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Manufacturers and distributors of specialist equipment for the agricultural, environmental and building industries.

Automatic Crop Monitoring and Control

Fan Controllers installed in bins

Automatic Control Benefits

  • Reach temperature and moisture targets more quickly compared to manual fan control.
  • The most energy-efficient way to cool and dry grain – can save up to 40% of energy costs.
  • Makes the best use of suitable ambient air for cooling and drying.
  • Grain temperature and moisture reach lower levels compared to manual fan control.
  • Starting the cooling process earlier avoids condensation problems later.
  • Decreases fungal problems and insect infestation by lowering grain temperatures and moistures below their viability levels.

Cooling Grain with Pile-Dry Pedestals
– with manual fan control

Cooling Grain with Pile-Dry Pedestals with manual fan control

The consequences of cooling grain with manual fan control are shown clearly. In the 3 days highlighted the air temperature increased from 18oC to 26oC. The grain continued to cool for a while but then increased again from 21oC to 22oC. The result is the same grain temperature but 3 days of wasted energy.

Cooling Grain with Pile-Dry Pedestals
– with automatic fan control

Cooling Grain with Pile-Dry Pedestals with automatic fan control
Automatic control has ensured that when the air temperature increases from 18oC to 26oC the fans switch off until the air temperature drops below 18oC again. During that time the grain temperature remained at 21oC but continued to fall when the fans switched on again automatically. The result is 3 days of energy saved and the grain cooled more efficiently.

Types of Automatic Control

Temperature Differential - the fastest and most energy-efficient way to cool grain

Static Temperature Differential Fan Controller

Temperature Differential Control achieves high quality grain and safe, long-term storage. Even if your grain has been through a drier, it is essential to cool it afterwards quickly and efficiently with temperature differential control to avoid insect infestation.

Our Temperature Differential Controllers can be made asPortable Temperature Differential Fan Controller a static unit, a static unit with additional monitoring, a portable unit or a portable unit with additional monitoring. The Portable Temperature Differential Controller solves the problem of sharing ventilating fans between crop stores on the same site or different sites, with just one controller. The portable controller can be easily moved between stores when the fans are re-located.

Benefits:

  • Fast, energy-efficient crop cooling – saves up to 40% in energy costs
  • Displays crop and ambient temperature
  • Controls any quantity of single or 3 phase fans, including StoreVent building extraction fans
  • Includes 2m rigid crop temperature sensor and air temperature sensor, manual and frost stat override facilities

The Temperature Differential Controller automatically controls fans to cool crops during ventilation. Sensors measure the air and crop temperature. If the crop temperature is 5°C more than the air temperature, the fans are switched on. This occurs only when the air can cool the grain, so cooling is faster and uses up to 40% less energy.

Thermo-Humidistat - simple drying control

Static Thermo-Humidistat Controller

Drying grain using ambient air can be quicker and more likely to succeed using Thermo-Humidistat control.

Measuring grain moisture and using pre-set humidity limits on the controller ensures that ventilation fans do not draw damp air into the grain and are only used to dry the grain. Remember that ambient air cannot be guaranteed to dry grain and the speed of drying will vary according to ambient conditions.

Our Thermo-Humidistat Controllers can be made as a static or a Portable Thermo-Humidistat Fan Controllerportable unit. The Portable Thermo-Humidistat Controller solves the problem of sharing ventilating fans between crop stores on the same site or different sites, with just one controller. The portable controller can be easily moved between stores when the fans are re-located.

Benefits:

  • Simple automatic control of drying and cooling
  • Displays ambient air temperature and relative humidity
  • Includes air temperature and humidity sensors
  • Controls any quantity and type of single or 3 phase fans, including StoreVent building extraction fans
  • Controls fans using pre-set limits
  • Ideal for simple humidity control of drying fans

The Thermo-Humidistat Controller controls fans so that only air good enough to cool or dry the crop is used for ventilation. Sensors monitor ambient relative humidity and temperature and automatically start the fans if conditions fall below pre-set limits.

Barn Owl Stand-Alone - comprehensive cooling and drying control

Static Barn Owl Controller

This controller combines the benefits of our controllers in one unit, and includes 3 drying programmes. These take the guess-work out of drying grain with ambient air. Each option allows only air of appropriate humidity to ventilate the grain.

Since the controller also includes crop temperature measurement, the control can revert to temperature differential control after drying has been completed.

Our Barn Owl Controllers include wireless, static and portable units. ThePortable Barn Owl Stand-Alone Fan Controller Portable Barn Owl Stand-Alone Temperature & Humidity Controller solves the problem of sharing ventilating fans between crop stores on the same site or different sites, with just one controller. The portable controller can be easily moved between stores when the fans are re-located.

Benefits

  • Comprehensive automatic control of drying and cooling
  • Eight pre-set control programmes, including 3 drying programmes & temperature differential control
  • Includes displays of crop temperature, ambient air temperature & relative humidity
  • Available in single or dual channel, individual or multi-fan versions to control any quantity & type of single or 3 phase fans, including StoreVent building extraction fans

The Barn Owl Controller uses ambient humidity & temperature and crop temperature sensors to control crop drying & cooling with any type and quantity of crop store fan. Programmes include temperature differential, humidistat control & 3 drying options. The Dual version controls more than one fan using two different control programs giving independent control of fans in different parts of the store.

Case Study: Cutting the cost of grain cooling

Pile-Dry FansSoaring energy prices have made grain drying and cooling expensive, but research has been undertaken which shows that using a Temperature Differential Controller can reduce cooling energy costs by up to 40%.

As part of the project, co-ordinated by HGCA, farms were surveyed to find out if grain cooling targets were being achieved. The results of using a Martin Lishman Temperature Differential Controller installed in one grain store were compared with turning Pile-Dry Fans on and off manually.

The resulting grain temperatures were similar in both stores, but the savings in electricity costs in the automatically controlled store reached 40%.

As well as the benefit of energy savings, the comparison of management methods demonstrated the importance of being aware of air temperature in relation to grain temperature. In particular, the project proved that suitable cooling air can be available at all times of day, as well as at night.

Source: HGCA Grain Outlook, September 2008

For more information on Crop Monitoring and Automatic Control,
click on the button below to download the brochure

Click on the links below to view the other crop monitoring and automatic fan control systems available

Simple Temperature Monitoring     Barn Owl Wireless Crop Monitoring and Control

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