Friday, 21 January 2022 08:25

Electric power for the orchard

Written by  Mark Daniel
Nobili has produced what is believed to be the world's first 100% electrically-operated crop sprayer aimed at orchards and vineyards. Nobili has produced what is believed to be the world's first 100% electrically-operated crop sprayer aimed at orchards and vineyards.

While the auto industry seems to be galloping into electrification, the agricultural sector seems to be a little more reserved in adopting plug in and play.

However, the recent EIMA Show in Bologna saw Italian manufacturer Nobili give visitors to its site a taste of where things might be heading - displaying what is believed to be the world's first 100% electically-operated crop sprayer aimed at orchards and vineyards.

It takes 700v DC electrical power from the CNHI-developed E-Source generator, which was shown mounted to a New Holland T4-110V tractor.

Comprising a fairly standard chassis, the sprayer features a 1000 litre spray tank and a 5 litre clean water tank. It has an ISOBUS control taking care of two electric motors - one powering the spray pump, while the second is dedicated to a patented fan arrangement. The latter offers fan speed and flow adjustment controlled from the driver's seat.

The company also displayed its E-Mulcher, again electrically-powered, for dealing with vegetation in orchards or vineyards. This machine has a novel feature, with its driveline maintaining a constant rotor speed, irrespective of changing crop of terrain.

Removing the mechanical drivelines of both machines allows tighter headland turns, even in the narrowest vineyards, with the major advantage of reduced fuel consumption. Ongoing test suggest that users can expect savings of 34% and 31% for the E-Sprayer and E-Mulcher, respectively. For those looking to go down the electrical route, but with significantly lower capital costs, sprayer specialist Silvan has introduced a new electric route, but with significantly lower capital costs, sprayer specialist Silvan has introduced a new electric wheelbarrow sprayer for vegetable gardens, nurseries and greenhouses. In the case of the latter, the system operated with virtually no noise and removes the problem of exhaust gases in the hot house.

Offering 100 litres capacity, with a 5 litre freshwater tank, the unit produces a fine droplet/atomiser spray pattern. Meanwhile, its integral componetry includes a battery box, charging socket and an aquatec pump that delivers up to 5 litres per minute open flow.

Other features include a powder coated frame, 13 inch diameter, pneumatic tyres, an adjustable sprayer gun, Eco hose reel and a 240-voltcharger unit.

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