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Old Grain Bin Captures Tractor Heat For Drying
George Wiemers, Greenview, Ill., has found out he can capture enough heat off his dryer tractor to raise the drying temperature 8?.
To do the job, Wiemers made use of an old 1,400-bu. grain bin, which houses a 560 IHC tractor that powers the dryer fan.
Wiemers moved the bin up close to the dryer so the tractor pto shaft would reach the fan drive. He cut a large doorway in the opposite side so he could back in the tractor.
To move air from the bin to the dryer, Wiemers made a duct of an old gas barrel that reached diagonally to the suction fan on the dryer.
Wiemers did not make any changes in the tractor's cooling system. He does use plywood to adjust the door opening to keep the proper amount of fresh air coming in. The tractor has an automatic shut-off if it over-heats. (It did shut off several times until he got the doorway properly adjusted.)
Fuel for the tractor is supplied from a 275 gal. tank just outside the bin. A fuel line is hooked directly to the tractor.
Wiemers recommends using unleaded gasoline, then use an elbow arrangement to shoot the exhaust into the dryer fan in-take. At first he did not do this and he got a little too much heating of the bin roof, causing it to rust.
Wiemers says there has been no odor in the grain and no market discounts with this method of drying. He notes that the amount of air produced by the tractor is just a small fraction of the total air used by the dryer. He thinks an LP tractor would work well for this purpose. He's not sure about using a diesel.
Wiemers says if there is doubt about tractor exhaust being pulled into the grain, you can cut a hole in the roof and vent the exhaust into the open air.
Farmers who would like to try the idea but don't have an old bin could build an enclosure out of inexpensive plywood or old roofing metal, Wiemers points out.
Wiemers address is RR 1, Greenview, Il. 62642 (ph 217 968-6664).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #5