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Energy Efficiency Data Comparison of Ten Wisconsin Grain Dryer Installations

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

Citation:  2012 Dallas, Texas, July 29 - August 1, 2012  121337410.(doi:10.13031/2013.41783)
Authors:   Jennifer L Brinker, Nick Anderley
Keywords:   grain drying, energy efficiency, grain dryer, energy audit

Federal funding in the U.S. for energy efficient grain dryer installations, available through programs like the USDAs Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), have supplemented hundreds of grain dryer installations over the past several years. Grant funding is based on energy savings estimates associated with a new grain dryer installation. There have not been many reported, independent studies of grain dryer performance in recent years. Also, it is difficult to set a standard for grain dryer energy performance rating because grain is harvested once per year, and harvest qualities and weather conditions vary by region. Therefore, a compilation and sharing of performance information is optimal for verifying energy performance estimates provided by grain dryer manufacturers for energy audit purposes (and related grant funding). This report shares the pre- and post-installation energy performance for ten energy efficient grain dryer installations in 2011. This paper provides ten case studies of grain dryer installations for the 2011 harvest. The types of grain dryers assessed include five vertical towers, three horizontal cross-flows, one mixed flow, and one continuous in-bin dryer. Post-drying utility and grain moisture data was collected from each farm in order to determine energy performance of grain dryers in Btu/lb water removed. This paper suggests methods and collaboration opportunities for improving grain dryer energy consumption information. Data from the 2011 operation of the ten grain dryers shows from 5% to 100% difference between projected performance of the dryer and actual performance.

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