The first commercial application of Electrodyn/Nimbus technology was for a handheld crop sprayer targeted for smallholders in developing countries. The machine’s effectiveness and robust simplicity enabled farmers to use it enthusiastically and safely. One trial showed crop yield up by a factor of ten.
Other studies showed toxic contamination of humans reduced to virtually zero (in Africa, this could save up to 10,000 lives per annum.) The system was also trialled for various vector-control public-health programmes; including animal health, indoor residual spraying and screen traps (against tsetse fly and mosquito). In these trials similar benefits over existing technologies were also experienced.
1. sigificantly reduces the amount of chemical required for any given application.
2. uses no water.
3. uses oil formulations that stay longer on surfaces
4. uses electric field forces that mean that droplets evenly coat surfaces and there is no spray drift.
5. has no moving parts and requires virtually no maintenance.
6. has equipment cost that are substantially lower than conventional application equipment.
7. is quick, easy and safe to set up and operate.
The ED sprayer designed for the African market comprised a ‘stick’ containing 4 1.5v batteries and a 25KV HV generator connected to a .75l bottle/nozzle unit.
safe, robust, easy to use, and highly effective
small, automatically-controlled droplets, which cover leaves evenly on both sides.
droplets propelled by very powerful field forces even against strong winds
chemicals formulated in oils, which resist evaporation and lead to greatly improved efficiency- half a litre of spray will control one or two hectares of field crops. Hydraulic sprayers require hundreds of litres for the same level of control.
no moving parts/regular maintenance needed.
Most crop sprayers work on a basic hydraulic system. Liquid is pumped through a nozzle, producing predominantly large droplets that vary greatly in size. There is very little control over where they are deposited, and in order to achieve an effective coverage it is necessary to over–spray with very large quantities of dilute chemical:
As a result:
· Many of the plants have too much spray.
· Spray runs off into the soil.
· Small droplets in the spray are caught on the wind and pollute the air.
· Where water is at a premium, subsistence farmers frequently have to walk for miles to get water for the essential dilution.
· Many accidents occur when mixing chemicals – many thousands per annum, including many fatalities, have been cited by various authorities.
Nimbus for Public Health Spraying
Nimbus can be used for public health vector-control spraying as either a mini stick-and-bozzle or ultra-compact backpack-and-lance.
Studies for spraying against tsetse in Togo have concluded EHD technology offers the following advantges:
No moving parts • Ready to use liquid • No concentration miscalculations • No water needed • Environmentally friendly • Price of spray liquid • Multipurpose: also for cotton spray, mosquito spray
IRS trials in Tanzania show how quick the operation can be due to lack of mixing, calibration or cleaning. Users reported ED was easy to operate, safe and effective.
Now, as Nimbus, EHD technology can, for the first time, be used as a lightweight ready-to-use device:
For Indoor Residual Spraying:
Conventional compression sprayers (pictured left) are cumbersome, heavy and messy. Spraying needs to be conducted by professional teams, and huts must be vacated for considerable periods of time. All contents must be removed. The process is costly and many householders are reported to resist having their huts sprayed because of the mess and inconvenience.
Nimbus is cheap, clean, and easy. There is little need for furniture to be removed and one study concluded that huts could be successfully sprayed in a matter of minutes. Most importantly, the precision delivery system and bozzle means little to no risk of operators coming into contact with dangerous chemicals.
We are currently patenting a system to be safely and effectively used by householders rather than teams of trained professionals.
Recent studies (using interview/focus groups) show how farmers often fail to implement the correct spraying regime for their cattle.
Spraying with a Nimbus machine, however, is quick, easy, and clean. If done by hand, each animal takes only two or three minutes. The technology may be adapted to form part of an automatic gate through which livestock are passed.
Studies show how screen traps are vulnerable to environmental damage and component degradation. Nimbus can be used to repair the traps, on-site, resulting in more traps being operational at any given time.