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Effect of cross wind, nozzle angle and height on the performance of broadcasting spraying system.


Agricultural pesticide application system faces challenges and problems such as spray distribution and drift as result to the combinations of mechanical factors of spray technique (nozzle angle and height) and environmental variable(wind speed) and their interactions. Evaluation of the spray volumetric distribution of the nozzles is the most important issue in a spray analysis and had been studied by several researchers [1-4]. In order to achieve optimum spray distribution pattern above ground or plant level, nozzle angle is one of the most important variables that can be used in determining the nozzle height above ground or plant level. According to Byron and Hamey [5], Miller et al [6], and Spraying System CO [7], nozzle angle of 110[degrees] should be used with nozzle heights of less than 50 cm and have become an adopted standard that to give a uniform volume distribution pattern. The assessment of spray drift is necessary to reduce the pollution of ecosystem, but it is particularly complex and very difficult to repeat spray drift measurements in the field with a high degree of reliability because weather conditions cannot be controlled [8-9], which was the major reason to develop wind tunnel protocols for the measurement of spray drift in controlled conditions.

Spray drift for various conventional flat-fan nozzles was investigated and compared under laboratory conditions [10]. Droplet size is an important factor for controlling spray drift to the non targeted areas. Reducing of the spray nozzle angle generally results in an increase in the droplet sizes generated and reduce drift [7]. Spray nozzle height above the ground or on top of the crop canopy is significant factor that influence the risk of drift, specifically when there is need to apply fine/medium spray qualities. The minimum possible nozzle height remains an important part of any drift control strategy. Spray drift from nozzle is a function of the nozzle height and the wind speed at the time of spraying. The use of flat fan angle 110[degrees] at heights of more than 50 cm increases the risk of drift [11]. Hobson et al [12] reported from computer simulation studies that nozzle heights of less than 50cm can be used with 110[degrees] nozzle angle and gives a better option for spray drift control than using nozzle has a narrower 80[degrees] spray angle and nozzle heights of 50 cm or more. Krishnan et al [13] used extended range fan nozzles of 110[degrees] above a patternator and found that wind velocity affected on spray pattern displacement. Sehsah et al [14] reported that the spray drift increased with increasing of the wind speed. The objective of this study is to examine the effect of spray nozzle angle and height on spray distribution and drift.


The nozzles selected for the study are standard flat-fan nozzles TP6503, TP8003, and TP11003. These nozzles are manufactured by Spraying Systems, Inc. (Wheaton, Ill.) for broadcasting application and classified according to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) of size 03(0.3gpm).Static tests for discharge rate were conducted for nozzles by collecting amount of water directly from nozzle on a graduated container at pressure 300 kPa for one minute and measuring nozzle output with precision electric balance. The spray liquid was tap water. Water discharged from the nozzle was supplied from a 140 L pressurized bottle, the pressure was provided by a compressor and the pressure was adjusted by a pressure regulator. Tests were repeated three times and a maximal deviation of all nozzles with nominal flow rate was [+ or -] 2.5%.

Spray volumetric distribution and the effective spray pattern width for nozzles were determined in the laboratory by using a spray pattern analyzing system or patternator. The system was fabricate in workshop of University Technology Malaysia (UTM) and contains a 300 cm length x 100 cm width spray table with fifty V-shaped gutters (with 6 cm width x3 cm depth). During the tests, the spray table was inclined 6[degrees] from the horizontal plane. Static single nozzle was mounted on heights 50, 75 and 90 cm in the center of the spray table and at pressure 300 kPa. In front of the table, fifty tubes (250 mL) were used to collect the liquid from each channel. The weighting method was used to determine the transversal volumetric distributions collected during one minute by using a precision electric balance. Results of spray volumetric distribution were presented as (ml/min). After the spray pattern width was determined, wind tunnel was used to produce the cross wind speeds of 1, 2 and 3m/s to determine the total spray driftas shown in Figure 1.

