PRODUCT DELIVERY METHOD TO THE TREATMENT OBJECT AND THE DEVICE FOR ITS IMPLEMENTATION
1. A method of dispersing fluid particles long distances, the method comprising:
- waiting for a predetermined temperature difference between temperature of air at a top of an object and temperature of air near a ground surface;
using a fluid pump to pressurize a fluid;
using an air compressor to pressurize air particles;
combining the pressurized fluid and the pressurized air particles in a nozzle, wherein the combination of pressurized fluid, pressurized air particles, and further air acceleration provided by the nozzle enables creation of a cloud of near-monodispersed droplets that are released from an end of the nozzle;
rotating the nozzle so the near-monodispersed droplets are released upwind from the object;
the method is implemented at night during a nighttime air inversion;
gravity and the nighttime air inversion pull the near-monodispersed droplets down onto a surface of the object.
A fluid dispersion system and method used for spraying large areas with near-monodispersed, aerosolized fluid droplets. More specifically, the system creates and distributes a cloud of near-monodispersed droplets of fluid by pumping pressurized air and fluid through fluid dispersion machinery and into, and out of, a fluid dispersion nozzle. The fluid dispersion machinery is a combustion engine-driven air compressor system that includes an engine, radiator, fuel tank, fluid tank, fluid piping system, fluid pump, air compressor, air compression intake, one or more fluid dispersal nozzles, air ducting, clutch, and control system. The method of fluid dispersion is implemented at night during a nighttime air inversion when there is a temperature difference between the temperature of air at the top of an object and the temperature of air near the ground surface.
- 1. A method of dispersing fluid particles long distances, the method comprising:
waiting for a predetermined temperature difference between temperature of air at a top of an object and temperature of air near a ground surface; using a fluid pump to pressurize a fluid; using an air compressor to pressurize air particles; combining the pressurized fluid and the pressurized air particles in a nozzle, wherein the combination of pressurized fluid, pressurized air particles, and further air acceleration provided by the nozzle enables creation of a cloud of near-monodispersed droplets that are released from an end of the nozzle; rotating the nozzle so the near-monodispersed droplets are released upwind from the object; wherein; the method is implemented at night during a nighttime air inversion; gravity and the nighttime air inversion pull the near-monodispersed droplets down onto a surface of the object.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
- 15. A fluid dispersion system comprising:
a fluid dispersion nozzle that creates and distributes near-monodispersed droplets; fluid dispersion machinery comprised of; an engine; a radiator; a fuel tank; a fluid tank; a fluid piping system; a fluid pump powered by a fluid pump belt attached to the engine; an air compressor; an air compression intake and silencer; air ducting; and a clutch; and an in-cab control system that controls the fluid dispersion machinery; wherein the machinery is attached to a base frame, and the engine is attached to a motor frame that is mounted to the base frame.
- View Dependent Claims (16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/327,679 filed Apr. 26, 2016 and titled METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR FLUID DISPERSION, and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/327,987 filed Apr. 26, 2016 and titled FLUID DISPERSION NOZZLE, which, along with the subject matter disclosed in the U.S. Application filed the same date as the present application, Attorney Ref. ESE/0002USU1 and titled FLUID DISPERSION NOZZLE are hereby incorporated by reference, with such incorporation limited such that no subject matter is incorporated that is contrary to the explicit disclosure herein.
The disclosed invention relates to a method and system for spraying and dispersing fluid over large areas of land. More specifically, the disclosed invention relates to a fluid dispersion system and method used to create and distribute a cloud of aerosolized, near-monodispersed droplets by pressurizing fluid and air via a fluid pump and air compressor in a fluid dispersion machine, pumping the pressurized air and fluid to a fluid dispersion nozzle, and using the pressurized air to redirect and collide the fluid particles with solid surfaces in the nozzle to create aerosolized droplets prior to dispersing the aerosolized droplets over an agricultural field, open fields, forests, or enclosed structures.
There are several situations, both outdoor and indoor, in which a fluid needs to be sprayed over large areas. For example, spraying is currently used to protect agricultural and forestry activities, to control wild plants for zero tillage farming, to control psychoactive plants, to manage pests in insecticidal processing or other environments where pest control is desired, to apply fertilizer to plants'"'"' leaves, to deliver fertilizer through stalks and leaves, to desiccate plants, to treat plants with fungicides, to manage mosquito and vector disease, and other broad-range applications.
