To understand this low-cost innovation, it is recommended that you watch the following video.
Measured Irrigation for Smallholders - Use 50% less water by using a bucket and a steel pipe
This video is for smallholders using gravity feed drip irrigation on a small plot of land or garden.
(uploaded 14 February 2017, duration 5:14)
DIY Solar Drip Irrigation Kit
If you would like to automate your gravity feed drip irrigation system, it is recommended that you watch the following video.
The kit is for smallholders using gravity feed drip irrigation on a small plot of land. Using the kit, you can automate your drip irrigation system so that water is pumped automatically from your farm pond (or other water supply) to the header tank and all your plants are irrigated
automatically. The DIY Solar Drip Irrigation Kit can be purchased online from the Measured Irrigation Shop.
Contents of the DIY solar drip irrigation kit
As well as the User Manual, the kit includes the following components:
A farm pond in Kenya
(uploaded 26 April 2017, duration 9:05)
A waterproof irrigation controller with solar charge controller inside
A double pump with filter, fittings to connect to 19 mm poly pipe, and 10 metres of waterproof electrical cable
Two float switches
A solenoid valve with fittings to connect to 19 mm poly pipe and 2.5 metres of waterproof electrical cable
A light sensor
An adjustable dripper
16 waterproof connectors for electrical wire
How large can the plot be?
The Training Manual assumes that the smallholder has already established a gravity feed drip irrigation system. Provided that the drip irrigation system is already working effectively, you can use the a DIY Solar Drip Irrigation Kit and the MI Six Zone Adaptor to automate the irrigation system regardless of the area of your plot of land.
Depending of the duration of the irrigation event and the power requirements of the pump and the solenoid valves, you may need to upgrade the battery to a larger battery, and you may need to upgrade the solar panel to a larger solar panel.
The flow rate of the solenoid valve needs to be adequate for your irrigation application. The flow rate can be increased by connecting a number of solenoid valves in parallel. Alternatively, you can replace the solenoid valve with a higher flow rate solenoid valve
Detailed instructions for assembling the DIY Solar Drip Irrigation Kit are in the
DIY Solar Measured Irrigation Training Manual for Smallholders.
By automating your drip irrigation system you can leave your plot unattended for weeks. This will allow you to become involved in other activities away from the plot; for example, travelling to the market to sell your produce.
The kit uses measured irrigation, a method of irrigation scheduling that responds to the prevailing weather conditions. This means that you use much less water without affecting the yield.
The depth of the farm pond should be no more than 4 metres.
When the automation of your drip irrigation system is complete, you may wish to share your knowledge and experience with others.
The kit does not include:
These parts should be purchased locally.
Note that a 12V 5A power adaptor may be used