HU0002823A2 - Seed dryer with automatic control of temperature, air flow direction and rate - Google Patents

Seed dryer with automatic control of temperature, air flow direction and rate Download PDF

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Publication number
HU0002823A2
HU0002823A2 HU0002823A HU0002823A HU0002823A2 HU 0002823 A2 HU0002823 A2 HU 0002823A2 HU 0002823 A HU0002823 A HU 0002823A HU 0002823 A HU0002823 A HU 0002823A HU 0002823 A2 HU0002823 A2 HU 0002823A2
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HU
Hungary
Prior art keywords
air
seed
chamber
temperature
core
Prior art date
Application number
HU0002823A
Other languages
Hungarian (hu)
Inventor
Paul Chicoine
James L. Hunter
Cyrille Precetti
Original Assignee
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US08/842,621 priority Critical patent/US5893218A/en
Application filed by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. filed Critical Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
Publication of HU0002823A2 publication Critical patent/HU0002823A2/en

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F26DRYING
    • F26BDRYING SOLID MATERIALS OR OBJECTS BY REMOVING LIQUID THEREFROM
    • F26B21/00Arrangements or duct systems, e.g. in combination with pallet boxes, for supplying and controlling air or gases for drying solid materials or objects
    • F26B21/06Controlling, e.g. regulating, parameters of gas supply
    • F26B21/10Temperature; Pressure
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F26DRYING
    • F26BDRYING SOLID MATERIALS OR OBJECTS BY REMOVING LIQUID THEREFROM
    • F26B21/00Arrangements or duct systems, e.g. in combination with pallet boxes, for supplying and controlling air or gases for drying solid materials or objects
    • F26B21/02Circulating air or gases in closed cycles, e.g. wholly within the drying enclosure
    • F26B21/022Circulating air or gases in closed cycles, e.g. wholly within the drying enclosure with provisions for changing the drying gas flow pattern, e.g. by reversing gas flow, by moving the materials or objects through subsequent compartments, at least two of which have a different direction of gas flow
    • F26B21/028Circulating air or gases in closed cycles, e.g. wholly within the drying enclosure with provisions for changing the drying gas flow pattern, e.g. by reversing gas flow, by moving the materials or objects through subsequent compartments, at least two of which have a different direction of gas flow by air valves, movable baffles or nozzle arrangements
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F26DRYING
    • F26BDRYING SOLID MATERIALS OR OBJECTS BY REMOVING LIQUID THEREFROM
    • F26B9/00Machines or apparatus for drying solid materials or objects at rest or with only local agitation; Domestic airing cupboards
    • F26B9/06Machines or apparatus for drying solid materials or objects at rest or with only local agitation; Domestic airing cupboards in stationary drums or chambers
    • F26B9/063Machines or apparatus for drying solid materials or objects at rest or with only local agitation; Domestic airing cupboards in stationary drums or chambers for drying granular material in bulk, e.g. grain bins or silos with false floor

Abstract

The present invention relates to a core dryer and a process for drying seeds. According to the invention, the automatically controlled seed dryer (30) efficiently and accurately dries the seed by automatically controlling the temperature, direction and flow rate of the air flow through the seed core (32, 34). Amag dryer (30) includes an upper filling space (66) for supplying hot air, a lower charged space (68) for supplying ambient air, and a mixing charged space (70) for hot air or ambient air from the top and bottom charged spaces (66, 68). mixing air in different proportions. The mixing charge space (70) is led by the mixer filled space (70) and the upper feed carrier (62) between the core chamber (32, 34) and the lower feed carrier (64) into the core chamber (32,34) over or below the seed. In the amag chamber (32, 34), above and below the seed, the upper air outlet door (52) and the lower air outlet door (54) are configured so that the control of the feeder doors and the air outlet doors (62, 64,52, 54) can accurately control the seed through the seed. air flow direction and flow rate. The operation of the doors is controlled by several actuators (58, 60, 82, 96). HE

Description

Seed dryer and process for drying seed

The present invention relates to a seed dryer and a method for drying the seed. More particularly, the present invention relates to an apparatus and method for controlling temperature and air flow in a core dryer.

In agriculture, seed is often harvested at a moisture level that exceeds the value required for safe and long-term storage. The crops are harvested when the moisture content is high to help prevent seed quality deterioration, which can be caused by, for example, insects, disease or adverse weather effects. This high moisture content of the seed can only be harvested if it is combined with artificial drying which dries the seed to an acceptable moisture level. The drying process must be carried out under strictly controlled conditions in order to obtain the best possible seed quality. Factors such as seed drying rate and temperature significantly influence seed germination and shelf life.

