Project Summaries

12-129AL  Project Manager: E. M. Barnes


John P. Fulton, Auburn University

Variable-orifice nozzles being supplied by a few tip manufacturers today are gaining interest among farmers due to their larger turndown ratios (ratio of maximum to minimum flow rate) over traditional fixed orifice tips. However, these nozzles incorporate moving parts and springs that bring concerns about long-term dependability as well as uniformity between nozzles.

Tests were conducted over 3 different flow rates for each nozzle type along with randomly assigning nozzles to 2 different locations (2 separate tests) along the spray boom. For each test, the flow rate from each nozzle was measured and standard uniformity analyses conducted to report performance. This design allowed evaluation of individual nozzle performance as well as uniformity across the spray boom.
The following results were determined from this study:

Nozzle flow uniformity across the spray boom ranged from 5% to 13%.

In several tests, there were individual nozzles which performed well outside an acceptable flow rate of 10%.

Lower flow rates tended to generate less uniformity across the spray boom.

As expected and reported by manufacturers of these nozzles, uniformity will be higher compared to fixed orifice tips. However, the advantage afforded is the higher attainable flows over normal operating pressures.

The Spot-On calibrator provided a quick and simple means to measure tip flow during calibration. This new technology should be a recommended item for sprayer operators or those managing agricultural sprayers.


Project Year: 2012

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