Design and development of an electronic drive and control system for micro-granular fertilizer metering unit


COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS IN AGRICULTURE, vol.162, pp.921-930, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Desired fertilizer amount per unit area is one of the most important criteria in determining the fertilizer metering performance of applicators for plant production. Development of various application methods and metering systems with different advantages has been ongoing for years to apply the desired fertilizer amount at high accuracy. The objective of this study was to develop an electronic drive and control system (EDCS) for micro-granular fertilizer metering of precision planter and to investigate the effect of EDCS on the fertilizing accuracy and control parameters such as coefficient of determination (R-2), mean absolute percent error (MAPE), mean absolute deviation (MAD), intercept (beta(0)) and slope (beta(1)). Values for R-2, MAPE, MAD, beta(0) and beta(1) for all fertilizer rates were determined respectively as 0.992, 2.430%, 0.275 rpm, similar to 0.073 and 0.995 as a result of the trials carried out for roller speed. Measured rotation speeds of fluted roller managed by the EDCS were found to be very close to the set rotation speed calculated by the EDCS with regard to forward speed and the prescribed application rates. In addition, the coefficient of determination (R-2) 0.991, MAPE 2.434%, MAD0.0024 kg/da, beta(0) 0.081 and beta(1) 0.987 were obtained in trials performed by the EDCS at all fertilizer application rate and forward speed for two different micro-granular fertilizers. Furthermore, the experimental application rate values obtained by the EDCS were very close to the target/desired (set) value. The system yielded very fast and correct results, enabled a quick and simple setting possibility, synchronize and real-time control and the ability to work under higher forward speeds. There was no need for complex calibration and adjustment procedures. The results show that the EDCS can be used to apply desired rates for micro-granular fertilizer metering unit of precision planters.