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Agricultural Industry


Cut operating costs Energy savings in drying technology for agricultural products


All over the world grain is counted as one of our most valuable staple foodstuffs. In the light of a growing world population and climate change, safeguarding this raw material is one of the challenges of our times. In addition to the monitoring of cultivation itself, handling after the harvest is also a critical factor in relation to quality assurance and the reduction of raw material losses. To meet the growth in demand for modern and efficient logistics systems, Bühler and Schmidt-Seeger will in future be working together, having now created Bühler’s new global Grain Logistics Business Unit together.


Whether it be grain or malt, canola or legumes, Buhler and Schmidt-Seeger, with their many years of experience throughout the world, offer high-end solutions for every aspect of professional grain management. The service-proven technologies of both companies complement each other perfectly and therefore cover all the processes involved: conveying, cleaning, grading, drying, dedusting, storage, loading and unloading. The proper conservation of grain safeguards its quality and its value for the producer. In addition to cleaning and the method of storage, drying plays a key role as well. In many parts of the world, including Central Europe, crop moisture content is around 30% and above, so the costs incurred for drying are a major factor which affects a producer’s ability to compete. With energy consumption developing more and more into a critical factor, the need to examine the efficiency of the drying plants from the point of view of profitability is also growing.


Functional principle of the roof column drier The functional principle (Figure 1) of the so-called roof column drier has long been known. The first driers of this type went into operation around the year 1930.


- The roof ducts are open in downwards direction. - On the side of the hot-air hood, the hot air flows over the opened roofs (red) into the product


- The product is heated and transfers its moisture to the hot air - The air cools and absorbs moisture up to its saturation limit - The moist air escapes through the neighbouring exhaust air roofs (blue) into the exhaust air hood and is drawn off via the exhaust air fan


The driers normally available on the market have the supply air roofs and the exhaust air roofs arranged in each case vertically one above the other. This means that the drying air is always directed to the product to be dried from the same side, a situation which results in non-uniform drying of the product sub- flow. A far more uniform drying effect has been achieved by turning the modules and with them the direction of the air. One disadvantage of the conventional driers with turned modules is the non-uniform air velocity (min. 2.5m/s; max. 10 m/s). This can result in the entrainment of fine seeds (rapeseed, linseed) and small grains and therefore has a negative effect on performance.


The Eco Dry drier


Drying with absolute uniformity and maximum saturation of the exhaust air were the goals set for the engineers of Schmidt- Seeger GmbH in Beilngries, Germany (part of the Grain Logistics division of Bühler AG since autumn 2010). The Schmidt-Seeger continuous-flow drier (patent pending) is the result of ongoing


Figure 1: Functional principle of the roof design


10 Solids & Bulk Handling • May 2012


Figure 2: Roof arrangement on the "Eco Dry" from Schmidt-Seeger www.solidsandbulk.co.uk


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