Industry Testing and Certification
The testing facilities at Fresno State are an excellent example of collaboration between private and public agencies. The labs have proven to be strong resources for many companies in the water industry to improve their products and grow their businesses. Additionally, third-party verification work conducted at the Fresno State facilities have proven critical to a number of commercial transactions that allowed for significant sales of locally-made equipment. The testing labs are true assets for the local water industry and have a positive impact on the workforce.
The Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) is the only independent laboratory in the United States specializing in testing and evaluating irrigation equipment. CIT plays a leading role in the development of national and international standards for irrigation equipment and testing procedures. Our lab, field and educational activities address both agricultural and turf/landscape irrigation and drainage. CIT’s expertise and sphere of activity are recognized worldwide.
SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES
Principle areas of activity include standards development and implementation, product testing and evaluation, information and technology transfer and analytical studies.
STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
The Center works with the Irrigation Association (IA) to conduct industry reviews of draft ISO (International Standards Organization) standards. The Center’s staff review industry and national standards as they are being prepared, and vote through appropriate ASAE and IA committees on their final adoption. In support of its testing program, the Center also develops standardized test procedures for equipment evaluations where other applicable standards are lacking.
Non-standard testing procedures have been designed and implemented to meet specialized needs. An example of this is a test for the mechanical strength of gear sets in valve worm gear actuators.
EQUIPMENT TESTING AND EVALUATION
The International Center for Water Technology is located at California State University, Fresno with access to laboratory and field testing facilities providing impartial, third-party testing services. A wide variety of facilities are available including:
ICWT Water and Energy Technology (WET) Lab – This 8,400 square foot hydraulics testing lab can conduct performance tests on pumps; hydrocyclone and screen/disc/media filters; backflow prevention valves; chemical injection equipment; fire hydrants; and water meter performance.
Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) – Has 11,000 square feet of hydraulic space to test sprinklers, drip emitters, fittings, and valves. IAPMO certified to test SWAT controllers.
University Agricultural Laboratory (UAL) – Field testing projects can be conducted on the 1,000-acre farm including a variety of crops (including grapes, forage, vegetables, fruits and nuts) and a full complement of irrigation systems (including center pivot, flood, drip and overhead).
Jordan Research Center – Scheduled to open in early 2016, the Jordan Research Center is designed to foster collaboration among students and faculty in agricultural sciences and technology, engineering and science and mathematics. The state-of-the-art center will include wet and dry laboratories and laboratory support space.
A wide variety of irrigation equipment is tested in the laboratories for appropriate performance parameters. Equipment tested includes sprinklers, valves, drip emitters, micro-sprayers and sprinklers, drip hose, filters, pressure/flow regulators, backflow prevention devices, water meters, pipes, fittings, air and vacuum valves, soil moisture sensing devices, valve actuators, irrigation controllers, and specialized irrigation machinery.
The Center’s staff consults on product development and application. Test results are presented in a computer format suitable for use in technical reports and sales literature.
POTENTIAL TESTING SERVICE USERS
The service is of value to a wide variety of organizations including the following:
New product design development, evaluation, quality control, etc.
Design data for sales and technical literature.
Evaluation of competitor’s products. Failure analysis
Verification of manufacturer’s literature. Quality control.
Verification of manufacturer’s literature.
Applicability of performance data to system design.
Specialized product testing. Failure analysis.
Product testing to applicable standards.
Development of standards and practices.
Development of design data to support course offerings.
DESCRIPTION OF SOME OF LAB TESTING SERVICES
- Indoor sprinkler testing to a 100 ft. (30.5 m) wetted radius.
- Outdoor sprinkler testing to any wetted radius and capacity.
- Hydraulic testing of valves, fittings, etc. to 6000 gpm (380 L/s).
- Component leakage and burst pressure testing to 1500 psi (10,400 kPa).
- Component operating pressure testing to 200 psi (1,370 kPa) depending on flow
- Air and vacuum relief valve testing to 125 psig (860 kPa) pressure and 6.0 psig (40.0 kPa) vacuum.
- Elevated temperature testing of components to 180°F (82°C).
- Valve closing speed determinations to 600 gpm (38 L/s).
- Performance tests on filters (headloss and particle separation efficiency).
- Cyclic endurance testing.
- Drip emitter testing to characterize manufacturing uniformity and determine pressure and temperature relationships.
- Quantified characterization of sprinkler drop spectrums.
- Component failure analysis.
- Material quality testing on polyethylene (ESCRIgepal) and polyvinyl chloride (acetone).
- Electron microscope inspection.