The total spray drift from spray nozzle above patternator was calculated from the following equation [15]

D = 100[1 - [i=N summation over (i=1)][V.sub.i]/[Q.sub.o]] (1)

Where D represents drift percentage (%), i represent the test tube index; N the total number of test tubes, Vi the water quantity collected in the test-tube (ml/min) and [Q.sub.o] the nozzle flow rate. This test repeated three times. Measurements were carried out at an average temperature 31C[degrees] and an average relative humidity RH 79%. The calculations made use of the statistical package in Microsoft Excel. The data from spray tests were collected and analysis of variance (ANOVA) on spray drift was carried out, using a mathematical model for a completely randomized design. The F test was used to evaluate the significance of factors nozzle type, height and wind speed in the model, their interactions at the significance level 0.05 confidence intervals were determined to be 95.0% using SPSS software version 20.


The spray volumetric distribution sometime is unimodal that is triangular shaped. In general; the nozzles gave spray distribution with a peak just below the nozzle centre and less spray towards the edges of the spray swath. Figure 2 shows that the use of the nozzles having spray fan angles of less than 110[degrees] will increase the spray peak under the nozzle center. The nozzle angle 65[degrees] gave the highest peak with volume 185 ml at height 50cm and just below the nozzle centre.

According to the results of analysis of variance table 1,the nozzle angle, height and wind speed and their interactions affected significantly on the spray drift.

Results of the wind tunnel experiments showed that the use of nozzles with smaller spray fan angles reduced the spray drift as result to increase droplet sizes as shown in Figure 3. The similar results were observed by Spraying System CO [7]

The volume of the spray liquid collected on the patternator increased markedly with reducing of the nozzle height as expected. The average of the lowest value of spray drift 9.009% was found at nozzle height 50cm as shown in Figure 4.The droplets fall down quickly when the nozzle height is low. These results were observed by Miller et al., [11].

Figure 5 shows that the wind speed significantly affected the spray drift in which the wind speed 3 m/s in comparison to the 1 and 2 m/s increased 448.8% and 70.7% in spray drift respectively. The droplets have no chance to move away the target when the cross wind speed is weak. These results were observed by Sehsah et al., [13].

The interaction of nozzle angle 65[degrees] and nozzle height 75cm in comparison to the interaction nozzle angle 110[degrees] and nozzle height 50cm achieved 21.65% less spray drift as shown in Figure 6. These results were observed by Miller et al., [11].

Figure 7 shows the combination of nozzle angle 65[degrees] and wind speed 3m/s in comparison to the combination of nozzle angle 110[degrees] and wind speed 2m/s achieved 24.65% less spray drift.

According to the Figure 8, the combination of nozzle height 50cm and wind speed 3m/s in comparison to the combination nozzle height 90cm and wind speed 2m/s achieved 32.79% less spray drift.

It is clear that interaction of the nozzle angle 65[degrees] and nozzle height 50cm and wind speed 1m/s achieved the lowest spray drift 2.20% in comparison to the all combinations as shown in Figure 9.


Very few of practical detailed studies had examined and focused on the factors affect spray distribution and drift. In this study, nozzle angle and height were proposed as tool to reduce spray drift. The results of this paper provide experimental basis to set up a simulation platform to evaluate total spray drift. The adopted protocol provides consistent values of the deposits on a patternator. It was noticed that spraying conditions significantly affected spray drift. Results of this paper showed that the risk of drift can be reducing by using of nozzles having spray fan angles of less than 110[degrees] at heights of greater than 50cm. However, the use of the minimum possible nozzle height remains an important part to control spray drift.


Article history:

Received 23 December 2013

Received in revised form 25 February 2014

Accepted 26 February 2014

Available online 25 March 2014


This work was carried out in the wind tunnel of UTM and we gratefully acknowledge the support and assistance and advice from all members of the aeronautics laboratory.


