Project Concept

PROTECTOR: An absolutely novel, and easy to use accessory is based on a non-stick and water repellent protective film system placed between the ground and the polyethylene hose, protecting hose from gluing, strenuous abrasions and high friction. It is a fully automated self-efficient device with an autonomous mechanism.

PROTECTOR allows the use of thinner hoses (note that the cost of a 1,000 m long hose Ø 135 mm may be around 10,500 €, while a hose of the same length and external diameter but the thinnest version costs around 6,500 €) and lighter tractors (which are cheaper and more manageable) and makes it possible to use longer hoses too. In consequence, it reduces the high energy consumption used for pumping the water and for positioning the hose and allows sprinklers work at more adequate pressure. PROTECTOR makes agricultural practices more environmentally sustainable: water is used more efficiently, energy consumption and associated GHG emissions are reduced and less plastic is used. Environmental sustainability and climate change are nowadays among the most important challenges of the humankind and many EU policies promote the development and use of technologies that help to address these issues.

However, there is no current alternative to PROTECTOR: Other word said, there is no other product that installed on a hose reel irrigator leads to a reduction of the friction between the hose and the soil. This is a first of its kind, disruptive and market creating innovation!

Project Objectives

The general objective of the project is to develop a fully marketable version of PROTECTOR. We have identified the specific objectives that will make it possible to reach such technological and commercial maturity

Technical

  • Find the best plastic tape.
  • Select the automation system. 100% full and robust automation system that synchronize with almost every HRIs.
  • Validate PROTECTOR performance. Positive test results in all fields and conditions showing a reduction of traction force of 60%.
  • Reach full industrialization by 2020.

Commercial

  • Consolidate our business model.
  • Become the first provider of devices like PROTECTOR in the world.
  • Consolidate PROTECTOR sales in a 5-year period.
  • Establish ourselves as a reference in sustainable HRI in the EU market

Benefits Expected

  • Reduction of operational costs. With PROTECTOR, friction reduces by 90% and weight of the hose is consistently reduced too. This decreases the efforts needed to pull the hose and the water head loss, thus consuming less fuel. Fuel savings: 22% in pumping water and 40% in unrolling and rolling the hose.
  • Increase machinery lifespan. PROTECTOR will protect the hose from abrasion, extending its useful life. Also, it will prevent from the hose breakage or the machinery overturn when the hose gets stuck on wet, rainy or muddy grounds. 20% reduction of GHG emission at the end of the economic life of the irrigator.
  • Avoid the soil compaction caused by heavy tractors. PROTECTOR allows for the use of lighter hoses so that tractors used to pull them can be less powerful and hence lighter and cheaper. Lighter and more manageable hoses.
  • Increase irrigation efficiency. The lower friction allows to thinner hoses, increasing the internal diameter and being able to carry a higher quantity of water. Double hose lifespan
  • Increase irrigation accuracy. With PROTECTOR, the rewinding of the hose is faster and without problems related to hose sticking. It allows for a more homogeneous and accurate irrigation of the crop. Fewer failures & breakages (estimated savings 5 – 10%).