2 years ago, Burnside Farms started a major undertaking mid-way between Dundee and Aberdeen. Apart from the terrain the water source was over 600m away with sometimes questionable quality. The total suspended solids (TSS) in the water changed when they had heavy downpours.
Their first project of blueberries required the full range of NaanDanJain drippers, PE tube, Yamit filtration, Lowara pump sets and the Gavish fertilisation rig. With just one crop, only two fertiliser legs plus acid were required but due to their quick expansion onto raspberries a further two legs have been added.
On their original project, the simple IBCs were utilised for fertiliser mixing, however, the next project required 4 x 6000 litre tanks. Each has its own water fill and air agitation to keep the tanks filled up and no settlement of chemicals at the bottom. The acid injection leg has also posed problems with a high concentration of acid being delivered. To reduce the peaks and smooth out the control a dilution system automatically mixes water and nitric acid together without human intervention. The ratio can be changed to suit the requirement.
A remote field has also been added to this system and due to the distances involved we installed our two wire decoder unit to allow valve control.
The full Greenline software has been added to a PC to allow full data collection and interrogation.
HHP Manor work on large scale growing with the corresponding large scale irrigation. Their water supplies are reservoirs which typically create very little water pressure to supply the pumping system operating as they do on a volume based pumping system.
Ripple Aquaplast designed a system using a speed controlled 110m³/hr submersible pump to push the water to the crop via a 6″ NaanDanJain automatic back flush 130 micron filter. To power this pump a generator is automatically started by the NDJ Spirit Pro controller. Ripple Aquaplast used an in line fertiliser rig complete with 8 Bar booster pump to allow the addition of fertilisers and acid but without decreasing the system flow rate.
HHP Manor are the first company to utilise a seven fertiliser and one acid venturi injection system with 1000 litre/hour flow rates.
HHP took their irrigation information one step further. They realised that the historical data being created could have an impact on their future irrigation, as such, they invested into a Windows based PC network. The Greenline software interprets and stores all the information in a user friendly format that can be interrogated from any PC, laptop or smartphone with the correct password.
Finally to the field; the terrain created a few problems initially with run down on the drippers even though the NDJ dripper has a 3 closing pressure. The RA team brought their integrated laser measurement system to create a 3d effect of where the field slopes are. With the quick installation of the market leading LPD’s the problem was removed.
New Glasshouse 2018/19
RippleAquaplast Ltd were approached late in 2017 to discuss and propose a complete irrigation solution for a new one hectare glasshouse. The glasshouse was to be constructed on a green field site adjacent to an existing nursery area.
The requirements were as follows:-
- A new pumping system to be located in the existing pump house area
- A new water storage tank
- Pumping and filtration system for the reservoir to fill the above tank
- The ability to dose fertiliser through spray lines and hose watering systems
- Recovery of the drainage water from the existing nursery into a reservoir on the new site
- A new overhead sprinkler system with solenoid valve controller
- Environmental control for four zones including propagation and production areas
- A low level irrigation system (e.g. capillary/sand beds/sub-irrigation)
- A festoon hose system per bay
- Provision of hand watering points
What we did
The following solutions were proposed and implemented:-
- A Lowara variable speed drive (Hydrovar) pumping and header system
- A 24 x 10’ Galvanised water storage tank with EDPM liner and anti-algae cover
- A Lowara submersible pump with water transfer pipe, float switch controlled panel and automatic self-flushing screen filter
- A Tefen fertiliser dosing unit with an on/off selector
- An existing drain was utilised to recover the drain water into the reservoir
- Each glasshouse bay has two spray lines with a sprinkler configuration designed to water half the bay very accurately with limited over spray into adjacent bays
- The vents, screens, heating and sprinkler irrigation are controlled via a bespoke Gavish system
- Capillary sand beds were selected as the low level option with the header system from the new pump having outlets for the float tanks
- Hand watering points were allowed for at appropriate points along the central pathway
The system was installed in late 2018 with a view to being fully operational in early 2019.
