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September 19, 2014
 
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Smart Irrigation Controller Evaluation Program

Background

In 2008, a Smart Irrigation Controller (also referred to as "Smart Controller" or "ET Controller") Testing Facility was established by the Irrigation Technology Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. This testing program was initiated in order to evaluate smart controller testing methodology needed to determine controller performance and reliability under Texas Conditions from an "End-User" point of view. The first year evaluation (2008) evaluated the performance (depth of irrigation applied) of 6 controllers over a 60 day period. The second year (2009) evaluated the performance of 10 controllers over a 91 day period. A third year evaluation (2010) was conducted evaluating 10 Smart Controllers performance over a typical Texas Growing Season (9 months). A sixth year (2013) evaluation is currently being conducted. Results of these evaluations can be viewed in the "Reports" section below.

Reports

Evaluation of Smart Irrigation Controllers: Year 2012 Results
(July 2013)

Evaluation of Smart Irrigation Controllers: Year 2011 Results
(June 2012)

Evaluation of Smart Irrigation Controllers: Year 2010 Results
(July 2011)

Initial Evaluation of Smart Irrigation Controllers: Year Two (2009) Results
( April 2010)

Evaluation of Smart Irrigation Controllers: Initial Bench Testing Results
(June 2009)

ET Smart Controller 2006 Progress Report
(January 2008)

Press Releases

AgriLIFE News, September 2011

AgriLIFE News, April 2010

AgriLIFE News, November 2009

Testing Equipment and Procedures

Controller Evaluation Methodology

All smart controllers used in this program were donated by the manufacturers. Once programmed in accordance with a virtual landscape, the controller is connected to a datalogger through a set of relays (simulated valves). The datalogger records the start and stop time of each station (or zone) on the controller. These start and stop times are then entered into a database and an event runtime is calculated. Runtimes are then totaled for the testing period to determine the amount of irrigation applied by the controller.

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ET Controller Survey

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