Developing a field sprayer using real time direct injection units
site specific weed management, patch spraying, direct nozzle injection system,
The department Technology in Crop Farming of the Institute of Agricultural Engineering is engaged in developing new technologies and machines for Precision Farming and implementing new sensors for monitoring field conditions. For six years a system for real-time controlled application of pesticides has been developed at the Institute of AgEng in Bonn. Direct injection systems for pesticide application keep the pesticide and carrier (water) separate and meter and mix them on demand within the pipeline before entering the nozzle. Thus the system is able to vary pesticide concentration without leaving residues of pre-mixed solutions in the tank after operation. The ability to change chemicals and their concentration makes the system suitable for site-specific pesticide applications. This means each nozzle needs to be supplied rapidly with an adequate mixture of pesticide and water. Since the technology described above has only been applied to one single nozzle, we are now going to fully equip an actual field sprayer with direct injection units, one for each nozzle. In order to build up a sprayer suitable for field experiments, we need to set up several laboratory tests. Tests include calibration of rapid response valves (RRVs) as well as analysis of pressure losses and pressure differences within the entire spraying system. Furthermore the mixing process needs to be examined and to what extend mixing quality is affected by various pressures, viscosities and valve adjustments. Also, we need to build up a rinsing system in order to remove pesticides (which will first be simulated) from the pipes.
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