Weather Station for Irrigation Control

GPG-018, January 2015

Weather-based irrigation controls use local weather data to measure and respond to irrigation water needs in real time. GSA embarked on a pioneering effort to tie this irrigation control system to the building automation system at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in Battle Creek, MI, and found potential water savings of up to 66%. Click on the infographic below to enlarge.

GPG Findings 018, January 2015, WEATHER STATION FOR IRRIGATION CONTROL. Opportunity: What portion of water consumed by officebuildings goes to irrigation? 20% OF WATER IN U.S. OFFICE BUILDINGS IS USED FOR IRRIGATION. UP TO 50% WASTED with timer-based irrigation. 20-40% CAN BE SAVED with smart irrigation, depending on climate, soil, and vegetation profile. Technology: How do Weather-Stations for Irrigation Control work? USE LIVE LOCAL WEATHER DATA TO CALCULATE IRRIGATION NEEDS,EITHER AS A TURNKEY SYSTEM OR CONNECTED TO A BUILDING AUTOMATION SYSTEM (BAS). Measurement and Verification. Where did M and V occur? PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY assessed a weatherstation connected to a BAS at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in BattleCreek, Michigan. Results: How did Weather-Stations for Irrigation Control perform in M&V? 66% WATER SAVINGS PROJECTED.BAS-CONNECTED WEATHER STATION CHALLENGING TO PROGRAM AND NOT FULLY REALIZED, TURNKEY RECOMMENDED AT PRESENT.Assuminga more typical savings of 40%, a GSA facility that uses 4 million gallons (Mgal) annually is LCC-effective at awater rate of $1.40 per thousand gallons (kgal) and an installed cost of $20,000. Deployment: Where does M&Vrecommend deploying Weather-Stations for Irrigation Control? FURTHER RESEARCH CONNECTING WEATHER STATIONS TO BAS NEEDS MORE SUPPORT. Meanwhile, turnkey weather-based systems recommended. Areas with intermittent rain will have higher savings and should be targeted first. [PDF - 234 KB]

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