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Field Trials of Natural Air/Low Temperature In-Bin Drying System in North West of Italy. Working Capacity and Energy Consumption

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

Citation:  2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting  152191016.(doi:10.13031/aim.20152191016)
Authors:   Remigio Berruto, Alessandro Sopegno, Patrizia Busato, Diego De la Torre, Ricardo Bartosik
Keywords:   Low-temperature drying, energy consumption, field trials


The natural air/low temperature (NA/LT) in-bin drying technology is not adopted in Italy and Europe. The lack of information and successful examples prevent the diffusion and adoption of this technology by farmers. In the last years, an in-bin drying prototype was developed by the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) in agreement with four companies in order to investigate the applications of this technology in Argentina. The core of the drying system is a model based fan and burner controller. The system was adapted to be used in Italian conditions and installed in two plant in NW of Italy to dry corn. The goals of this research were: 1) test the reliability of automatic smart drying controller for low-temperature drying, 2) test the performance of a prototype in-bin drying system for drying corn to 14% final MC, 3) evaluate the energy consumption and 4) evaluate grain quality after drying. The results showed that the in-bin drying system was able to dry the popcorn in about 28 days from 21.5% to 13,7% MC. The individual kernel MC gradient was reduced during drying. The energy consumption was very low compared to traditional mixed flow driers, just about 4.95 L t-1 of dried grain.

Grain quality was very good with very low stress crack index compared to traditional driers. Another important aspect is the low flow rate of the air, that imply very low dust emissions. This aspect, although quite evident in the first trial, will be investigated in 2015 trials. These results confirmed the potential of NA/LT in-bin drying systems for drying corn, rice and other special quality grains in NW of Italy.

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