Characterisation of activation pressure, flowrate and spray angle for hollow-cone nozzles controlled by pulse width modulation
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Pulse width modulation (PWM) solenoid valves are used for controlling flowrates of hollow-cone nozzles on variable-rate air-assisted orchard sprayers. However, little information is available on the spray characteristics of these PWM-controlled nozzles. Laboratory tests were performed to evaluate the influences of duty cycles of two different design PWM solenoid valves along with five operating pressures on spray characteristics of five hollow-cone nozzles with different disc-core combinations. Parameters of the spray characteristics investigated were nozzle flowrates, upstream and downstream pressures of the PWM valves, nozzle activation pressures and times, and spray angles of water discharged from nozzles. Test results illustrated that these parameters except for the spray angle were greatly affected by the operating pressure, nozzle selection (disc orifice size and quantity of holes on core), PWM duty cycle and solenoid valve design. Spray angles were affected by the duty cycle but not by the PWM valve design. In general, nozzles with larger disc orifice and higher operating pressures resulted in higher flowrates as expected, whilst the nozzle activation pressure and the spray angle decreased as the duty cycle decreased. Thus, when designing orchard sprayers for precision variable-rate pesticide applications, variations in spray characteristics of disc-core type hollow-cone nozzles controlled by PWM solenoid valves should be considered and minimised. This prospect could be facilitated by establishing a digital database of these characteristics.
CitationSalcedo, R. [et al.]. Characterisation of activation pressure, flowrate and spray angle for hollow-cone nozzles controlled by pulse width modulation. "Biosystems engineering", Juny 2022, vol. 218, p. 139-152.
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