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Politecnico di Milano (2015)

WEF approach in the integrated water energy design for irrigation systems. Case study in Eritrea


Titre : WEF approach in the integrated water energy design for irrigation systems. Case study in Eritrea


Université de soutenance : Politecnico di Milano

Grade : Laurea Magistrale (Ingegneria Energetica) 2015

The energy and water dimensions are strictly linked in the agricultural context. Crops growth requires water, which needs energy to be pumped and distributed in fields. Agriculture could be strongly enhanced in terms of quality and quantity of food products through a conscious use of water and a sustainable energy generation. While agriculture has significantly changed in recent years, these changes are have not been going forward the same direction worldwide. Global phenomena of climate change, land grabbing and uncontrolled urbanisation are jeopardising the sustainable exploitation of natural resources, firstly in developing countries. The major inefficiencies in energy and agricultural water use are observed in the same countries where energy access and food security are not guaranteed. In this work, an integrated water energy design for irrigation systems is presented, though the analysis of a A case study ion a rural farm in Eritrea. The purpose is is presented to prove the direct linkages among water withdrawals, irrigation method applied in field and energy request. The current situation of energy and water consumption of the actual irrigation system, observed during the author’s field experience, is compared with two design approaches about an improved energy system : a demand driven approach and an integrated design of the energy and water system. The first one faces the sizing process of the energy system without considering the calculation of the water needs of local agricultural products. The In the second one, obtains the energy load curve needed to pump and distribute water is obtained considering the real water needs of locally cultivated products and the efficiency of the irrigation technique applied. The results clearly show the advantage in energy and water savings of the integrated design approach, which recognises their synergies and trade-offs under the environmental and economic point of view. Moreover, considering only the integrated approach, some other comparisons are carried out from a technological perspective. Different irrigation techniques are evaluated and compared in terms of energy request and water consumption, to underline how energy and irrigation are further linked. Finally, considering the three design approach differences in results and the strong evidence of the interconnections between energy and irrigation needs derived from the technological comparisons, the integrated approach is expressed in general term


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