Dept., Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 49-59

Document Type: Journal Paper


Reduced-pressure, center-pivot irrigation systems offer the potential of applying irrigation water with significant energy savings. However, lowering the pressure of center-pivot systems may increase runoff and soil erosion, thereby reducing irrigation efficiency, decreasing uniformity of water application, and creating other operational problems. The future use of reduced-pressure irrigation systems depends upon solving these problems. Reductions in irrigation efficiency must be considered when determining the net energy savings from reduced pressure systems as a reduction in irrigation efficiency may negate the energy saved by pressure reduction, especially for systems with larger lifts. In some cases, soil type, topography, and cultural practices may preclude the use of reduced-pressure systems because of their higher application rates.

Subject Headings: Irrigation systems | Energy efficiency | Water conservation | Soil pressure | Soil water | Irrigation water | Hydro power | Runoff

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