However, current dispersers are limited in the range in which they can reach and the method of fluid application to the plants. Additionally, they unevenly cover the land being sprayed, waste the fluid being dispersed, and create environmental hazards through, for example, runoff of excess chemicals. Therefore, a fluid dispersion system and method is needed that is capable of spraying and dispersing fluid materials evenly, over longer distances, and without unnecessary chemical waste.
The present disclosure is a fluid dispersion system and method used for spraying large areas of agricultural land with polydispersed or near-monodispersed, aerosolized fluid droplets. More specifically, the system creates and distributes a cloud of polydispersed or near-monodispersed droplets of fluid by pumping pressurized air and fluid through fluid dispersion machinery and into, and out of, a fluid dispersion nozzle. The fluid dispersion machinery is a combustion engine-driven air compressor system that includes an engine, radiator, fuel tank, fluid tank, fluid piping system, fluid pump, air compressor, air compression intake, one or more fluid dispersal nozzles, air ducting, clutch, and control system.
The present disclosure relates to a fluid dispersion system and method used to create and distribute a cloud of polydispersed or near-monodispersed droplets of fluid. Various embodiments of the fluid dispersion system will be described in detail with reference to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals represent like parts and assemblies throughout the several views. Reference to various embodiments does not limit the scope of the fluid dispersion system disclosed herein. Additionally, any examples set forth in this specification are not intended to be limiting and merely set forth some of the many possible embodiments for the fluid dispersion system. It is understood that various omissions and substitutions of equivalents are contemplated as circumstances may suggest or render expedient, but these are intended to cover applications or embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the disclosure. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.
The disclosed system is comprised of a fluid dispersion system and method, wherein a fluid dispersion machine accelerates fluid and air particles, a fluid dispersion nozzle aerosolizes the fluid particles to create near-monodispersed droplets by combining the fluid particles with the accelerated air particles, and a novel method is implemented to ensure accurate distribution of the near-monodispersed droplets. More specifically, these features function together to combine fluid materials with pressurized air, which results in the aerosolization of the fluid and enables the aerosolized fluid particles to travel long distances. For example, in a preferred embodiment, the fluid may exit the nozzle in five to 150 micron wide droplets and may be capable of traveling up to two miles.
In addition to the fluid dispersion machine and nozzle, the following disclosure includes a method of dispersing fluids that is dependent on the devices disclosed herein. The design of the fluid dispersion system, as well as the design of the method, enables dispersion of a polydisperse or near-monodisperse aerosol, use of wide-range nozzles, and a high aerosol flow range based on the parameters of the air fed to the nozzle. The dispersion results are obtained by eliminating cluttering of the air and fluid flow in the nozzle by, for example, maintaining consistent fluid pressure in the nozzle.
The practical use of the invention will allow for efficient and quality fluid dispersion by creating an aerosol of the required droplets size that can travel extended distances (for example, up to two miles) and be affected by temperature inversions.
The fluid is sprayed by creating a cloud of polydispersed or near-monodispersed droplets of physiologically active agents in the atmosphere (for example, the troposphere). The fluid that is sprayed can be fertilizer, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, disinfectants, or other chemical, biological, and mineral-based significant fluids. The same components and processes can be used to disperse any fluid regardless of the density and viscosity of the fluid. Due to the fine particle size created by the disclosed nozzle and system, the fluid can travel extremely far distances. In some embodiments, after the fluid exits the fluid dispersion system, it is in the form of polydispersed or near-monodispersed droplets (for example, droplets with diameters between five and 150 microns). In other embodiments, the fluid exits the fluid dispersion system in the form of monodispersed droplets. This dispersion method results in less fluid being used compared to pre-existing fluid dispersion systems, which lessens the impact of active chemicals on the environment and decreases costs associated with situations and settings where fluid dispersion is typically used. For example, fluid dispersion is frequently used for maintenance of plants and animals in an agricultural setting, for forest protection, for treatment of indoor structures, and for vector disease control. All of these scenarios could benefit from the disclosed system and method of fluid dispersion.
While the current disclosure primarily describes use of the machine and method in a plant-growing context, the same machines and methods may be implemented in livestock equipment and premises, forest protection, indoor treatment of structures, and vector disease control. In this context, the chemicals used may be disinfectants and the use of disinfectants with the disclosed machine and methods may also result in the benefit of more effective application of chemicals to desired surfaces.
Generally, the method of fluid dispersion is comprised of fluid flow from a fluid pump 112, airflow from an air compressor 114, acceleration of airflow in a nozzle, and combination of the fluid and accelerated airflow in the nozzle resulting in an aerosol. The aerosol'"'"'s dispersion can be adjusted by changing the discharge rates of the fluid.
