Propane Council launches new grain dryer technology to save energy

The Propane Education & Research Council partnered with three different agricultural companies to develop new fuel-efficient grain drying technologies that will help agricultural operations save money.

PERC invested in the research and development of GSI’s heat reclamation system, Mathews Company’s redesigned Legacy Series grain dryers, and Sukup Manufacturing Co.’s new burner design. PERC provided industry expertise and financial support through the research, development, and testing process for the new technologies.

“PERC prioritizes the development of new technology that advances energy efficiency,” said Cinch Munson, director of agriculture business development at the Propane Education & Research Council. “By working with leading agricultural manufacturers to advance efficient grain drying technologies, we can help ensure that farmers operate as cost-effectively as possible.”

Energy savings were the driving force behind PERC and GSI’s development of a new heat reclamation system for tower dryers. The reclaimer was engineered to capture air from the lower part of the drying portion, above the cooling section. It separates out the hot dry air from wet air, and carries very little chaff or other debris back into the dryer. The result is a system that saves up to 30% of propane at 32 degrees Fahrenheit during the drying season. The system is available now and can be installed on any new tower dryer or retrofitted to any Zimmerman-style dryer that has been built since 2001.

PERC also worked with Mathews Company to achieve energy savings through innovation. Mathews Company completely redesigned the fan, burner, and control system found in its profile-style Legacy Series product line. The newly redesigned profile-style dryer now offers many of the same technological advantages and operational efficiencies associated with a tower dryer. By introducing tower dryer elements to a profile-style dryer, Mathews Company has created a more efficient dryer with lower operating costs.

Sukup and PERC partnered to increase energy savings by redesigning a grain dryer burner. The new highly efficient Octagon Burner uses less propane to achieve the temperature rise needed to dry grain. The result is increased fuel savings and lowered COemissions. An added benefit is the burner’s aluminum manifold, which increases the durability and longevity of the burner. All Sukup 2017 axial-fan dryers will utilize the new Octagon Burner, and they are also available as replacement burners for older dryers.

“These new technologies result in a highly efficient, cost-effective grain drying process,” Munson said. “Drying your own grain is more viable than ever. With propane prices remaining low, now is an excellent time to take more control of your harvest with a new grain dryer.”

For more information about propane use on the farm and the 2017 Propane Farm Incentive Program, visit propane.com/farmincentive.

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