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Drying Peanuts in a Modified Hopper Bottom Trailer: Evaluating Drying Performance

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100663.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100663)
Authors:   Brennan E Teddy, Aaron P Turner, Kendall R Kirk, Benjamin Fogle, Joseph S McIntyre, Christopher L Butts
Keywords:   Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD, Design, Drying, Hopper trailer, Moisture distribution, Peanuts, Retrofit,

Abstract. Hopper-bottom trailers retrofitted for peanut drying could provide several advantages to producers and peanut buying point operations. Producers who utilize hopper-bottom trailers for transporting grain would have an additional use for the trailer and would be less prone to harvest delays during peak times when trailer availability from the buying point is limited. Additionally, smaller buying points would benefit from reduced handling steps and dependency on trailer lifts. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of drying peanuts directly on a modified hopper-bottom trailer. Multiple test loads of peanuts were dried on the hopper bottom trailer during the 2020 season, and hand samples were collected from multiple locations throughout the peanut mass at intervals throughout the drying process to assess drying uniformity. Additionally, instrumentation was installed at several locations in the peanut mass, at the air inlet, and outlets to monitor temperature and relative humidity throughout the drying process. Preliminary results of a sample load indicated a moisture content decrease from 12.9% w.b. to 12.0% w.b. after 8.5 hours of drying time. Average moisture content was reduced further to 11.1% w.b. following an additional 8.6 hours after the dryer was shut off. The official grade sample moisture was 9.1% w.b. and was consistent with the observed moisture gradient existing from the top to bottom of the trailer. Trailer modification and CFD modeling is presented in another companion paper (McIntyre, et al. Drying Peanuts in a Modified Hopper-Bottom Trailer: CFD Modeling and Design, ASABE Paper No. 2100527).

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