Micro sprinklers and sprayers throw the water over a wider area, when low volume overhead irrigation is desired and for areas where drippers are not practical, such as ground cover, trees, flowerbeds and hillsides. They operate at low pressure and have a wide range of flow rates (5 to 50 GPH) and diameters (3 to 30'). Micro sprinklers have small droplets and a low flow application rate. Micro-sprinklers can prevent plant stress by maintaining low water tension in the soil, using a low flow application rate. New developments have made many more brands and spray patterns available.
Micro sprinklers, sprayers and jets are available in a variety of styles and configurations and like drip emitters they operate at a low-pressure range of 10 to 35 PSI. Micro sprinklers, sprayers and jets are rated by flow rate, wetting diameter (full circle or part circle) and distribution uniformity.
Application rates now vary widely, from 0.05 inches/hour up to 6 inches/hour. Because there is a direct relation between application rate and irrigation duration, there can also be a range in the duration to complete an irrigation cycle. For example, 8 minutes is required to apply 0.4 inch of water on the wetted area with an application rate of 3 inches/hour, while 8 hours is needed to apply the same amount at a rate of 0.05 inch/hour. This range of rates is readily available with micro-sprinklers today.
Micro sprinklers operate using a spinner, which typically is seated on a nozzle or orifice. When water passes thru the nozzle it spins the spinner, which throws the water in a full circle to the diameter determined by flow rate and pressure. Micro sprinklers can be used for orchards, groundcover, seed germination and flowerbeds.
Flow Regulated Micro Sprinklers
Flow regulated micro sprinklers or sprayers operate the same as micro sprinklers or sprayers with the additional of a flow regulating device. This important addition maintains consistent flow rates whether the pressure is low or high, from around 10 to 45 PSI, depending on brand. As pressure rises the diaphragm restricts the water passage and slows the water velocity allowing the emitters along the laterals to deliver equal amounts of water. This provides uniformity, allows a longer run and accommodates almost any topography.
Like sprinklers, micro sprayers are available in a 360-degree full circle pattern. They are also available in other patterns that micro sprinklers do not provide, such as 180-degree half circle, 90-degree quarter circle, and strip. Micro Sprayers have no moving parts and distribute the water in a very similar manner to the micro jets. The water passes thru the nozzle in a straight stream, hitting a spreader, which has a flat surface that deflects the water in narrow, spray streams. Ideal use is for propagation, germination, cooling and humidity control.
Like sprayers, micro jets are available in a 360-degree full circle pattern and also have other patterns such as 180-degree half circle pattern, 90-degree and quarter circle pattern.
Micro Jets have no moving parts and distribute the water in a very similar manner to the micro sprayers. The water passes thru the nozzle in a straight stream, hitting the spreader, which has a number of grooves (from 6 to 16) that deflect the water in narrow, multi jet streams, leaving dry spots between the jets. The ideal use is for small to large trees and in areas where water quality is poor.