aNH3 Equaply® Anhydrous Delivery System

Contact Information:
For more information about the aNH3 Equaply® applicator, please contact us at info@anh3.com or by phone at 217-224-5717.

line decor
line decor


About the aNH3 EQUAPLY® SYSTEM


aNH3 Equaply® SYSTEM

Accurate control of mixed gas and liquid phases is difficult to achieve. Conventional application systems do an excellent job of applying consistent amounts of anhydrous ammonia over a field. But they don't provide equal flow to each injector knife. Heat exchangers cool the ammonia below its boiling point before entering a flow meter and control valve. With only liquid present, the valve can exert near perfect control. However, when the anhydrous goes through the control valve it loses pressure and boils, creating a mixture of liquid and gas. This mixture is difficult to split evenly in a manifold. Therefore, distribution among the knives is random and variable.

 

Strip till farmers can see the effects of poor ammonia distribution. Strip till corn rows and anhydrous rows are in the same place. When distribution is unequal, some rows get more vapor and less liquid. "Streaking" is then visible in the field across a toolbar width. A plugged anhydrous line becomes very visible after the corn plants emerge. Conventional tillage farmers are less likely to see uneven distribution. They usually over-apply so even the rows with less ammonia have an adequate amount. Also, they often apply at a diagonal; application and planting rows don't coincide. However, in the Fall of 2009, ammonia loss from the wet summer revealed diagonal streaks as waves of green and yellow in many fields. Field Streaking

Operation of the aNH3 Equaply® System

1. Anhydrous passes through a filter basket in a filter tower as it enters the Equaply® system from the nurse tank. A 30 mesh stainless steel screen retains foreign material as small as 1/32 inch. Magnetic material deposits on a magnet inside the basket.

2. Our Liquimatic® tower vapor separator (U.S. Patent 7,096,802 and patent pending) accepts flow from the basket filter, liquid at the bottom of the towers and vapor at the top. The tower separates the gas by letting it escape through a solenoid valve at the top of the tower. A small head pressure of liquid anhydrous inside the tower keeps pressure under boiling as the liquid enters the pump.

 

3. A Hypro centrifugal pump boosts pressure of anhydrous ammonia far above its boiling point. The pump assures constant pressure as the liquid is manifolded to knives.

Liquimatic4. A flow control system assures that the application of ammonia is constant. Variable rate application becomes easy. The Equaply® system works under Deere, Trimble and AgLeader GPS control. Stand alone systems typically have Hiniker or Micro-Trak controllers.

5. Impellicone manifolds are standard with the Equaply® system-- this, in spite of the fact that they are made by one of one our competitors. They are a backup if, for some reason, flow of 100% liquid can't be maintained.


6. At the exits from the manifolds, orifices cause streams to split equally among knives (openers.)


7. Each knife line leaving the manifold can measure pressure to individual knives. When pressures at all knives are equal, there are equal ammonia flows. Gauges can detect plugged lines and plugged orifices.

 
aNH3 Equaply® components

Nurse Tank connection- Previously, we made recommendations specifying 1.5" hose and connections from the nurse tank to our Equaply® system. Those recommendations have become requirements. For high flow rates, the use of dual tanks with dual lines is necessary, particularly during cold weather. To maximize flow rates we recommend that you acquire tanks dedicated to your use. See our section on tanks for details. Unlike Exactrix, our system does not need bottom outlet tanks.

VAPOR SEPARATOR- The one and only reason for heat exchangers with ammonia systems is to cool the anhydrous below its boiling point. In systems without pumps, vapor makes flow meters inaccurate and pumps vapor lock. But heat exchangers have a problem with the coolant line unbalancing flow among the knives. Also, capacity of heat exchangers is greatly reduced in cold weather. Our Liquimatic® vapor separator solves these problems, allowing high flow even in cold weather.
A hydrostat protects against over pressurization by solar heating of a standing, charged system.

Pump-The pump assembly is the second most important part of our system. We use a Hypro centrifugal pump because it does not have surges like piston pumps. A hydraulic motor drives our pump. A solenoid operated hydraulic valve turns the pump motor on and off for each row.

 

Perhaps the most important reason for a pump is equal distribution. The pump keeps anhydrous as a liquid until it can be split at manifolds. To understand what happens with a mixed liquid/gas stream it helps to have transparent pipes. The Red Ball rotameters in our early prototypes were those clear pipes. During startups and when there were malfunctions, one could see the vapor as it went through the rotameters. When vapor first appeared in the system it would exit in the first rotameter of a bank of four. Increasing amounts of vapor then reached subsequent rotameters. Vapor takes the easiest path. For example, if there is a circular manifold on a toolbar which tilts down to the left on a hillside, vapor will tend to go out of hose barbs which are up and to the right, liquid going down to the left.

 

For custom applicators, the most important reason for a pump is the ability to apply at full rate when it's cold. Conventional systems often slow down during late Fall and early Spring.

FLOW MEASUREMENT AND CONTROL- Equaply® Custom units have as standard, a MicroTrak flow sensor and a KZCO "Q-ball" servo valve. The "Q-ball", available only from KZCO, provides sensitive control at lower rates than are possible with conventional ball valves. The flow sensor signals the controller which then operates the servo valve. With our system the flow sensor has maximum accuracy because it sees only liquid.

Manifolds & Orifices- After the servo valve, we split flow at one or more manifolds. Each manifold is controlled by an electrically operated valve. Multiple manifolds with electric valves allow swath control, turning off one or more sections.

The range of rates possible with a given set of orifices is not great as we would like. This is particularly true with large seasonal temperature differences. Nurse tank pressure can easily range from 50 psig to 150 psig. Fortunately the TeeJet® orifices in the Equaply® system are quickly changed. Often, we widen the range using Impellicone manifolds.

Side dress applications typically skip a row; a 16 row toolbar will have 15 knives. In that instance, we can supply orifices for the two end rows that have 0.5, 1.5 or 2 times the rate of interior rows.

Guages

Flow verification- The Equaply® system uses a pressure gauge per row to verify row to row equality of flow. When upstream pressure and downstream pressures are the same with same size orifices, flows are the same. Pressure gages connect downstream from the knife orifices. They are mounted on a gauge tree or panel between the tractor cab and the toolbar. One can tell at a glance if a knife is plugged (high pressure) or an orifice is plugged (low pressure).

Our "Equarow" electronic row monitor and system is now a functioning prototype and we hope to introduce it late Fall 2011.

ACCESSORIES- The "Yield+" chemical injector is now in limited production, available this Fall. The Yield+ is capable of high pressure injection of N-Serve into the anhydrous stream. Other injectors for N-Serve can't be used with Equaply® Custom systems because they do not provide high enough pressures. For those desiring to inject liquid fertilizer with anhydrous, we have a companion unit with a centrifugal pump.