CFD Analysis of the Flow Characteristics of In-Line Drip Emitter with Different Labyrinth Channels


Certain types of soil fail to absorb larger discharge causing excess water to go waste. Higher flow rate tends to carry the sandy soil along with it, making it useless and damaging to the crop. To address these problems, drip irrigation method with labyrinth channel emitters is used to optimize the amount of water used. Emitters with lower rate of flow are more desirable and efficient. These save water and fertilizer by dripping water slowly and uniformly as per the requirement of the roots of plants, either to the soil surface or directly to the root zone. In this study, visualization of the flow characteristics of 3-D emitters with different types of in-line labyrinth channels is done with the help of principles of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Commercial CAD software SolidWorks is used for modeling the 3-D geometry of the emitter, and ANSYS FLUENT is used for CFD analysis. A comparative study of different turbulence models is carried out in order to find the most suitable model for the problem. Discharge is calculated at ten different operating inlet pressures in terms of head of water. The emitter of four different channel profiles: circular, rectangular, triangular and trapezoidal, is studied. The triangular channel has the lowest pressure drop (15.94 kPa) as compared to other channels. Based on simulated discharge values, the triangular channel has the lowest discharge as compared to other channels.

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Correspondence to Vivek Kumar Patel.

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Baghel, Y.K., Kumar, J. & Patel, V.K. CFD Analysis of the Flow Characteristics of In-Line Drip Emitter with Different Labyrinth Channels. J. Inst. Eng. India Ser. A 102, 111–119 (2021).

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  • Emitter
  • In-line labyrinth channels
  • CFD
  • CAD