1988 - Volume #12, Issue #1, Page #11[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Air Auger Moves Grain Faster, CheaperA new low-cost pneumatic grain conveying system with "twice the capacity of conventional systems for about half the cost" has been invented by Iowa farmer Roger Mon-tag, of Rodman.
The key difference in his new-style "Air Auger" is the acceleration chamber, which allows greater efficiency, less wear and maintenance, and less grain damage than either conventional augers or pneumatic grain conveying systems, says Montag.
"Many farmers would like to own a vacuum system but they won't spend the $15,000 these conventional systems cost," says Montag. "Centrifugal motion gives this rig the capacity of a vacuum system but at far greater efficiency. It uses less cubic feet of air and compresses it to a static pressure of only 23 lbs., compared to 80 lbs. for some vacuum systems. Also, most vacuum systems need 1 lb. of air to carry 1 lb. of material. But, with centrifugal motion, you need only 1/4 lb. of air."
The result, says Montag, is lower horse-power requirements. In testing, he has moved 2,400 bu./ hr. of corn with a 25 hp model. "Over a given distance, this air conveyor has twice the capacity of a similar hp conventional auger," says Montag who has used his Air Auger to move corn, wheat, small grains, corn cobs and even fertilizer.
It consists of a fan and acceleration chamber. The fan, which can be driven by pto or an electric motor, conveys air to the acceleration chamber.
"Air swirls around the chamber similar to the way it swirls inside a tornado, at 13,000 ft./sec., creating centrifugal force which causes a vacuum to form in the middle of the chamber. Grain enters by gravity through a hole in one side of the chamber and is held in suspension by a high pressure column of air as it exits through a tube at speeds up to 300 mph.
"With only one moving part (the fan) there's very little maintenance and wear," says Montag. "Conventional vacuum systems have a rotary compressor and air lock, which are expensive, require maintenance, and wear out."
The Air Auger system also stirs up far less dust than either augers or conventional vacuum systems, and it's quieter, says Montag who notes that "the tractor makes more noise than the air conveyor. What's more, the system is gentle on grain since there are no blades or vanes to slug grain along at high speed."
Montag feels his new Air Auger could be used in a variety of ways: under a drive-over pit, to unload continuous batch dryers or bins, or to blow grain into silos. He plans to build the unit so the acceleration chamber and fan are detachable.
The conveyor's efficiency allows it to move heavy materials, such as granular fertilizer which weighs close to 65 lbs. per cu. ft. "Big farmers could use this air conveyor to efficiently handle bulk fertilizer. Moving fertilizer from semis to buildings, and from buildings to farm trucks, would be no problem with this unit, which is the only vacuum system capable of handling fertilizer."
Montag plans to build a-70 hp pto-driven production model capable of moving up to 4,000 bu/hr. "It'll unload a 250 bu. wagon in 3 to 4 min.," he says.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Montag, Rt., 1, Box 26, Rodman, Iowa 50580 (ph 515 887-4752).
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