Taking a look at cross blow dryers
As part of the 2022 Great Ontario Yield Tour, Rhys Steckle with Advanced Grain Handling Systems, spoke about cross blow dryers in the agriculture industry.
Cross blow dryers are screenless dryers. In Steckle’s opinion the fact that the blowers have no screen is both an advantage as well as a disadvantage. No screens means that the dust and the red dog goes everywhere.
“Its main advantage is that there are no screens, and you don’t have to worry about screens getting clogged up and impacting your efficiency,” explains Steckle.
The other downside to cross blowers according to Steckle is that they are big. But he believes they must be big to be efficient. He says the size is needed because retention time is needed.
When looking at a screen dryer, Steckle says the hot air starts on one side and it moves through the grain column. With other dryers, there may be a huge grain column. When the air gets through the top, it's 100% saturated.
When there is a screen dryer, the column is thinner and it is getting air into the moisture, it's cooling out as it goes away and there are more CFMs (Cubic Feet per Minute) per bushel because they are smaller and it is not getting 100% saturation because it is pulling the air through too quick.
To get away from that, cross blow dryer systems do not have screens, but instead have ducts come through. Instead of putting air on the side, the system is dumping the air along the top.
Every time the air goes along, the top dumps into the grain and it comes out the exhaust column. Every time it does that, it goes over a column. It moves it around, keeping the grain loose because there is no height. There is only two feet of grain depth.
The grain is loose and is not being compacted—wet grain packs hard. The system keeps it moving as it's drying. Its grain flipper is constantly working for the whole dryer, stirring the grain.
Another disadvantage with these systems is that they are dirtier than other dryers. But there is good news, Steckle says: “You don't have to wash the dryer throughout the year or throughout the harvest like a screen dryer because its not going to change the efficiency of the dryer. You just have to wash it at the end of the year so that it doesn't rust.”
Watch the full 2022 Great Ontario Yield Tour presentation on cross blow dryers.