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Low cost Design Indigenous Tensiometer

Title: AEN-402

Submitted to: Dr.Aamir Shakoor sb

Sumitted by: Rana shahzad Nawaz & Abid Hussain

Semester: 7th (2k14-2k18)

Roll no: 36, 42

Department: Agricultural Engineering

University: Bahuddin Zakariya University Multan

Department of Agricultural Engineering Faculty of Science

& Technology Bahuddin Zakariya University Multan


Table of contents

1. Abstract…….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….03
2. Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………..................................................03
2.1 Water movement in the saturated versus unsaturated soil flow through tensiometer……..03
2.2Tortuosity …………………………………………………………………………………………....03
2.3 Why unsaturated liquid ceases in the instrument…………………………………………........04
3. Objective…………………………………………………………………………………… ……….04
4. Methodology………………………………………………………………………………. ………...04
4.1Clip………………………………………………………………………………………. …………..04
4.2Tape…………………………………………………………………………………… ……...........05
4.3Porous ceramic cup………………..………………………………………… …………….05
4.4 Rigid plastic tube………………………………………………………………… ……….………06
4.4 Reservoir……………………………………………………………………………………………06
4.5 Vacuum Gauge (Pressure gauge)………………………………………… ……………………07
4.6 Mercury manometer…………………………………………………………………………......07
4.7Tensiometer Apparatus Comparison………………………………… ………………………..07
4.7.1(a) Fig.Tensiometer (Schematically)……………………………… ………………………...07
4.7.1(b) Fig.Tensiometer(Physically)………………………… …… …………………………….08
5. Analysis of data……………………………………………… ………………………….………08
6. Findings………………………………………………… ………………………………………..09
7. Recommendation and suggestion………………….……………………………………….. …09
8. Conclude………………………………………… ………………………………………………..09
9. Literature review……………………… ……………………………………………..… …….9, 10
1. Abstract
Basically this system is used to measure the moisture contents present in the soil. The
instrument measures the contents when the suction introduce into the vacuum tube while the water filled in the tube
moves towards the soil. Thus, the Vacuum Gauge measures the Negative pressure that is a space between the water
and gauge. By this easily measure the moisture contents of the soil.

2. Introduction
Soil water is measure by the two different ways direct and indirect way. The volumetric
water content is defined as the volume of soil water divided by the total or bulk volume of the soil multiply by the
100 to get volumetric water percentage. So as the equation is as follows

0v = lb.0g / l w …….…………… (A)

Where

lb = dry bulk density of the soil

lw = density of the water (1000 kg/m3)


thus, the calculation of “0v “ requires correct measurement of bulk density as water density is generally assumed to
be 1000kg/m3. Measurement by volumetric water contact is always preferred. Since plants roots are depends on
water from a specifiable of soil.

2.1 Water movement in the saturated versus unsaturated soil flow through tensiometer:

In both the water moves because of the water potential gradients in the soil, the flow takes place in the decreasing
water potential. Saturated flow is less common than the unsaturated flow because field soils are not usually
saturated.

In saturated soils, the matric potential is nearly zero and gravitational potential is the major force that produces
flow .water movement is rapid into large continuous pores because soil pores are full of water. Water movement in
unsaturated soils is slower because water flow is restricted to smaller pores and water molecules move from thick
films (high concentration) to thinner film (low concentration).the driving force is generally the matric potential
gradient, Vapors flow is an additional mechanism movement in saturated soils.

The main difference between saturated and unsaturated flow is in hydraulic conductivity. It is at a maximum when
the soil is saturated and is constant in a uniform soil because the amount of the water is the same throughout the
profile.

Under unsaturated soil conditions, hydraulic conductivity decreases rapidly as the soil de-saturated (dries). This
steep drop may be due to a decrease in the conductivity portion of the soil’s cross –sectional area ( as some pores
are filled with air) as well as to an increase in tortuosity.

2.2 Tortuosity Refers to the non straight nature of soil pores


“Ratio of the length of the actual roundabout path that water must take in flowing through soil to the length of the straight
flow path”

2.3 Why unsaturated liquid ceases in the instrument

Unsaturated liquid flow ceases, water movement in the air –filled pores is mainly by vapors flow. Vapors
are always present in the gaseous phase in unsaturated soil and moving force is the vapors pressure
gradient.Vapour pressure is affected mainly by temperature and matric potential. Water movement through
most soils occurs generally by diffusion. Diffusion is the movement of water in the soil resulting from a
concentration (partial pressure) gradient between two locations. An equation B that describe this flow is

Jv = - Dv a tv / a z …………(B)
In which

Jv =water vapour flux

-Dv = diffusion coefficient in the soil

tv= water vapoure density ,

z=distance

-Dv is obtaining by multiplying the diffusion coefficient in air by the tortuosity. Water vapors movement within the
available water range is very small in the most soils, but in the field it may occur significantly in the surface soils. It
may be important for supplying water to desert plant.

