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Energy Monitoring in Gins- 2011

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

Citation:  2012 Dallas, Texas, July 29 - August 1, 2012  121336884.(doi:10.13031/2013.42105)
Authors:   Robert G Hardin IV, Paul A Funk
Keywords:   Conservation, Cotton, Efficiency, Electricity, Energy, Ginning, Fuel

Energy costs are the second largest source of variable costs for cotton gins. Previous studies of gin energy use have only considered a single, instantaneous reading of energy use or examined monthly utility bills. More detailed information is needed to identify management strategies and system designs that can reduce energy use. Electricity use was measured and fuel use was estimated from air flow and temperature measurements at two gins during the 2011 ginning season. Electricity use averaged 31.4 and 25.8 kWh bale-1, with cultivar having a significant effect on processing rate and electricity use. The first stage dryer LPG use was 1.25 L bale-1 (0.33 gal bale-1 and 1.45 L bale-1 (0.38 gal bale-1). Only one gin operated the burner for the second stage drying system, requiring 0.32 L bale-1 (0.08 gal bale-1) LPG. Moisture restoration system LPG use was 0.89 L bale-1 (0.23 gal bale-1) and 0.38 L bale-1 (0.10 gal bale-1), although the lower value represented data collected mostly during the wetter portion of the ginning season. Round modules required less fuel per bale than conventional modules, as more fuel was used to dry the ends of conventional modules. Higher processing rates reduced electricity and fuel use per bale at both gins. For maximum energy efficiency, cotton ginners should operate at full capacity as much as possible and avoid idling equipment during significant downtime. Proper seed cotton storage, particularly with conventional modules, is also necessary to reduce fuel use.

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