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Fluid dynamics of a solid set canopy spray delivery system for orchard applications

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131620688,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Ajay Sharda, Manoj Karkee, Qin Zhang
Keywords:   Chemigation Orchards Pressure drops spray application solid set.

Abstract. Orchard air blast sprayers result in considerable loss of chemical in the forms of drift and off-target movement of chemical thereby increasing cost and posing environmental concerns. A fixed spray system with nozzles placed within or in close vicinity of tree canopies can accurately apply chemicals thus reducing drift and cost of chemical. Two 152 m long solid set canopy delivery (SSCD) research systems were developed using flexible and solid hose to study fluid dynamics within the delivery system. Nozzles were mounted at 0.9 m spacing using 0.9 m long drop-downs from the main line. Pressure transducers were mounted on the main line at three predetermined locations within each spray section length of 15.2, 30.5, 45.7, 61.0, 91.4, 106.7 and 152.4 m. Pressure transducers were also mounted at the ends of 1.2 m long pipes when mounting them as rise-up and drop-down at three randomly selected locations in a 76.2 m long spray section. Pressure was monitored at these locations and system flow rate was measured. Both solid and flexible hose SSCD systems exhibited similar pressure drops (4.3 to 111.0 kPa). The time delay for solid hose (0.5 to 8.1 s) was shorter indicating quicker pressure stabilization as compared to flexible system (0.8 to 11.9 s). Overall, spray sections up to 68 m long using 2.5 cm inside diameter solid hose achieved target pressure of 276 kPa faster (< 1 s) than the flexible hose. Experimental results of pressure drop indicated that a theoretical model could be used to select hose diameter and spray section lengths to install piping network for SSCD system.

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