A new spraying system developed by Pentair Hypro makes it possible for operators to change from one nozzle to another at the flick of a switch.They can easily change between pesticide and fertiliser nozzles, between nozzles of different sizes to cover a wide range of application rates, and between nozzles with different spray characteristics – standard and low drift, for example.“Selecting the right nozzle as the target or conditions dictate is crucial to get the greatest precision and best performance from agrochemical treatments,” emphasises Roger James, Pentair Hypro’s product manager. “The parameters that determine the best nozzle will change during the spraying day and even within a field – Duo React allows the most common nozzle change-overs to be made with the flick of a switch, increasing the capability of a single sprayline with none of the drawbacks of a twin line set-up.”
What is it?The Hypro Duo React nozzle body combines a single outlet on one side and a four-way turret on the other in one compact assembly.
The two piston valves are held securely closed by a stainless steel spring and opened by air pressure. They operate in exactly the same way as Pentair Hypro’s tried and trusted ProStop valve – already fitted by many of the World’s sprayer manufacturers.An equally compact electro-pneumatic version of the Duo React body can perform the role of a section control valve to avoid wasteful spraying overlaps.How it worksAn air supply on the sprayer operates the two fast-reacting, pneumatic valves. Sprayer operators can switch between the turret and the single outlet at any time or use both at the same time. The turret can be rotated manually to select different nozzle combinations.“Duo React allows operators to set out for a day’s spraying with nozzles of different sizes and types to suit different crops, spray targets and application tasks, and allow for particular working situations and conditions,” notes Roger James. “By combining a single outlet with the familiar manually rotatable turret, we have made the unit compact and lightweight, and have kept the cost in check – it represents great value for money considering the new spraying flexibility that it makes available.”InstallationDuo React nozzle bodies will be supplied to sprayer manufacturers for use on a single sprayline. This option will cost less than a twin line installation, which unnecessarily duplicates many components and makes plumbing more complex.Room is at a premium within the space-frame structure of a spray boom, so a great deal of design and engineering effort has gone into making the Duo React body as small as possible to fit different boom designs and without it being exposed to impact and other damage.“Feedback from in-depth market research in Britain and France indicated that farmers are looking for a low-cost and simple-to-use nozzle switching system,” says Roger James. “Our engineers rose to the challenge – sprayer manufacturers can now offer a compact and simple unit at an acceptable cost.”Use in practice – liquid fertiliserProviding a permanent home for a liquid fertiliser dribble bar is one of the most common reasons for having a second sprayline on a new sprayer; it saves having to remove the dribble bars to go spraying. With Duo React the dribble bar can be fitted to the body’s single outlet and spray nozzles to the four-way turret; the operator then simply switches between fertiliser and pesticide application from the cab as required.For those who prefer a dribble cap, the Duo React body offers a wider range of application rates than a single outlet nozzle body. For example, fitting red (04) and grey (06) Hypro ESI six-stream fertiliser nozzles provides a five-fold application rate range using each nozzle singly and then both together.Careful selection of the nozzle combination can provide a tailor-made pairing to suit the required application rate and cope with whatever range the crop requires. Depending on the sprayer model, this can be automated to work from GPS mapped rate recommendations.Use in practice – pesticidesSwitching between a conventional flat fan and a low-drift air-induction nozzle is the most likely scenario for crop spraying applications. Operators can use the conventional flat fan in ideal spraying conditions and then exploit Duo React to switch without any delay to a nozzle like the Hypro Guardian Air for increased drift containment.“Guardian Air nozzles are ideal for when a breeze gets up or for working close to houses and other sensitive locations when you want to keep drift to a minimum,” says Roger James. “And with the Guardian Air’s three-star LERAP approval, operators on farms with a lot of water courses can reduce the width of the aquatic buffer zone imposed when using certain pesticides.”Easy access to nozzles that spray vertically and at an angle will be helpful when switching between different agrochemicals or crops with different canopy architectures during the day. This is especially convenient and time-saving during busy spraying periods when correct application timing is critical and there is a narrow spraying window.A good example of this is when switching from cereal fungicides with a Guardian Air nozzle to potato blight sprays when the finer, angled spray of the Hypro VPTech is needed for canopy penetration and coverage.The same applies when moving from oilseed rape desiccation to an ear wash spray on cereals. Being able to quickly select the most appropriate nozzle size, type or configuration will help achieve optimum results in both cases – and hassle-free switching will encourage operators to use the optimum application technique.Improved practicalityAnother key benefit of using Duo React instead of a twin sprayline system is that it keeps the end of spraying rinse-through procedure simple.“Rinsing twin lines complicates automated rinse cycles and uses at least 40% more water, which could make storage capacity a bit marginal on a wide boomed sprayer,” Roger James points out. “More importantly, perhaps, the operator using manual rinsing control must remember to flush both lines to prevent potential damage to the next crop sprayed.”Testing and evaluationPentair Hypro invested in prototype manufacturing so that Duo React nozzle bodies could be thoroughly tested both in the laboratory and the field.Prototypes have been subjected to more than six months of rigorous testing and successfully endured one million cycles without failure at the company’s Cambridgeshire site where the new bodies were designed and are now being manufactured.A number of Duo React systems were placed with sprayer manufacturers and end users for practical evaluation before being signed off as an option on new sprayers.