[1] Debouche, C., B. Huyghebaert and O. Mostade, 2000. Simulated and Measured Coefficients of Variation for the Spray Distribution Under a Static Spray Boom. Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, 76(4): 381-388.

[2] Lebeau, F., E. Hamza, D. Marie-France, 2000. Automation of a Patternator to Measure Liquid Distribution of Nozzles. Cahiers Agricultures, 9(6): 505-509.

[3] Krishnan, P. and N.L. Faqiri, 2005. Technical: Effect of Nozzle Pressure and Wind Condition on Spray Pattern Displacement of RF5 and 110-5R Nozzles. Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 21(5): 747-750.

[4] Vasquez-Castro, J.A., G.C. de Baptista, C.D. Gadanha Jr., L.R.P. Trevizan, 2008. Effectiveness of the Standard Evaluation Method for Hydraulic Nozzles Employed in Stored Grain Protection Trials. RevistaColombiana de Entomologia, 34(2): 182-187.

[5] Byron, N. and P. Hamey, 2008. Setting Unsprayed Buffer Zones in the UK. International Advances in Pesticide Application conference, Robinson College, Cambridge, UK, 9-11. Association of Applied Biologists, 84: 123-130.

[6] Miller, P.C.H., A.G. Lane., C.M. Sullivan., C.R.Tuck and E.M.C. Butler, 2008. Factors Influencing the Risk of Drift from Nozzles Operating on A Boom Sprayer. Aspects of Applied Biology 84. International Advances in Pesticide Application, pp: 9-16.

[7] Spraying System CO, 2011. TeeJet Technologies. catalog 51-m. USA.

[8] Phillips, J.C. and P.C.H. Miller, 1999. Field and Wind Tunnel Measurements of the Airborne Spray Volume Downwind Of the Single Flat-Fan Nozzles. Journal of agricultural engineering research, 72(2): 161-170.

[9] Miller, P.C.H. and E.M.C. Butler, 2000. Effects of Formulation on Spray Nozzle Performance for Applications from Ground- Based Boom Sprayers. Crop Protection, 19(8): 609-615.

[10] Guler, H., H. Zhu, H.E. Ozkan, R.C. Derksen., Y. Yu and C.R. Krause, 2007. Spray Characteristics and Drift Reduction Potential with Air Induction and Conventional Flat-Fan-Nozzles. Transactions of the ASABE, 50(3): 745-754.

[11] Miller, P.C.H., M.C. Butler, A.G. Lane, C.M.O. Sullivan and C.R. Tuck, 2011. Methods for Minimising Drift and Off-Target Exposure from Boom Sprayer Applications. Aspects of Applied Biology, 106: 281-288.

[12] Hobson, P.A., P.C.H Miller., PJ. Walklate, C.R. Tuck and N.M. Western, 1993. Spray Drift from Hydraulic Spray Nozzles: The Use of a Computer Simulation Model to Examine Factors Influencing Drift. Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, 54(4): 293-305.

[13] Krishnan, P., L.J. Kemble and I. Gal, 2005. Dynamic Spray Pattern Displacement of Extended Range Fan Nozzles. Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 21(5): 751-753.

[14] Sehsah, E.M.E. and A. Herbst, 2010. Drift Potential for Low Pressure External Mixing Twin Fluid Nozzles Based on Wind Tunnel Measurements. Misr J. Ag. Eng., 27(2): 438-464.

[15] Southcombe, E.S.E., P.C.H. Miller, H. Ganzelmeier., J. C. Van De Zande., A. Miralles and A. J. Hewitt, 1997. The International (Bcpc) Spray Classification System Including a Drift Potential Factor. In Proceeding of the Brighton Crop Protection Conference Weeds. April Farnham, Surrey, British Crop Protection Council. U.K, pp: 371-380.