Known typical core dryers are usually single-row dryers, which receive air from a common filled space, or dual-thread dryers. Each chamber in the single-stage dryer

- 2 · · · receives the same temperature air. In a twin-screw dryer, the chambers can receive air at one of two possible temperatures and operate at a flow rate. In the first pass, hot air from the upper charged space is typically passed from top to bottom of the core, and the lower charged space is supplied with air of lower temperature and higher relative humidity, and in the second pass air from another chamber from below to the top. The high moisture maize is first dried with air of the second run and then, when the moisture is reduced, with the air of the first run. The conversion of the chambers from the air of the second passage to the air of the first passage is called reversing. Careful handling of dual-tumble dryers is required to ensure that approximately the same number of chambers receive air in the first pass and the second pass so as to maintain a balanced static pressure in the filled spaces. In addition, the air flow through the chambers should only be reversed once during the drying process. Precise control of the drying process is not possible in single or double thread core dryers. Figure 1 shows a typical two-thread core dryer of the prior art, which will be described later.

Other prior art drying systems control the air temperature in each chamber by feeding the drying air from individual burners (or heating coils) assigned to each chamber with individual fans. This known system allows individual control of chamber temperatures, but typically large drying installations

-3 · · · which has many chambers. The cost of purchase and maintenance of all the necessary individual burners and fans limits their applicability.

For heating and cooling buildings, the concept of mixing high and low temperature airflows is used. It is also known to control the temperature of tap water by mixing hot and cold water in different ratios.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for drying seed which eliminates prior art problems.

A further object is to provide a method and apparatus for seed drying that allows complete control of the drying process based on individual chambers.

A further object is to provide a method and apparatus for drying seed that utilizes an electronic controller to accurately control the temperature and direction of the air stream flowing through the seed to be dried.

Other features, objects, and advantages of the present invention include:

In the seed drying apparatus and method of the present invention, the mixing space serves to selectively mix certain amounts of relatively hot and cold air to produce air of desired temperature for drying the seed.

In the seed drying apparatus and method of the invention, an upper and a lower air outlet door serve to inflate air above or below the seed to be dried, and an adjustable air outlet opening above and below the seed to be dried. There are steps to selectively control the airflow through the seed.

The seed drying apparatus and method of the present invention controls the direction of airflow through the seed so as to maintain uniformity within the chamber.

In the seed dryer apparatus and method of the present invention, an electronic controller controls the operation of the various doors for precise mixing of hot and cold air and for controlling the direction of air flow through the seed.

The programmable logic controller in the seed dryer apparatus and method of the present invention controls the operation of the seed dryer.

In the core drying apparatus and method of the present invention, temperature sensors sense the temperature of the air supplied to the chamber.

The seed drying apparatus and method of the present invention measure static pressure above and below the seed to control air flow through the chamber.

The seed dryer apparatus and method of the present invention optimize seed dryer performance, energy efficiency, and seed quality.

By using the core drying apparatus and method of the present invention using multiple drying chambers, the temperature of the air entering each chamber can be accurately controlled without having to use a single fan and burner for each chamber.

The kernel drying apparatus and method of the present invention employ fuzzy logic to control the flow and temperature of air flowing through the chamber.

- 5 • ·

These objects with respect to the apparatus, which automatically controls the temperature, direction and velocity of the air flowing through the core dryer during drying, according to the present invention, comprise a relatively hot air source and a cold air source. The hot and cold air mixers are mixed in a filled space where the desired air mixture is produced. The air mixture is blown through the seed to be dried, which is in a seed chamber. A series of feed and air outlet doors located above and below the seed in the chamber is controlled so that air flows through the seed in the desired direction. The operation of the seed dryer is controlled by an electronic controller which controls the mixing of the air and thus the air temperature and the air outlet doors, thereby controlling the direction and speed of the air flow through the seed.

Our invention by way of example! Embodiments of the invention will be described with reference to the drawings, of which

Figure 1 is a prior art dual-thread core dryer, a

2 and 2A. Fig. 3A is a side view of the opposed drying chambers of the present invention;

Figure 3 is a plan view of several drying chambers of the invention, a

4-11. FIG

Figure 12 is a front view of the inner wall of Figure 4, a

Figure 13 is a block diagram of a control system according to the invention.

9 9 0 9 9 • ·· «· * ·

The present invention will be described with reference to a preferred embodiment. The invention is not limited to the embodiment described. It is intended that the invention embrace all variations, modifications, and equivalent solutions within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Figure 1 shows a typical two-thread core dryer 10 of the prior art. Two opposed chambers 12 and 14 are disposed outside an upper filled space 16 and a lower filled space 18. The upper filled space 16 is a source of warm air (e.g., about 62 ° C [110 ° F]), while the lower filled space 18 provides colder air (e.g., 46 ° C [90 ° F]). Both chamber 12 and chamber 14 have a certain volume of tubular corn 20 over a grate 22 through which air may flow. In the example shown in Figure 1, the moisture content of the corn in chamber 12 is higher than that of chamber 14. In a two-thread corn dryer, the warmer air is led from the upper filled space 16 into the chamber 14 and the air flows downwardly through the tubular maize 20 as shown by the arrow. The air flows through the grate 22 into the lower filled space 18. The temperature of the air in the bottom filled space 18 is now lower than that in the upper filled space 16. The air from the lower filled space 18 is then introduced into the chamber 12, the air passing through the grate 22, the maize 20 and the air outlet door 24 as shown by the arrow. When using a two-thread kernel dryer, the 20-tube corn can be blown with two possible temperatures (about 62 ° C [110 ° F] or about 46 ° C [90 ° F] in this example) and the direction of the air

- 7 ··· Depends on whether the air comes from the upper filled space 16 or the lower filled space 18.

