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The term “Electrostatic Spraying” is often misunderstood. Two common mistakes are made in the assumption that “all electrostatic sprayers are the same” and are mistakenly referred to as “foggers”.

The important aspect of our technology is droplet size and mass, which led to the development of the Maxcharge™ nozzle 28 years ago, at the University of Georgia, in Atlanta, USA. The droplet size and efficacy of the dispersed electrostatically charged droplets, create a “wrap around” effect and cover the targeted object on all sides.

Data submitted by leading universities demonstrate that air-assisted Electrostatic Spraying Systems (ESS):

  • Dramatically reduces the application water required
  • Significantly reduces application waste and off-target drift
  • Effectively increases insect and disease control

How does it work?

Electrostatic attraction is what causes items of clothing to stick to each other after being tumbled in a clothes dryer. The same natural force is utilized by ESS electrostatic sprayer systems. The heart of ESS air-assisted electrostatic sprayers is the patented MaxCharge™ nozzle, together with a spray dispersion through pressurized air, which produces spray droplets that are 900 times smaller than those produced by conventional sprayers.

As the spray is atomized, the droplets pass an electrode in the patented MaxCharge™ nozzle, which induces a negative charge on each spray droplet. The lightweight, negatively charged droplets are dispersed from the nozzle and carried deep into the plant canopy in a turbulent air-stream.

The negatively charged 30 to 60 micron droplets are repelled from one another and naturally attracted to the plant material, resulting in a uniform fine powder coat coverage. This provides measurably more than twice the deposition efficiency when compared to conventional non-electrostatic alternatives.

Droplets literally change direction and move upwards against gravity to coat the plant surface.

Although the technology is advanced, ESS air-assisted MaxCharge™ nozzles and sprayers are hardy and easy to maintain.


  • reduces the risk of drift, runoff and ground wastage

The way in which the spray coats the underside of the leaves and backsides of stems is known as electrostatic “wraparound”. The electrostatic charge is 75 times stronger than gravity, allowing the spray droplets to uniformly disperse and cling to plant surface, rather than blown past the target, or accumulating into larger pools. The even dispersion avoids run off and chemical hot spots, to eliminate the risk of leaf and fruit burn from longer term chemical residue concentrations.

  • requires minimal water due to low-volume air-assisted spraying

Low-Volume air-assisted spraying technology requires 8 to 12 times less water carrier than conventional spraying methods. Growers are able to reduce standard 1,000 litres per hectare applications by conventional methods to an average 100 litres per hectare using ESS technology.

  • increases efficiency of softer, environmentally safer applications

The ability to provide comprehensive dispersion and coverage of targeted crop significantly improves the performance of controls applied. The increased residual effect can extend the half-life of controls and reduce frequency of spray applications.

  • reduces costs through operational efficiencies of hectarage cover per application

Low-Volume air-assisted spraying technology reduces the need and regularity of stoppage times per tank fill, increasing efficiencies of the number of hectares covered per spray day.

The benefits to the crop in quality terms and with improved dispersion of applications to efficiently manage insect and disease control, together reduced water requirements, spraying time, equipment wear and tear, add up to a lean payback period.

Where can I find it?

Electrostatic Spraying Systems Inc. commercialized the technology with the Maxcharge™ patented nozzle, 28 years ago. The manufacturing facility is based in Georgia, USA., where all manner of sprayers from compact handheld mobile backpack sprayers to industrial scale row crop sprayers are built. Apart from supplying their own domestic market, ESS Inc., have international distribution and a presence in South America, Europe, Middle East, Far East, Asia and Africa.

I & M Smith (Pty) Ltd, have been operating in Africa for over 100 years, specialising in the agricultural sector. The company represents ESS Inc., in Africa and has built steadfast relations with their ESS clients. I & M Smith (Pty) Ltd., have trained technicians on standby, ready to assist with new sprayer commissioning, onsite operational staff training and comprehensive after sales service and spares support.

For more information, including technical reports, studies, trials, as well as online brochures, visit www.iandmsmith.com click on the tab header Electrostatic Sprayers, or contact one of their technicians by calling South Africa, +27 82 317 7928.

By Editor

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