Evaluation of the Irrigation Hydraulics Assessor (IHA) as a Pipeline Behaviour Estimation Tool

Ginakis, Philip (2018) Evaluation of the Irrigation Hydraulics Assessor (IHA) as a Pipeline Behaviour Estimation Tool. [USQ Project]


This dissertation is an evaluation of the Irrigation Hydraulics Assessor (IHA), a publicly available, web-based hydraulic assessment tool developed by the Centre for Agricultural Engineering (CAE), intended to increase efficiency in irrigation. The IHA is a tool that makes irrigation mainline pipeline hydraulic analyses available to farmers and pipeline operators who otherwise may not understand the required engineering principles for this type of analysis. The concept for this research was proposed by CAE, with a view to obtaining an objective assessment of the validity, accuracy, and necessity of the tool, and an understanding of ways to improve its value.

The IHA, through its web-based interface, allows the user to plot pipeline alignments on a real-world map, and by inputting flow properties and basic pipeline information, automatically performs friction and minor head loss computations and ultimately provides the end user a prediction of the hydraulic behaviour of the pipeline. This dissertation is a critical evaluation of the numerical and functional performance of the IHA as a hydraulic pipeline behaviour estimation tool and performs a thorough assessment of the validity and utility of the IHA as an everyday tool for the typical end-user. This dissertation synthesised accurate methods of pipeline head loss calculation, data documenting the development and intent of the IHA tool, and reviewed information about what would constitute success for a tool such as this. This research employed robust pipeline case studies, based on real farm pipelines, and used them as the basis of an evaluation of the numerical accuracy and functionality of the tool. Additionally, a detailed evaluation of the functions and features of the tool provided an end-user perspective of how well the tool performs.

These numerical and functionality evaluations identified, and provided the justification for, suggested improvements to the tool. Namely that the IHA, which presently utilises the inaccurate Hazen-Williams friction head loss equation, should be amended to use the Colebrook-White and Darcy-Weisbach friction head loss estimation method. It is also suggested that the IHA has its conformance to the Conservation of Energy laws reviewed. Other suggested improvements include: enhancing cost-evaluation and system design functions, the implementation of a dangerous flow condition warning system, and integrating the IHA with existing CAE irrigation efficiency tools.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Gillies, Malcolm; Scobie, Michael
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 03:59
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 01:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: Irrigation Hydraulics Assessor (IHA); pipeline
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/40769

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