Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Shu Tung Chu


Increasing energy costs, continuing interest in more efficient use of water, and the availability of low-cost plastic tubes initiated the idea of trail tube irrigation. Trail tubes are perforated poly-flex hoses similar to the laterals of a trickle irrigation system. These tubes connected to the main line of a center pivot system can be used to replace sprinklers. The main line of a center pivot system provides the water supply and the mobility. The arrangement of a trail tube irrigation system is similar to a traveling trickle system. Advantages of trail tube irrigation are its low energy consumption and its high-water use efficiency. Trail tube operating pressures can be much lower than the pressure used in the conventional center pivot irrigation system. Such reduction in pressure represents a saving in energy consumption. Trail tubes also distribute water near the ground surface, which minimize water losses due to evaporation and wind effects. Decreasing water losses results in an improvement in water use efficiency. A theoretical analysis of trail-tubes was presented in a paper, "Analysis of Irrigation by Trail Tubes", (Chu, 1982). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the theory by laboratory measurements. The objectives of the study were: 1. To determine the roughness coefficient of the poly-flex hoses. 2. To determine the discharge coefficient of the perforations in the tubes. 3. To measure the average jet distance of the perforations. 4. To measure the distributions of flow rate and pressure along the tube. 5. To compare the measured distributions with the theoretical results.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Irrigation engineering



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University