Global food production across the world has been required to increase as the population continues to rise. The effects of climate change, however, continue to make it difficult to realise optimum crop yields in some places and therefore demands the use of the most optimum agricultural practices including irrigation. Agricultural Irrigation can be optimised by the use of various actuated and control valves to regulate the flow of water and therefore ensure only the optimum amount of water is utilised without any wastage. Of course, we at COVNA can supply these pneumatic and electrical valves that are suitable for application in both small scale and large-scale irrigation applications. In this article, we take a look at how one can select and apply COVNA actuators to regulate the flow of water in the irrigation practices.
Where Can One Apply Actuators in the Agricultural Irrigation Industry?
Both electric and pneumatic valves have a widespread application in the Agricultural Irrigation industry but require some thoughts and considerations to find their best use. The biggest use is to control the flow of water through automated control loops that require moisture sensors to analyse the moisture level of soil and thus open/close the water valve accordingly. On/off or flow control valves may be used in this case.
When control valves are utilised, it is a common preference in Agricultural Irrigation to use valves such as globe and angle valves that have tighter shutoff compared to other valves. COVNA actuators are suitable for application together with these valves as they meet the requirements such as torque, general abrasive resistance as such applications may require the actuators to be outdoors and others. Additionally, as there is an ability to operate the valves in manual mode should there be a power failure, flexibility which allows continuous operation without hindrance.
Benefits of selecting COVNA actuators in the irrigation industry
What would be the associated benefits of making use of COVNA actuators in the irrigation industry? First, one can select from two main types of actuators, i.e., electrical and pneumatic ones, each with a varying set of applications. Various considerations need to be considered when making such a selection. The major benefits of selecting COVNA valve actuators are as follows:
- Reliability– Most irrigation applications involve outdoor settings, be it large scale irrigation or small-scale irrigation. Even for indoor applications, there is an exposure of actuators to various weather elements such as dust, heat, and moisture. COVNA Pneumatic Valve Actuators and Electric Valve Actuators are made of strong materials that resist abrasion and ensures a longer life of the actuators. Additionally, the electric actuators are rated at IP67 which makes them suitable for applications where there is exposure to water/moisture.
- Maintenance– With the requirement to maintain irrigation costs at the least possible amount, CoOVNA manufactures actuators that are made of carefully selected material that results in low maintenance costs. Additionally, manuals are supplied for proper installation and care.
- Ease of operation– COVNA valve actuators are designed with ease of operation in mind, and we take due consideration for unplanned eventualities such as power failure. The actuators have the capability of being operated manually when air and electricity supply fails in the case of pneumatic and electric valves respectively.
The COVNA Pneumatic Valve actuator
We now look at the COVNA AT series pneumatic valve actuator, and its features illustrating how it can be used in the irrigation industry. The following features are associated with this type of actuator:
- High torque for the operation of big valves on massive water supply pipes for flow regulation and control.
- Stainless Steel fasteners that are a good fit in abrasive environment applications
- Bi-directional stroke adjustment.
- Versa view continuous indictor for valve position establishment
- NAMUR mounting
- Bottom mounting that that is designed to conform with the latest standards under ISO 5211, DIN3337 standards that make the actuators easily suit the application to many valves.
- Fast stroking speed
All the features above make this actuator type suitable for irrigation applications where dry or lubricated air is used. The actuators can be applied between a temperature range of -20 o C to 150 o C. Additionally, there is an available manual with the model number and air requirements for reference purposes during the selection, installation and operation phase of the actuator.
The COVNA Electric Valve Actuator
We also offer the option of an electric valve actuator that can be used in the irrigation industry. The electric actuator has the following characteristics:
- The body is made of hard aluminium alloy treated by hard anodic oxidisation and coated with polyester powder which makes it resistant to abrasion and corrosion in moist environments.
- Fully enclosed cage motor with class F insulation that makes it suitable to avoid overheating and consequent fires due to this.
- IP67 rating that makes it suitable for application in irrigation due to its water-resistance capabilities, both indoor and outdoor.
- ISO 5211 and DIN3337 standard that makes the valve suitable for universal application with any type of valve in agricultural irrigation.
- The electric actuator has an indicator for checking and monitoring the position of the valve actuator is in operation.
- Limit switches for preventing the actuator from operating beyond set limits.
- A ±0.5 % tolerance, a 0% mechanical repeatability error and a 0 damping which makes them suitable for high accuracy application especially such cases of adding water with nutrients.
The actuator also comes with a standard manual with instructions for installation, circuit diagrams, and dimensions, together with troubleshooting instructions. The operating temperature range is -30 to 60 o C, and we expect this to meet most of the irrigation requirements.
There is a very widespread application of valve actuators in the Agricultural Irrigation Industry for the control of the flow of water and other fluids providing support function services. The application may be indoor or outdoor depending on the irrigation requirements – in both cases, there are varying weather elements such as water and dust which must be considered when selecting the actuator to be used. The valves requiring actuators may also vary in size depending on fluid flow requirements. COVNA provides both pneumatic and electrical valve actuators that are suitable for these applications in consideration of applicable weather elements. Selecting these actuators results in irrigation efficiency, operational reliability and a low cost of maintenance.