3. Objective
 Used to measure the Matric potential or the Tension with which water is held in the soil
 To design the low cost tensiometer at small scale

4. Methodology
Required Material: It is a simplest tool in which the basic three components used .which is as follows:

1. Rigid plastic tube


2. Porous ceramic cup
3. Vacuum Gauge or Mercury manometer
4. Clip
5. Tape
6. Reservoir
4.1 Clip
These clips are used to provide the tenacity to the joint parts of the apparatus as they are used in the
section of gauge and tube.
Fig Clips

4.2 Tape
The purpose of the tape is to provide the full grip between the parts which are coincided interlay and
outerlly so that they have fully grip inertly and there should be no leakage of water and air.

Fig Tape

4.3 Porous ceramic cup


It is the bottom part of the instrument from which the water moves toward the soil. It is inserted into the
soil .its surface is perforated from which water moves outside towards the soil particles.
4.4 Rigid plastic tube
These tubes are transparent and the water is filled into the tube. It works as a reservoir.
Its bottom is attached with the perforated material and the upper part is attached with the
gauge pressure to measure the pressure.

F i Fig

Fig Rigid plastic tube

4.5Reservoir
It is the section in which the water is stored which moves than towards the tube. That
tube water further flows in the direction of the perforated cup and then to the soil
Fig Reservoir (a) (vertical view) (b) (top view)

4.6Vacuum Gauge (pressure gauge)


Vacuum gauge is used to measure the suction when the water moves from tube toward the soil than the
space is created into the tube which is known as the negative pressure. This negative pressure is measure
by the vacuum gauge.

Fig Pressure gauge


4.7 Mercury manometer
It performs the same function as the vacuum gauge is used but the difference is that here the liquid
distance is measured.
Fig Mercury manometer

Filled the rigid plastic tube with the pure water and buried into the soil by taking care that porous cup have a good
contact with surrounding. As the soil dries, the porous cup allows water to move freely through its walls. When it
moves it creates the suction or vacuum but excluding air when it is wet. At equilibrium, the suction or negative
pressure is measured by a mercury manometer or a vacuum gauge.

4.8 Tensiometer Apparatus


Comparisons It is the finally stage of the apparatus which is now capable to do the work.

Fig Tensiometer (Schematically) Fig Tensiometer (Physically)

5. Analysis of data
The suction reading is calculated on the basis of which soil water content is determined are calibrated for
a specific soil for interpreting the soil water. Tensiometer vs. Oven Dry
Readings
1) Tensiometer Reading

Sample A Dry soil


Sr. No Time(mint) water level(cm)
1 10.10 am 32
2 10.18 26
3 10.21 0.5

Sample B wet soil


Sr. No Time(mint) water level(cm)
1 12.33 pm 32
2 12.4 17
3 12.45 0.3
Sample C Clay Soil
Sr. No Time(mint) water level(cm)
1 2.45 pm 35
2 2.55 15
3 3.05 0.1

2) Oven Dry readings

Sample A Before Dry weight(g) After Drying Weight(g)


Sr. No w1 100 W4 110
1 w2 20
2 w3 120
3 w4 110

Moisture content
present
120-
% 110

10

Sample B Before Dry weight(g) After Drying Weight(g)


Sr. No w1 150 w4 145
1 w2 20
2 w3 170
3 w4 145
Moisture content
present
% 25
Sample C Before Dry weight(g) After Drying Weight(g)
Sr. No w1 80 w4 95
1 w2 20
2 w3 100
3 w4 95

Moisture content
present
% 5
Terms
w1 weight of sample
w2 weight of container

weight of container
w3 and sample

sample weight after


w4 drying

6. Findings
It is fairly simple, inexpensive and efficient.
It can be used successfully to schedule irrigation by placing them at different depths
It useful range is only b/w 0 to -85kpa

7. Recommendations and suggestions


If the range exceed from -100kpa, air bubbles enter the ceramic cup. The presences of Gas bubbles break the
continuity of the water column making the system inoperative so the instrument must be used under below the -
100kpa. Vacuum gauge does not work well in the Pakistan condition, probably because of extreme weather
condition, possibly also because of high pH condition. So the manometer is best for use instead of the gauge.

8. Conclude
We conclude that this instrument depends on the soil type where it is the best for used to measure the water contents
eg. Coarse – Textured Soil, why it is the best? Because the plant available water is highly in sandy soils than in the
clayey soil at the same potential

9. Literature Reviews
i. http://books.google.com.pk > books
ii. www.kibron.com/
iii. www.vegetronix.com
iv. www.Digitalcommons.usu.edu.com› viewcontent
v. https://www.researchgate.net > file.postFi
vi. www.hydrol-earth-sci-discuss.net
vii. www.sciencedirect.com >article > pii
viii. www.info.com/
ix. www.Info.dogpile.com/
x. http://www.thefreedictionary.com > tensiometer
xi. www.Onlinelibrary.wiley.com > doi > full
xii. Geotechanical engineering –university of Pretoria by M Theron . 2006

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