Innovation in Irrigation
October 15, 2011
Nelson Irrigation Celebrates Lasting Technology
Back in the 1980's Nelson saw it was a time for a change, and set out to completely redesign the impact sprinkler. The original concept was drawn up by Larry P. Meyer on January 18, 1980 and put in a drawer until a real-world application spurred its development.The Rotator® twins – the R20 and R30 – were derived and developed together for the orchard and center pivot markets, respectively. Heavily field tested in 1986, the products were selling into the marketplace by 1987. Larry P. Meyer, Barton R. Nelson and George L. Sesser are all named on the original patent which issued April 28, 1987.The Rotator® sprinkler offered an entirely new drive mechanism and component organization. Although the product line has evolved, the concept remains the same – water is emitted from the nozzle and then directed into an offset channel on the rotor plate, creating a reactionary drive force. A viscous fluid in the rotor motor controls the rotation speed. Carefully designed plates and in some cases diffuser teeth, break up the water stream systematically to fill in the distribution pattern. This unique design also prevents water pressure from bearing down upon any seals.
This precise and simple design solves many of the problems that the impact sprinkler faces. More uniform water distribution patterns can be achieved, reliability is enhanced, application rates are reduced, costs and maintenance are lowered and riser vibration is eliminated.
The Rotator® sprinkler is now used in a number of applications including solid-set, wheel-line, permanent set and portable systems. Since the development of Rotator® technology, a whole line of sprinklers has been developed. The R5, R10, R10T, R2000, R2000LP, R2000WF, R33 and R33LP are used on a number of different crops including tree fruit, tree nuts, row crops, forage and grain. In the realm of mechanized irrigation (center pivots and linears) – the R3000 Rotator® and A3000 Accelerator – with their rotating streams and wide throw distances – offer superior performance. The Rotator® family continues to grow – as new products utilizing this technology push the envelope of water application solutions.
Nelson Irrigation Corporation (NIC), headquartered in Walla Walla, Washington U.S.A., plans, designs, manufactures and sells proprietary products for the irrigation equipment market. The mission statement has remained the same for almost 40 years - save water, save energy and do a better job of irrigating. 2011 marks 100 years of manufacturing irrigation equipment for the Nelson family – with L.R. Nelson’s introduction of the “clincher” hose coupler in 1911.
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