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Quick optimal design of drip laterals

Drip LateralsHigh Emission uniformityMaximum Energy SavingOptimal DesignSloped Irrigation Units


The invention allows quick designing of drip laterals, anyway sloped, with high emission uniformity and maximum energy saving. The method was implemented, for rectangular irrigation units, in a software application named IrriLab, which requires few parameters (inside drip laterals diameter, emitters” spacing, length and slope of the laterals, manifold slope, manifold position (BMP) and inlet position, BIP). IrriLab provides designing results and irrigation unit cost, in one click.

Technical features

The quickness of the method lies in the fact that attempts and typical iterations of pipe networks design are not required. The method, in fact, is based on simple explicit equations, which were derived for 25 possible irrigation unit Layouts. Layouts can be selected based on the irrigation unit morphology along two perpendicular directions (one of drip laterals and one for the manifold). Both can be fixed downhill, uphill or horizontal. Layouts also depend on the manifold position (BMP), which can be fixed inside or at the bound of the irrigation unit, and on the inlet position (BIP), which can be fixed as well, inside or at the bound of the manifold. Energy losses are evaluated with the Blasius or Hazen-Williams resistance formula.

Possible Applications

  • Thank to the few parameters required and to its quickness, IrriLab can be used, in real time, in the small/medium enterprises producing irrigation equipment, for optimally designing and quoting.
  • The method is suitable to implement indications to design drip laterals that manufactures provide in the catalogues, usually only for flat fields, for drip laterals to be laid in sloped fields.




  • Quickness of designing results, including characteristics of the filter system and the power pump needed for the hydraulic pumping system;
  • Quickness in determining the materials list and costs of the designed irrigation unit;
  • High emission uniformity;
  • Maximum energy saving (markedly reducing pump power and fuel consumption).