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A High Capacity Control System for an Agricultural Sprayer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000230151D
Publication Date: 2013-Aug-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 138K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This disclosure encompasses a sprayer liquid delivery system that covers a range of application rates from 3 to 450 liters per minute without sacrificing accuracy and using existing components. It also does not require a new, complicated control algorithm. This disclosure provides a method to continuously control sprayer solution flows to the spray boom from 3 to 450 liters per minute while also proportionally controlling solution tank agitation intensity relative to solution tank level and recirculation of excess from two solution pumps connected in parallel.

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P20979 

A High Capacity Control System for an Agricultural Sprayer

This disclosure encompasses a sprayer liquid delivery system that covers a range of application rates from 3 to 450 liters per minute without sacrificing accuracy and using existing components. It also does not require a new, complicated control algorithm.

This disclosure provides a method to continuously control sprayer solution flows to the spray boom from 3 to 450 liters per minute while also proportionally controlling solution tank agitation intensity relative to solution tank level and recirculation of excess from two solution pumps connected in parallel.

Please refer to the schematic as shown below.

The solution system consists of many components, but the primary components for this invention are the pumps and spray rate regulators. The two piston diaphragm pumps are mechanically coupled together so they always rotate at the same speed, and they are driven directly by the tractor PTO. Two smaller pumps are connected in parallel because no manufacturers make a larger piston diaphragm pump at an acceptable price point. Some flow from one pump is taken for agitation, and then the solution from each pump is combined into a single pump flow for delivery to the spray boom. The two pumps can create e.g. nominal 560 lpm at peak flow. This provides for fast loading of large tanks (e.g. a 6200 liter tank), but the maximum rate that the boom can apply is e.g. 450 lpm. In order to accurately control the application rate, this large pump flow must be regulated before it reaches the boom. The controller calculates the flow required to meet the application rate, and the excess flow is returned to the solution tank through a bypass.

Two regulators are used to accomplish this metering task. One regulator has the boom port capped and directs solution only to the tank since the maximum pump flow significantly exceeds the maximum boom flow. The second regulator divides flow between the boom and the bypass.

In addition to the unique hardware configuration, we have a unique control technique. Trying to operate both regulators with a completely dynamic control loop would be very challenging because an application rate could be achieved with multiple combinations of the two regulators, which would make large range changes difficult to execute. In this desi...