In the present work, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of an existing drip line hydrocyclone is performed in order to improve the current design for agricultural irrigation by understanding the effect of water flow rate on pressure drop and head loss. When water flows through a pipe, the pressure continuously drops in the stream-wise direction because of friction along the walls of the pipe. It is common to express this pressure drop in terms of an irreversible head loss. Numerical simulations are performed using the commercial CFD code ANSYS FLUENT with the finite volume method. The pressure drops of the hydrocyclone are computed numerically and they are in reasonable agreement with the experimental data provided by the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State. For example, the measured pressure drop across the part is approximately 2.76 × 104 Pa at 1.89 × 10−4 m3/s inlet flow rate whereas the numerical pressure drop is roughly 2.62 × 104 Pa at 1.89 × 10−4 m3/s. Additionally, the present work shows head loss reduction by making changes to the existing hydrocyclone design including the length and diameter of the cavity as well as length of the outlet tube.

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