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Drying Peanuts in a Modified Hopper-Bottom Trailer: CFD Modeling and Design

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100527.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100527)
Authors:   Joseph S McIntyre, Christopher L Butts, Kendall Kirk, Benjamin Fogle, Aaron P Turner, Brennan E Teddy
Keywords:   Airflow, CFD, design, drying, hopper-bottom trailer, peanut


Hopper-bottom trailers retrofitted for peanut drying may improve logistical efficiency during the hectic peanut harvest. Producers who transport grain on hopper-bottom trailers would have an additional use for the trailer and reduce the likelihood of harvest delays when trailer availability from the buying point is limited. Peanut buying points would be able to transition to the use of large semi-drying trailers without the significant investment in a truck dump. CFD modeling was used to develop retrofit design modifications for a typical hopper-bottom trailer that will produce uniform drying. Parameters for CFD modeling such as product permeability, boundary and initial conditions are described. Airflow patterns in the plenum and through the peanut mass were the primary simulation variables of concern when evaluating the various designs. Initial design concepts were simulated, and the effect of incremental design changes were noted in the simulated air distribution. As fabrication of the design was completed and on-site modifications were made, the model was updated to determine the effect on air distribution. Performance of the prototype dryer is described in ASABE Paper 2100663.

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