Two products introduced this month by Raven Industries aim to help farmers apply anhydrous ammonia (NH3) over large operations in a shorter timeframe. Additionally, new features will make application safer and reduce wear on components.
The first product is the AccuFlow Vortex, a single-cooler NH3 application system with a capacity in excess of 50 gpm. The system comes preassembled and maintains a smaller footprint on the applicator toolbar.
"It’s 25% more than what a dual-cooler system will cool," notes Gary Esselink, product manager for application controls, during a kickoff event on the eve of the 2014 National Farm Machinery Show. The AccuFlow Vortex will replace Raven’s existing dual-cooler system that featured a capacity of roughly 40 gpm.
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The second product is the AccuFlow HP+ system, which features the Vortex cooler and a dynamically controlled pump for added capacity through the field.
"Now we are doing in excess of 80 gpm, which is equivalent to someone pulling a 60-foot toolbar and doing 300 lb. of N per acre and driving 9.3 mph," Esselink says. The system replaces Raven’s previous high-performance system. Farmers working on smaller operations will continue to have access to Raven’s single conventional cooler with 30 gpm of capacity.
Other features of the new application systems include:
- Five expansion points for maximum cooling.
- Stainless steel components.
- Groove lock fittings equipped with an interior seal have replaced pipe fittings, cutting the time required to access the flow meter from as much as 30 minutes to fewer than 10.
- Time required to bleed anhydrous from the system has been reduced from as much as 3 hours to 20 minutes. Bleeding is now safer because it is controlled at the front of the machine and goes out the back. Additionally, a safety bleed valve can be used once the system is drained to ensure any leftover anhydrous is evacuated.
- Rotating fins in the main flow tube mix cooler and warmer anhydrous, enhancing the capacity of the system and creating uniform coolness.
- Pressure transducer senses valves that fail to open and shuts down the system when it crosses a specified threshold for added safety. The system has been tested for bleeding at up to 750 psi.
The upgrades are a reflection of demand from large farms and custom applicators, Esselink says. Conventional wisdom has held that 1 lb. of nitrogen can be used to produce 1 bu. of corn, so as producers increasingly aim for 300 bu., more NH3 needs to be applied at faster rates.
Shipments of both products begin March 1.
Click here to read more about the AccuFlow Vortex and AccuFlow HP+ system on Raven’s website.