Nasir S. Hassen, Jamaludin M. Sheriff, Nor Azwadi C. Sidik

Department of Thermofluid, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University Technology Malaysia, UTM Johor Bahru,


Corresponding Author: Nasir S. Hassen, Department of Thermofluid, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University Technology Malaysia, UTM Johor Bahru, Malaysia. E-mail:

Table 1: Variance analysis of the effect of nozzle
angle, height and wind speed on spray drift.

source                  Type III Sum    df   Mean Square
                        of Squares

Intercept               21215.541       1    21215.541
angle                   2485.860        2    1242.930
height                  2416.099        2    1208.050
wind                    6809.827        2    3404.913
angle * height          191.738         4    47.934
angle * wind            656.445         4    164.111
height * wind           885.243         4    221.311
angle * height * wind   39.207          8    4.901
Error                   1.513           54   .028
Total                   34701.473       81
Corrected Total         13485.932       80
Corrected Model         13484.419 (a)   26   518.632

source                  F            Sig.   Partial Eta

Intercept               757330.576   .000   1.000
angle                   44368.846    .000   .999
height                  43123.713    .000   .999
wind                    121545.100   .000   1.000
angle * height          1711.113     .000   .992
angle * wind            5858.275     .000   .998
height * wind           7900.123     .000   .998
angle * height * wind   174.946      .000   .963
Corrected Total
Corrected Model         18513.574    .000   1.000

R Squared = 1.000 (Adjusted R Squared = 1.000) (a)

Fig. 3: Effect of the nozzle angles 65[degrees],80[degrees]
and 110[degrees] on spray drift.

               Norzle angle ([degrees])

65[degrees]           9.750
80[degrees]          15.529
110[degrees]         23.273

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Fig. 4 : Effect of the nozzle heights 50, 75 and 90cm on spray drift.

       Nozzle height (cm)

50cm       9.009
75cm      17.296
90cm      22.247

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Fig. 5: Effect of the wind speeds 1, 2 and 3m/s on spray drift.

       Wind speed(m/s)

1m/s      5.004
2m/s     16.034
4m/s     27.463

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Fig. 6 : Effect the interaction between the nozzle angles 65[degrees],
80[degrees] and 110[degrees]and nozzle heights 50, 75 and 90cm on
spray drift.


50cm      4.652
75cm     10.700
90cm     13.899


50cm      8.717
75cm     16.943
90cm     20.927


50cm     13.657
75cm     24.246
90cm     31.915

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Fig. 7: Effect the interaction between nozzle angle 65[degrees],
80[degrees] and 110[degrees] and wind speeds 1, 2 and 3m/s on spray


1m/s      2.384
2m/s      9.461
3m/s     17.406


1m/s      5.157
2m/s     15.689
3m/s     25.741


1m/s      7.472
2m/s     23.102
3m/s     39.243

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Fig. 8: Effect the interaction between nozzle heights 50,75 and 90 cm
and wind speeds1,2 and 3m/s on spray drift.


1m/s      3.344
2m/s      8.231
3m/s     15.450


1m/s      5.621
2m/s     17.033
3m/s     29.234


1m/s      6.048
2m/s     22.988
3m/s     37.706

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Fig. 9: Effect the interaction between the nozzle angles 65[degrees],
80[degrees] and 110[degrees] and nozzle heights 50,75 and 90 cm
and wind speeds1, 2 and 3m/s on spray drift.


              50cm    75cm     90cm

1m/s         2.203    2.350    2.500
2m/s         4.583   10.327   13.473
3m/s         7.170   19.423   25.623


              50cm    75cm     90cm

1m/s         3.667    5.570    6.233
2m/s         8.087   17.410   21.570
3m/s        14.397   27.850   34.977


              50cm    75cm     90cm

1m/s         4.163    8.943    9.310
2m/s        12.023   23.363   33.920
3m/s        24.783   40.430   52.517

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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Article Details
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Author:Hassen, Nasir S.; Sheriff, Jamaludin M.; Sidik, Nor Azwadi C.
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Mar 1, 2014
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