Performance indicators to assess the implementation of automation in golf courses located in Southeast Spain
Generally, in most pressure irrigation systems and particularly in irrigation systems of golf courses, an efficient management of water and energy use is required. Through an efficient management of these resources the excessive consumptions are controlled and a savings in exploitation costs could be achieved. One of the tools that allow controlling and identifying the water and energy consumption is the use of management and automation indicators. With the employ of these tools, several parameters that affect in the efficiency of water and energy use of pumping systems, water network configuration, automation and the associated energy systems could be controlled. In this paper the methodology and implementation of several water, energy and automation indicators and their productivity adapted to four golf courses in south-east Spain are shown. For this purpose, some data of a developed study among 2008 and 2011 in the irrigation systems of these golf courses and their influence in the improvement of the efficiency in the water and energy use are presented. This combined methodology is particularly suitable for comparing the irrigation systems of several golf courses. Moreover, by using these indicators with automation and remote control devices for water and energy management in such irrigation systems, it is possible to reduce and control associated costs. The results demonstrate that automation is a low-cost investment (with a maximum of 2% of the total costs) compared to the large benefits and advantages. For this study, the maximum values of the automation cost per controlled water volume and energy were 0.2007 @?.m -3 and 0.2233 @?.kWh -1 , respectively. The percentage of automation cost in the total cost is around 1.5 percent.
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