Surge Flow—Automation of Surface Irrigation—At Last

by Glen E. Stringham, Utah State Univ, Logan, UT, USA,
Wynn R. Walker, Utah State Univ, Logan, UT, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Steel Structures


The studies which led to the development of Surge Flow at Utah State University, began as an effort to automate surface irrigation systems. The first prototype models, were electric control valves modified so they would operate as pneumatic valves at very low pressures. Field trials of the system showed that one furrow stream cycled, or surged, between two furrows would reach the end of the furrow as fast as a furrow stream the same size would if it ran in one furrow continuously. This phenomenon leads to marked improvements in the distribution uniformity of surface irrigation during the advance phase. In the development process, the need to predict advance rates and cut-back times became apparent, and the computer models that were necessary for operating the system were developed. Two operating formats for Surge Flow have developed the USU-ARS T'valves and the USU Kubota Control System, the most sophisticated of the Surge Flow methods that are now commercially available.

Subject Headings: Surface irrigation | Overland flow | Valves | Irrigation systems | Control systems | Automation and robotics | Rivers and streams | Computer models

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