Currently, we are the only company in Europe to offer autonomous irrigation and monitoring systems for hop plantations.
The aim of the project was to create an irrigation system that would be completely
independent from both power and water supply networks.
To this end, a system consisting of several smaller subsystems and systems working together was created. These are:
- A deep well located near both hop houses (Fig. 1) with a deep well pump and a thermally insulated surface casing equipped with the required elements of sanitary installation, gate valve, check valve, water meter, heating, etc., meeting the requirements of sanitary-epidemiological stations
- Mobile irrigation trailers equipped with mauser type water storage tanks (IBC containers) with a total capacity of 16,000 liters (Photo 2)
- Autonomous power supply system based on RES (photovoltaic panels), energy storage (batteries) and emergency power supply (power generator). This system is completely independent from the power grid (Photos 2, 3)
- Smartpole (English - smart, clever, pole - pole) placed near the deep well (Fig. 1), equipped with a photovoltaic panel and batteries to maintain voltage in control and communication devices. Its task is to communicate via an Internet antenna with the database on the server and, based on parameters collected by the monitoring system, control the irrigation system by switching solenoid valves and thus
changing the irrigation area (individual sections).
- Drip irrigation system equipped with efficient pump with dry-run protection, semi-automatic water filter, valves and check valves, electro-valves, main lines and drip lines (Photo 4).
A sizable portion of the irrigation system related to control, power, and water supply is located within the fenced and secured deep water intake protection area (Photo 5, Figure 1).
The system of drip irrigation of hop plantation is a proprietary system with innovative solutions developed in the course of the Project.
It consists of:
- 16 Mauser tanks (IBCs) connected in series (8 tanks on each trailer)
- Hydraulic system consisting of PE pipes fi 50 with valves, tees, etc., ensuring uniform filling of tanks and water intake for individual sections with drip lines
- Irrigation sections controlled by electro-valves (Fig. 3): 3 sections in Lubelski hop plantation and 3 sections in Magnat hop plantation
- Main lines (PE pipes fi 50 mm) supplying water to individual irrigation sections
- Drip lines (one for each row of hops) with a total length of over 6 km (Fig. 4)
- Drippers (emitters) for proper water distribution to plants
Additionally, due to the agrotechnical procedures which are carried out in the hop house, in order to keep the drip lines at the right height, it was necessary to create a drip line suspension system (Fig. 6). It was based on composite poles made in the same technology as the composite hopper poles, but with sizes and strength adjusted to the needs.
Thanks to this solution, there is no need to dismantle the dripline before agrotechnical procedures or after the vegetation season. In addition, it is possible to control the state of dripline and emitters on an ongoing basis.