Numerical analysis of the effects of wind and sprayer type on spray distribution in different orchard training systems

A T Duga, Donald Dekeyser, K Ruyses, D Bylemans, David Nuyttens, B Nicolai, P Verboven

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    A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of airflow and spray application in orchards was validated using field trials and used to assess the effect of wind and sprayer type on spray distribution in different orchard training systems. Three air-assisted orchard sprayer designs (a cross-flow sprayer, an axial sprayer and a sprayer with individual spouts) and four different training systems of apple and pear trees were used for this analysis. The CFD model integrates the tree architecture into the model geometry, rather than using a generalized canopy profile approach. Predicted vertical on-tree deposition profiles agreed well with measurements. The lower airflow rate generated by the sprayer with individual spouts resulted in a significantly larger deflection of the spray particles under the same wind conditions. A detailed assessment was made on the most common axial sprayer. An increase in the magnitude of the wind speed for flow across the tree row resulted in an increase in the amount of spray detected in the air around the trees and in the ground deposition in front of the tree row. Environmental airflow in the direction of spraying gave the largest deposition on the tree, constraining the spray in the canopy region. A wind direction opposite to the spraying direction, however, resulted in an increase of the ground deposition and the amount of spray remaining in air. The model can be used to analyze the effects of implementation of more sustainable spray application procedures taking into account wind conditions, tree and machine characteristics.
    TaalEngels
    TijdschriftBoundary Layer Meteorology
    Volume157
    Exemplaarnummer3
    Pagina's (van-tot)517-535
    ISSN0006-8314
    DOI's
    StatusGepubliceerd - 2015

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