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Cotton Gin Electrical Energy Use Trends and 2009 Audit Results

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 28(4): 503-510. (doi: 10.13031/2013.42078) @2012
Authors:   P. Funk, R. Hardin
Keywords:   Cotton ginning, Energy conservation, Energy consumption

Cotton gin energy costs have risen more than other operating costs. Energy audits were conducted in 20 U.S. cotton gins representing a range of capacities in six states. The average participating saw gin used 39.5 kWh to process a bale. The average roller gin used 62.6 kWh. Gins have become larger, from a connected power of 570 kW (764 hp) in 1962 to over 2237 kW (3000 hp) today. Energy costs are a larger proportion, 20% of the total cost of ginning, compared to 6% to 10% of the total in the 1970s, even though energy consumed per bale processed is less, approximately 73% of the electricity consumed in 1982. Connected power and energy consumption were allocated to five categories: seed cotton cleaning, ginning, lint cleaning, bale packaging, and materials handling. Materials handling accounted for the largest portion, over half of the electricity consumed by a gin, as it has since the 1960s. Since the 1980s, the power and energy allocated to ginning has decreased slightly, and that allocated to lint cleaning has decreased significantly. Best practices still include: operating at full capacity, avoiding down time, minimizing materials handling, and improving electric motor efficiency.

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