An electrostatic nozzle assembly for spraying rows of crops and other such plants with electrostatically charges of pesticides including a non-mersed nozzle body with passageways for water and a grounded electrical discharge of pesticides for application via a non-mersed nozzle at the base of the rows of crops, along with spray heads attached, is a very effective and environmentally sound method for crop and lawn protection. It is the only system of its kind and is a proven effective and safe method of weed control. The fast charge-discharge assembly allows spray jet applications in rows without risk of surface damage from damage caused by the spray jet pressure. These rows of crops will be unaffected by any chemical damage resulting from improper or unqualified use of the system. The system uses no vapor pressure to drive its jet power and no ozone gas production.
Aerial nozzles are available as either plug-in units or dynamic charge-discharge assemblies. The former types have two electrodes, a wet electrode for spraying, and the dry electrode, which are connected to the water outlet of a mains supply to provide continuous delivery. The dry type provides a safer means of applying pesticides and their residue to the growing plant because it does not spray directly onto the skin of the plant. The wet type has three electrodes, the hot electrode is attached to a spray head and the cold electrode is attached to the canopy in the sprayer, this prevents surface damage caused by the spray jet pressure. An aerial nozzle assembly is a self-contained unit, designed to deliver consistent amounts of a specific charge for the most effective results.
There are five key ways in which electrostatic technology can benefit an agricultural operation. These are reduced spraying times, greater accuracy in application, improved crop yield and an increase in overall plant productivity due to reduced plant stress. The reduction in time to get started and the consistent spray drift allow for earlier initiation of applications and increased crop production. This has resulted in the increase in volume of sales of bio-based fertilizers and soil nutrients in the fields.
When spraying a crop with an electrostatic buffer, there are three different stages to the application. In the first stage, the uncharged (or conductive) particles are released from the spray droplets. These are colliding with a grounded conductive crystal. When this crystal is touched by airborne particles, it conducts electric current. The current produced is usually in the form of a pulse that can be detected by sensors within the crop structure.
The second stage of the application process occurs when the uncharged droplets come into contact with grounded conductive crystals. The crystal then becomes charged, as a result of the electric pulse that was detected when the airborne particles touched it. The charge generated is then directed towards the roots, interfering with the growth of the plant. The third and final stage of the process is when the colliding crystals and the grounded ones become immobile, no longer charging or conducting, and eventually they drift away.
A common type of electrostatic system in agriculture is one in which a buffer (electrostatic collection bag) containing powdered electrodes and salt or potassium hydroxide is used for the direct application of pesticides spraying. The buffer contains either a low or high concentration of the pesticide, depending on whether or not the crop being sprayed needs a lower or higher concentration of the active ingredient. The system is composed of two separate collections of electrodes: one for the direct application of the pesticide, and one for collecting the electrostatic charge created by the pesticide as it drifts away from the spray charger. The second collection is usually referred to as the reservoir.
Electrostatic nozzles are available in two forms. Single stage and multi-stage nozzles are available, and the type of nozzle selected depends on the application being made. For example, a spray gun nozzle can be selected for light or medium applications, whereas a rotary type nozzle can be used for application with slow and constant speeds, as in rotary vane spraying.
Another type of electrostatic device is the air-assisted electrostatic system, which consists of a column-type chamber, lined with a discharge material and containing discharge holes. A discharge bullet or streamer shoots from the chamber and sprays as it passes through the discharge holes. The system works by allowing the spray deposition to occur when the bullet passes through the particles and does not allow them to gather into a collection bag, thereby eliminating the need for a bagless system.