RippleAquaplast were asked to compile a complete irrigation audit of the nursery to cover the following –
- Problem areas you are looking to solve e.g. reservoir filtration, underground mains pressures in certain areas
- Filtration in general
- Pump houses
- Sprinklers systems – overhead and on risers inside and out
- Drip systems
- Capillary beds
- Control systems
- Overview of the new area
One of the most obvious areas for improvement was in the filtration of the water being pumped from the river and reservoir into the holding tank. An old sand filter had been decommissioned some time ago which meant a large amount of sediment entering the holding tank.
Filtration consisted of screen filters in the pump house and locally at various points around the nursery. The most cost effective solution suggested was to install a suitably sized filter system prior to the holding tank and clean out the holding tank to give a fresh start.
The filtration system was specified with assistance from our partners at NaanDanJain and Yamit filtration. The final recommendation was to install 4 x 30” media filter with an automatic back flushing controller and safety screen filter on the outlet. The media to be used is a new innovation called Garofiltre which consists of crushed glass to a specific particle size of 0.7-1.3mm which gives a filtration degree of 100 microns.
To see a sand and GARO®filtre comparison for irrigation purposes, click Tech Data.
Our first trial system was installed at Hugh Low Farms around three years ago. These guys take their in-field trials seriously. After running this system well for the three years, only then did the team at HLF feel comfortable with ordering additional NDJ Click Tif drippers.
A project of over 5 acres of Soft Fruit table top with over 100k drippers, filtration, automatic valves and all the pipe work. Whilst the general design mirrored the HLF favoured style, the technical team at Ripple Aquaplast were always keen to input and managed to convince the irrigation manager, Valentin Cojocaru to make some alterations to the original design. Improvements are often not seen as one great step forward, more likely a collection of smaller improvements.
Everything is top notch! It’s been a pleasure to work with the experienced team from HLF who always approach things logically and rationally.
Hopefully after this project comes to an end, the results will convince the guys to place more future projects with Ripple Aquaplast.
Ripple Aquaplast encourage future growth.
3 years ago the McIntyre’s brought together a new project for strawberries on raised beds and under polythene. They provided a new pump house and RA supplied a new twin pumping system with speed control from Lowara and a two fertiliser plus acid injection system.
After two seasons the farm was ready for expansion onto a new field along with a new crop of raspberries. Of course NDJ drip products were selected primarily because of their superior technical performance in a difficult terrain. The resultant uniformity has continued the great results from year one.
At the beginning of 2018 the rig was upgrades from a 2 + 1 to a 4 + 1 rig. This allowed two separate mixes of fertilisers to be created within the pump house. So each recipe did not mix with the other a separate header pipe along with control valves was designed and installed.
This is the advantage of Ripple Aquaplast systems insomuch that they are designed with growth in mind so can be added to and developed as the cropped area grows, or the crop changes or indeed, growing ideas change.
Once again, following the success of our initial project we have been asked back for the latest phase.
The water source for this project is an open, unlined reservoir which is relatively shallow. The beautiful sunshine of the 2018 summer turned the water into a pea soup but due to our diligent calculations in the initial stages the triple media filter easily copes with the filtration and water supply. This system also utilises our acid dilution and acid dosing system which reduces the pH of the water to an acceptable pH 6.0 as it fills the storage tank. The water in this tank is agitated during the night by the Spirit Pro to stop any settlement or stratification.
Computer sensors monitor the EC and pH of the water leaving the tank and before it reaches the rig. If it exceeds the parameters set, then the water is stopped before it can go to the field.
A twin pump set with variable speed control has the capabilities to operate single or double valves if required or simply operate on a lead/standby system.
The rig has six venturi legs and a second set of sensors looking at the amount of additives going to the field. This system has separate header pipes going to each field which gives the grower the opportunity to adjust fertiliser levels on each valve. This helps if the crops are planted at different times or if adjustments need to be made to the fertiliser levels locally.
All the valves are pressure regulated to allow for varying pressure losses down each header pipe.
Another successful project finished!
5Ha of Strawberries substrate, over 200k NDJ ClickTif on Phase II and over 400k on 10Ha in total Phase I & Phase II.
