Harvester "Plenum" Channels Hot Air To Dryer
When Craig Stortz built his bean stover-fired burner for use in drying corn (Vol. 29, No. 5), he knew he would slash his fuel bill. He also knew he could make it more efficient. This year he replaced the leaky plenum he built over the burner with a section from a 28-ft. Harvester silo.
The current harvest season was still underway when this story was written, so final figures were still unavailable. However, with his original setup, the air entering his dryer ran 95 to 105 degrees. Propane was used to get the dryer up to 150 degrees. Thanks to the addition of the Harvester, he is sending 120 degree heat to the dryer. Last year, which was an ideal season, he used no propane at all.
"The burner by itself cut our fuel bill in half," says Stortz. "The used silo only cost us $200, so it doesn't have to lower the bill much to more than pay for itself."
Stortz lucked out when the Harvester was being torn down on a neighboring farm. The 28-ft. dia. unit was just the right size to fit over the 24-ft. dia. firebox.
"We had a crane pick it up and set it in place," he says.
Once Stortz had a doorway cut out and curtained off to hold the hot air in place, he was ready to go. Early this season he experimented with wood as a fire source, but since has returned to soybean fodder bales.
"Soybean bales are best," he says. "Wood just doesn't supply enough btu's."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Craig Stortz, 14688 385th Ave., Canton, Minn. 55922 (ph 507 743-8362;

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6