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Evaluation of Smart Irrigation Controllers: Year 2011 Results

C. Swanson, G. Fipps

A smart controller testing facility was established by the Irrigation Technology Center at Texas A&M University in College Station in 2008 in order to evaluate their performance from an "enduser" point of view. The "end-user" is considered to be the landscape or irrigation professional (such as a Licensed Irrigator in Texas) installing the controller. Controllers are tested using the Texas Virtual Landscape which is composed of 6 different zones with varying plant materials, soil types and depths, and precipitation rates.

This report summaries the results from the 2011 evaluations. Nine controllers were evaluated over a 152 day period, from April 11 - May 29, 2011 and August 8 to November 20, 2011. Controller performance was analyzed for each seasonal period (spring, summer, fall). Controller performance is evaluated by comparison to the irrigation recommendation of the TexasET Network and Website, as well as for irrigation adequacy in order to identify controllers which apply excessive and inadequate amounts of water.

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