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Piggy-Back Dryers Double Grain-Handling Capacity

"One of the problems with raising food-grade corn is that when drying it you can't have a plenum temperature hotter than 140 degrees because kernel temperature can-not rise over 100 degrees. That can really reduce a dryer's capacity," says Ron Stear who solved the problem by "piggy-backing" two dryers and modifying them so the top one heats corn and the bottom one cools it.
The Cozad, Neb., farmer dries about 120,000 bu. of corn each year, half of it food grade, a year. He says the "piggy-back" set-up he came up with last summer doubled his drying capacity.
"We went from drying about 150 bu. per hour up to 300 bu. per hour taking out 6 pts. of moisture," he says.
He bought a Behlen 750 drier from a local elevator to mount on top of his existing Behlen 850. He removed the dump gate and motor controls from the 750 and installed the heat burner from the 850 in it. He also had modulating heat controls in-stalled in the 750.
He converted one of the 850's heater fans to a cooling fan. He then had a crane lift the 750 into place on top of the 850. He ran four pieces of 4 in. sq. tubing up through the 850's plenum to the I-beam base of the 750 to secure the drier.
The design, using the top drier to heat corn and the bottom to cool it, leaves a 2 1/ 2-ft. tempering area between heating and cooling to prevent stress fractures in kernels, Stear notes.
Out-of-pocket expense was around $14,000, including $8,000 for the modulating heat controls and installation.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron Stears, 76411 Road 423, Cozad, Neb. 69130-5230 (ph 308 784-2408).


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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3