The reserve section of the drier is kept full of grain using a feed on demand or flow and return conveying system. This keeps the grain column permanently full which is essential for efficient operation.
To obtain the best drier operating speed and correct drying temperatures the crop details are entered onto the crop selection page of the PLC control. You enter the grain type (malting barley or feed wheat etc.), then input moisture content of the grain to be dried and the target moisture content. The drier PLC then calculates the correct drier throughput and temperatures for operation.
The heat source is normally diesel, kerosene or gas fired burner, but is also possible to use biomass and coal heat sources via heat exchangers to provide some or all of the heat.
If light seeds such as oil seed rape are being dried, then the amount of air going through the drier needs to be reduced. The drier PLC will preset the fan speed if a light crop is selected to be dried. This reduces the amount of air being drawn through the drier and reduces crop lift off. If inverters are not fitted then air bleeds will be fitted.
Once the drier has been pre heated for a short period the discharge can be started. The discharge is a series of shutters that open and shut at intervals determined by the PLC or manual adjustment by the operator. The shutters are pneumatically operated.
At the start of the drying process the grain that comes out of the drier will not be dried as it has not passed down the full height of the drier so , depending on the conveying system this grain needs to be either recirculated back into the top of the drier or diverted to an area where it can be put back into the drier later.
Whilst the drier is running the operator will take periodic moisture samples of grain entering and leaving the drier. When the desired exit moisture content is reached the conveying system is changed so that the dry grain is sent to store and not recirculated.
Once the operator is sure that there is a consistent moisture content for the grain leaving the drier then automatic mode can be selected to allow the PLC to control the drier without the need of the operator to be permanently in attendance.
In normal operation, the bottom section of the drier uses ambient air to cool the grain before it leaves for the store.
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