While the discharge rates of the fluid and air may be adjusted, in a preferred embodiment, the pressure of the fluid flow is maintained at a constant rate. Further, the maximum flow rate can be maintained within a specified range regardless of the preset range of the flow amount. For example, when the fluid flow rate increases from the fluid dispersion machine to the fluid dispersion nozzle, the fluid flow pressure is maintained by increasing the fluid flow rate out of the nozzle. More specifically, the decrease in the specific energy of the aerosol dispersion due to an increase in fluid flow rate to the nozzle is compensated by an increase in fluid flow rate out of the nozzle.
The method of fluid dispersion out of the nozzle is comprised of: (1) injecting fluid at a high pressure through the center of the nozzle; (2) allowing the fluid to hit various barriers that breaks the fluid particles into smaller, polydispersed or near-monodispersed particles; and (3) combining the polydispersed or near-monodispersed droplets with air flowing through the nozzle, wherein the air pushes the polydispersed or near-monodispersed droplets forward away from the nozzle and permits the polydispersed or near mono-dispersed droplets to be carried by the air and wind as a cloud for an extended distance (for example, hundreds or thousands of yards).
While typical fluid dispersion methods for agricultural fields involve spraying the fluid during the day and pushing the fluid down onto the plant using gravitational forces, the disclosed method involves spraying the fluid during the night and allowing gravitational forces and natural temperature inversions to pull the cloud down onto the plant. More specifically, because of the minute size of the fluid particles, the fluid droplets can effectively travel for miles. Therefore, to control for placement of the fluid droplets over agricultural fields, the dispersion process ideally takes place at night when there is a very small, constant wind speed (between 0 miles per hour and 9 miles per hour) that can carry the fluid droplets for a limited amount of time before they are pulled onto the plants.
Therefore, to accurately disperse fluids using the disclosed method, the process of spraying is best employed at night, when overnight cooling of surface air results in a nocturnal temperature inversion that is dissipated after sunrise by the warming of air near the ground. More specifically, at night, the air temperature near the ground is cooler than the air temperature near the top of a plant. When the air temperature near the top of the plant is warmer than the air temperature near the ground, the air near the top of the plant is pulled down toward the ground.
Accordingly, when the aerosolized cloud of fluid or near-monodispersed droplets are ejected by the disclosed nozzle and hovering in the air near the tops of plants, the natural air inversion process will pull the fluid, in the form of aerosol or near-monodispersed droplets, down and cover the remainder of the plant. This process will result in minimal, if any, chemical residue making it to the ground, thereby ensuring a decrease in harm to the environment compared to current dispersion methods. It is important that minimal chemical residue ends up in the soil, as a preferred embodiment of the disclosed system involves the use of highly concentrated chemicals with minimal water used to dilute those chemicals. For example, one solution may include the use of only 10% water.
For ideal application to plants, the difference in air temperature between the top of the plant and the air near the ground is a crucial factor. Therefore, before activating the fluid dispersion system, a user should track the air temperature near the ground and the air temperature near the top of a plant and wait for a predetermined temperature difference between the air near the ground and the air near the top of the plant. Once the difference between the two positions meets that predetermined temperature difference (for example, approximately one degree Fahrenheit), with the air near the top of the plant being warmer, fluid dispersion through the nozzle and accompanying system should be initiated.
Due to the ease with which the aerosolized droplets can move through the air, application of the chemicals or other fluids to a field, forest, or enclosed structure during times when there is a wind may require a user to rotate the nozzle so it is distributing the aerosolized cloud in the direction of the wind (i.e., the near-monodispsersed droplets are released upwind). Therefore, if the wind is blowing in southwest direction, the user should line up the equipment on the north side of the field and drive from east to west with the nozzle facing in a southern or southwestern direction. If the wind is blowing in a southeast direction, the user should line up the equipment on the north side of the field and drive from west to east with the nozzle facing in a southern or southeastern direction. In addition to the cardinal direction that the nozzle is facing, it may also be angled higher than the top of the field to enable the aerosolized cloud to drift over the field instead of into it.
In some cases, the method of fluid dispersion is altered slightly for application of chemicals to trees and forests. More specifically, whereas application in an agricultural context ideally has the nozzle aimed at an angle above the field to compliment wind or air movement, application in a forestry context ideally has the nozzle aimed directly at the part of the tree or trees to which contact with the chemical is desired.
