Computers and electronics in agriculture vol:71 issue:2 pages:137-147
A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to simulate airflow from air-assisted orchard sprayers through pear canopies was validated for three different sprayers: single-fan (Condor V), two-fan (Duoprop) and four-fan sprayers (AirJet Quart). The first two sprayers are widely used in Belgium and the latter one is a new design. Validation experiments were carried out in an experimental orchard (pcfruit. Velm, Belgium) in spring 2008. Ultrasonic anemometers were used to measure the time-averaged velocity components at different vertical positions before the tree and after the tree when the sprayers were driven through the orchard. The model was able to predict accurately the peak jet velocity, U-m from all the sprayers considered at all distances from the sprayer centre and vertical positions. More than 95% of the local relative errors of U-m were below 20%. Average relative errors, E. and root mean square errors, E-RMS, were all less than 11.04% and 1.68 m s(-1), respectively. The regions of high- (up to 18.0 m s(-1) upstream) and low (down to 2.8 m s(-1) downstream)-air velocity zones for all the sprayers were accurately predicted. The simulation results showed that the Condor V sprayer had a highly disturbed vertical jet velocity profile, especially at higher heights. The Duoprop sprayer had high jet velocities at the two-fan positions and lower jet velocity in between the two fans. Within the canopy height the AirJet Quatt sprayer showed a more uniform distribution of air than the other two sprayers except the minor peaks at the fan positions. These situations were all confirmed by the measurements. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.