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Energy Efficiency Study on Two Wisconsin Grain Drying Systems: Mixed Flow and Continuous Cross Flow Grain Dryers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008958.(doi:10.13031/2013.29774)
Authors:   Jennifer L Brinker, Jennifer L Brinker, Alex Johnson
Keywords:   Grain drying, energy efficiency, USDA-REAP

The introduction of the USDA-REAP program has opened up numerous opportunities for grain producers and processors to update and expand their grain drying technologies. The review of these audits has revealed that baseline energy analysis methods vary by energy auditor and energy efficiency estimates of proposed grain dryer systems are often provided by the manufacturer of the proposed grain dryer. This study aims to provide independent field test data on two grain drying systems tested for the 2009 drying season in Central and Northeast Wisconsin. The dryers monitored in this study were a continuous cross flow model and a mixed flow grain dryer. The newly installed systems were monitored for the entire 2009 drying season, including direct data collection of electric power and natural gas energy consumed by the dryers. Grain moisture was measured intermittently by the producer using table-top moisture meters calibrated throughout the season. The mixed flow grain dryer dried grain to 14% moisture content, and the dryer efficiency was calculated to be 2477 kJ per kg (1065 Btu per pound) of water removed. The continuous cross flow grain dryer dried grain to 17% moisture content, and the dryer efficiency was calculated to be 4374 kJ per kg (1880 Btu per pound) of water removed. This paper discusses results of field test data compared to the predicted energy savings of the grain dryer retrofits and encourages further independent field testing and cataloging of grain dryer performance.

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