Fluid Dispersion Nozzle
As briefly mentioned above, fluid travels through a fluid dispersion nozzle and is broken into smaller fluid droplets by physical impact with pressurized air and surfaces on the nozzle. In some embodiments, the nozzle is connected to fluid dispersion machinery, wherein the fluid dispersion machinery includes an engine 102, a fluid pump 112 that supplies pressurized fluid to the nozzle, an air compressor 114 that supplies pressurized air to the nozzle, and other components that help provide high velocity air and fluid to the nozzle.
Generally, the nozzle is a supersonic, adjustable, dual-contour nozzle connected to an air compressor 114 and a fluid pump 112, and is comprised of several components. The nozzle is designed to aerosolize the fluid from the fluid pump 112 by combining the fluid with ultrasound waves generated in the nozzle and enabling hydraulic fluid fragmentation of the fluid into droplets. The nozzle then blows the fluid aerosol out to the atmosphere in the form of a cloud. More specifically, initial pneumatic dispersion of the fluid droplets occurs using ultrasound air fluctuations, and the aerosol'"'"'s final pneumatic dispersion is due to a supersonic air jet from of the nozzle, which supplies the aerosol to the site of application. The aerosol'"'"'s dispersion is adjusted by discretely changing the airflow.
As described above, it is the combination of air and fluid that create the aerosolized, near-monodispersed droplets that are capable of traveling long distances. Therefore, the nozzle is dedicated to decreasing the size of the fluid particles and projecting them out from the nozzle using pressurized and accelerated air. The fluid dispersion machinery can use one or more permanent or interchangeable nozzles.
Fluid Dispersion Machinery
As described above, the fluid dispersion nozzle receives fluid and air at high velocities from fluid dispersion machinery. Generally, the machinery in the support system is comprised of a combustion engine-driven fluid pump and air compressor that take fluid from a fluid reservoir and air from the atmosphere and pressurize the corresponding fluid and air before feeding them into the fluid dispersion nozzle. In some embodiments, the fluid dispersion machinery is capable of being transported and operated on a vehicle. For example, the machinery may be mounted in the open bed of a truck, enabling a user to drive the truck around or through an agricultural field, an open field, a forest, or an enclosed structure while employing the machinery and fluid dispersion nozzle. The machinery can interface with a remote control console, as illustrated in
Generally, the fluid dispersion machinery is comprised of an engine assembly, a clutch actuator assembly, a fluid system assembly that attaches to the nozzle or multiple nozzles, an air compression assembly that attaches to the nozzle or multiple nozzles, and rigid framing that the assemblies can mount or attach to. More specifically, as illustrated in
A base frame 122 and motor frame 124, illustrated in
In some embodiments, a portion of the fluid dispersion machinery includes an engine assembly comprised of an engine 102, such as a diesel engine, a radiator 104 to cool the engine 102, and a fuel tank 106 to hold fuel for the engine 102, as illustrated in
The engine may have a range from 111.9 kW (150 HP) to 186.4 kW (250 HP) in order to support loads from the fluid pump 112, air compressor 114, a blower, and an alternator. The fuel tank 106 can have a level sender and, in a preferred embodiment, can support several hours (for example, at least eight) of runtime due to the critical timing involved in dispersion of the fluids. More specifically, because the fluids should be dispersed, in a preferred embodiment, during a temperature inversion and temperature inversions only happen for a limited period of time during the night hours, the engine 102 should have enough fuel to last it for that critical period of time. To engage or disengage the engine motor from the compressor 114, an individual can use a clutch 120.
In some embodiments, a portion of the fluid dispersion machinery includes a fluid system assembly comprised of a fluid tank 108 for holding the fluid to be dispersed, a fluid piping system 110 for transporting fluid from the fluid tank 108 to the fluid dispersion nozzle, and a fluid pump 112 included in the fluid piping system 110 and run by the engine 102, as illustrated in
As illustrated in
In other embodiments, the fluid dispersion machinery can include two or more fluid tanks 108 that are mounted on a plurality of the sides of the engine 102. For example, three fluid tanks 108 may be mounted on the base frame 122 and positioned on the left side, front, and right side of the engine 102. This layout enables an individual to transition use from one fluid tank 108 to another without unloading a first fluid tank and loading a second.
In some embodiments, a portion of the support machinery includes an air compression assembly comprised of an air compressor 114, an air compressor intake and silencer 116, a first set of air ducting 118 that connects the air compressor 114 to the air compressor intake and silencer 116, and a second set of air ducting 118 that connects the air compressor 114 to the nozzle.
As illustrated in
As described above, the vehicle-mounted fluid dispersion machinery can be controlled by an in-cab control system, illustrated in