The complete system was design to deliver the accurate ml of water and fertiliser at the root zone, with the corret pH and EC which resulted on 98% of 1st class yield this year. Agreat deal of emphasis was given to ensuring that the drippers had zero run off. Steven Busby was quite insistant upon this as he realised that this was critical in delivering the correct feed to the plants in the most uniform manner. It took a little double checking – with the installation of some pressure sustaining valves – but the zero run off goal was achieved!
Another development in technology was the installation of the NDJ Greenline Softwre which interfaces the feed rig with windows driven PC via a remote roam plug in. Installed and working, phase II is being installed this autumn and is already well on the well. All with NDJ Click Tif of course!
It’s been a pleasure to work on this project together with Littywood team which are very dedicated, professional and skilled people and looking forward to engage on Phase III.
The blue tank takes in water automatically from the mains pipe attached, the narrow black 8mm PE pipe goes into the 60% Nitric acid mix. To achieve the target pH of 6.5 for this site, we opted to use the black nozzle attachment which gives a ratio of 1:28 and 1% of the Tefen.
Inside the blue tank there is a small Venturi injector, this can be fitted with a range of nozzle sizes, depending on the preferred output level. The Tefen used, is a proportional injector, meaning if the water flow increases or decreases the amount of acid will also adjust automatically.
With this type of system in place, you can also monitor the inlet to the rig, so if the pH is way off then the controller will stop it.
The Tefen unit has a black manual switch which allows the unit to switch on and off, with he water still able to pass through, no need for a bypass! This switch can either be manual or electronic.
The main advantage of this system is no one has to touch it, the mixing of the acid and water happens when it is required so you don’t have layering in the tank, and you have time for the air to mix with the acid and stabilise.
Ripple Aquaplast was contacted to design a new sprinkler system to help control the humidity and assist with cooling of a glasshouse containing strawberries in gutters. During the consultation process, RA offered the solution of an under gutter larger micro sprinkler thus offering the humidity and cooling requirements but with considerably fewer lines and therefore reduced cost.
The advantage of working with a sprinkler manufacturer like NaanDanJain (NDJ) is that their range is extensive, their experience global and therefore the solutions can be built around budget expectations.
Hence, one sprayline was fixed every 6.4m in the Venlo glasshouse with a sprinkler every 3m along the line, using NDJ Aquamaster up-side down sprinklers gives 5.5mm/h precipitation with a CU greater than 85% which is more than enough for this application.
Another great advantage of NDJ is the wealth of knowledge available in the company. For this design Mr Arie Peleg gave various options depending on Haygrove’s priorities. Arie has 35 years micro sprinkler design experience specialising in glasshouses. He has managed and developed the Dutch market for many years understanding the higher needs of glasshouse customers.
Panlathy Farming are a longstanding customer of Ripple Aquaplast, commissioned us to survey, design and provide a quotation for a reservoir pumping system. This would be for the recently acquired farm to the North of Inverkeilor, to expand their potato growing operation.
The farm came complete with a reservoir and underground water mains infrastructure supplied by a diesel powered irrigation pump. The decision, as with their other farms, was taken to invest in an electric pumping system comprising of a Lowara 45kW speed controlled surface pump with a 7.5kW submersible priming pump linked via a GSM controlled system.
This involved the relocation and upgrading of the existing power supply. The main use for the pumping system will be irrigation reels, although sprayer filling is possible as well.
How did we do it?
The system is similar in design and layout to previous pumping systems, however we incorporated the latest in power saving technology and pump design.
The system comprised of the following:
- 1 x 45kW Vertical multistage pump which will be the surface pump
- 1 x 7.5kW 8″ Submersible pump with motor cooling shroud, filter and support feet.
- 1 x Variable speed panel with start system for the submersible pump to ensure prime is maintained
- GSM system to operate remote access via text on/text off system. This allows the user to stop and start the rain gun at will, be it on site or in the comfort of home.
- 10m x 5″ Suction hose between pumps with fittins into the submersible and surface pump.
- The suction hose includes a 5″ wafer non-return valve to maintain the pump prime between operations.
- 1 x Float switch with 20m cable to suspend in the reservoir to provide low level protection cut out
- 1 x 20 litre Pressure vessel which enables the panel to shut down the pumps with zero demand