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Added Air Flow Improves Threshing Efficiency
You can "turbocharge" the grain-threshing components on any combine with the new Grain Turbo add-on unit from Australia that delivers a high velocity, low volume air blast through a manifold mounted under the con-cave.
The new combine attachment has been on the market in Australia for the past three years, with a couple hundred units already in use on many different makes and models of combines. A Canadian company has just started importing the system for the North American market.
"It's almost unbelievable how well it works. I've seen combines boost capacity by 50 percent or more and it greatly reduces the amount of grain damaged by the rotors because it keeps the concave clean," says Brent Senger, who's importing the Grain Turbo into Canada.
"The increased flow of air through the concave and sieves increases separating efficiency by eliminating sieve overloading. It keeps straw and chaff in suspension, al-lowing the grain kernels to fall through. What's more, it reduces combine wear by moving crop material through the concave better," says Senger. "It boosts combine capacity with less grain lost out the back of the machine."
The Grain Turbo was invented by two Australian farmers in the early 1990's. The concept is similar to the functioning of precleaners installed on many combines, but it carries the concept even further by increasing the flow of air through the new design of the manifold. Senger says the system will improve performance of any combine, conventional or rotary, regardless of whether it is already equipped with a precleaner.
Key to success of the new unit is that it applies a blast of air to material which falls from the concave, separating heavy grain from light material before it reaches the sieves, allowing the sieves to clean a more pure grain sample so less grain is likely to make its way to the back of the machine. It keeps lighter material suspended so you can use larger sieves or wider openings. Air foil sieves work particularly well with the system, according to Senger.
"You get the best results in situations where the combine is sieve-limited, such as when you are straight-cutting grain and leaving most of the straw in the field. In situations where you're moving a lot of straw through the combine, results are not quite as good. However, nearly all farmers experience a 20 to 50 percent boost in capacity," notes Senger.
The Grain Turbo consists of a high-capacity fan that mounts on the side of the machine. A 9-in. dia. hose carries air to a manifold under the feederhouse that distributes the air evenly across the width of the concave. A butterfly valve at the fan outlet is used to control the quantity of air, depending on crop conditions.
When used on sloping ground, the Grain Turbo keeps crop material from moving to the lower side of the machine, allowing an increase in ground speed and reducing waste.
According to a report in an Australian publication that tested the Grain Turbo, most farmers reported 20 to 50 percent increases in capacity, with the most benefits experienced on the least efficient combines.
In 1997, Senger will offer the Grain Turbo only for Deere 7720 and 8820 combines. Sells for $7,500 (Canadian). Takes about a day to install. On Deere combines, the fan is belt-driven off the cylinder driveshaft. Hydraulic drive is optional.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grain Turbo, P.O. Box 61, Bradwell, Sask. S0K 0P0 Canada (ph 306 257-3776).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3