Peillón Mesa, Manuel Esteban and Sánchez Calvo, Raúl and Tarquis Alfonso, Ana Maria and García Fernández, José Luis
The use of wind pumps for greenhouse microirrigation: a case study for tomato in Cuba..
"Agricultural Water Management", v. 120
Crop irrigation is a major consumer of energy. Only a few countries are self-sufficient in conventional non-renewable energy sources. Fortunately, there are renewable ones, such as wind, which has experienced recent developments in the area of power generation. Wind pumps can play a vital role in irrigation projects in remote farms. A methodology based on daily estimation balance between water needs and water availability was used to evaluate the feasibility of the most economic windmill irrigation system. For this purpose, several factors were included: three-hourly wind velocity (W3 h, m/s), flow supplied by the wind pump as a function of the elevation height (H, m) and daily greenhouse evapotranspiration as a function of crop planting date. Monthly volumes of water required for irrigation (Dr, m3/ha) and in the water tank (Vd, m3), as well as the monthly irrigable area (Ar, ha), were estimated by cumulative deficit water budgeting taking in account these factors. An example is given illustrating the use of this methodology on tomato crop (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) under greenhouse at Ciego de Ávila, Cuba. In this case two different W3 h series (average and low wind year), three different H values and five tomato crop planting dates were considered. The results show that the optimum period of wind-pump driven irrigation is with crop plating in November, recommending a 5 m3 volume tank for cultivated areas around 0.2 ha when using wind pumps operating at 15 m of height elevation.