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Using Radiant Heat To Dry Grain
The EconoDri Grain Transition/VAL6 combo uses radiant heat to dry grain. The dry air is gentle on the grain, producing a higher quality feed grain, suggests Jim Zoucha, Ag & Industrial Equipment (AIE). It also turns aeration bins into more effective grain driers.
“We’ve sold VAL 6 radiant space heaters for almost 15 years and have experimented with them, due to how clean they operate,” says Zoucha.
Experiments included using radiant heat instead of propane combustion heat to dry grain. “A high percentage of grain in this country is dried with propane burner rings,” says Zoucha. “Very few people realize how much water is in the propane. People get in the bin, and their glasses fog up. They think it’s moisture from the grain, but it’s the moisture from the propane.”
He explains that high humidity propane heat sweats the moisture out of grain, carrying with it nutrients and oils. By contrast, low humidity radiant heat, when passed through the grain, pulls out moisture, leaving the nutrients and oils behind.
“People who dry grain this way say it has better feed quality,” says Zoucha. “They tell us consumption and rate of gain go up.”
He notes that aeration bins with their high-power fans, work well during the dry air part of the day. However, that’s countered as humidity rises and earlier drying is undone.
What was needed was a way to safely direct the dry radiant heat produced by the diesel-fueled combustion burner into the bin to extend the drying day. His company developed the EconoDri cabinet that blends the VAL6 heat with ambient air, reducing humidity in the air by as much as 50 percent before it’s pulled into the bin by the bin fan.
While three models of the VAL6 are designed to run on diesel, AIE also sells a propane-fueled radiant heater. Zoucha suggests the radiant panel scorches the moisture out of the propane-fueled heat.
The EconoDri cabinet comes in multiple models, allowing the use of one, two, or three VAL6 radiant heaters. Base prices for EconoDri/VAL6 combos start at $1,895.
“When not drying grain, simply remove the VAL6 and use it for other types of radiant heating,” says Zoucha.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ag & Industrial Equipment, P.O. Box 318, Orchard, Neb. 68764 (ph 402-893-4745; toll-free 800-846-5157; aiequipment@hotmail.com; www.agheaters.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6