2 and 2A. Figures 4 to 5 are sections of the core dryer 30 according to the invention. As can be seen, in a preferred embodiment of the invention there are two opposed core chambers 32 and 34 which are mirror images of each other. Both core chambers 32 and 34 have an outer wall 36, an inner wall 38, and side walls not shown. These form the chamber. At the top of each of the core chambers 32 and 34 is a door 40 having a counterweight 42. Through the doors 40, the seed chambers 32 and 34 are filled with seed, for example seed corn. Inside the core chambers 32 and 34 is an inclined air permeable floor 44. The floors 44 are perforated or trussed so that the tubular corn does not fall through them, but air can easily pass through. During operation of the seed dryer 30, each seed chamber 32 and 34 is filled with seed, for example tubular corn, to the level indicated by line 46 (about 2.4 m deep). Near the outer wall 36, adjacent to the floor 44, is an emptying door 48 consisting of a flat solid door and a plurality of 2x4 sections. The latter are held in place by suitable shaped brackets. The outer walls 36 are further provided with an upper air outlet door 52 and a lower air outlet door 54. The upper air outlet door 52 and the lower door 54 are controlled by linear actuators 58 and 60. These will be described later. There is a metal grille in the opening of the upper air outlet door 52 and the lower door 54 to prevent birds or other animals from entering the chambers.

Each inner wall 38 has an upper feeder door 62 and a lower feeder door. The upper doors 52 and 62 are located above the cavity filled in the chamber, while the lower doors 54 and 64 are located below the floor 44. The direction of the air flowing through the corn can be controlled by controlling the upper and lower, outer and inner doors. These will be described later. The pressure drop on the seed in the chamber can also be controlled by controlling the degree of opening of the different doors to control the size of the door openings.

Between the core chambers 32 and 34 is formed an upper filled space 66 and a lower filled space 68. The top filled space 66 contains relatively warm air, while the bottom filled space 68 serves as an independent source of relatively cooler air. There are pressure transmitters (not shown) in the upper filled space 66 and the lower filled space 68 for measuring the pressure difference between the filled spaces and the outside air. The output of the pressure transmitters is fed back to variable speed fans (not shown) which control the pressure in the upper charged space 66 and the lower charged space 68. Preferably, a pressure difference of two inches (??) is maintained between the charged spaces and the outside air. Next to each inner wall 38 there is a mixer-filled space 70, which will be described in detail later. By controlling the operation of the mixing chamber 70 and the doors 52, 54, 62 and 64, the temperature and direction of the air flow through the corn can be controlled. The air temperature in the upper charged space 66 and the lower charged space 68 may be different, but is preferably about 62 ° C [110 ° F] or about 4 ° C [90 ° F].

Figure 3 is a plan view of a typical arrangement of the present invention. As can be seen, a plurality of opposed core chambers 32 and 34 have an elongated upper and lower filled space

- 9 +> · ♦ * wNr * <

Β «· * * ·» · * »· · ·»>

* * Located along f · 9. The number of core chambers 32A and 34A is substantially the same as the number of core chambers 32 and 34 but their size is different as shown in Figure 3. Each of the core chambers 32A and 34A is adjacent to a mixer 70A filled space which is substantially the same as the mixer 70 filled space. Seed dryers make chambers of different volumes more flexible and efficient. Preferably, the capacities of the core chambers 32 and 34 are 250 bushs, while the core chambers 32A and 34A have 125 bush. Figure 3 further shows a burner housing 71 comprising burners and fans not shown. They supply heated or ambient air to the upper filled space 66 and the lower filled space 68.

4-9. 2A and 2A. 3A, a mixing chamber 70 is disposed adjacent to the core chamber 34. The mixer filled space adjacent to the 32 core chambers is a mirror image of FIGS. 4-9. Fig. 7A shows a mixer 70 filled with space. As can be seen, the filled space 70 of the mixer is delimited by the side wall 72, the cover 74 and the bottom wall and the inner wall 38 of the core chamber 34. The mixer filled space 70 is connected through an upper opening 76 with the upper filled space 66 and through a lower opening 78 with the lower filled space 68. The mixing chamber 70 is connected to the core chamber 34 through the upper feeder door 62 and lower feeder door 64 described above.

The precise control of the amount of air entering the mixer filler space 70 from the top filled space 66 and the bottom filled space 68 allows the user to accurately control the temperature of the air in the filled space 70 of the mixer. As can be seen, a sliding door unit 80 is connected to the side wall 72. The sliding door unit 80 comprises a linear actuator 82, two

-10 «w« «· '» f · 44 * · »• 9» 9 4 ··· · «4 ♦» »* 4 · <· * v» <. »- '* · * · * opposite low friction plastic channels 84, a reinforcing L-steel 86 and a flat metal plate 88 made of the same material as the sliding metal plate positioned between the opposing channels 84. The metal plate 88 has a pair of holes 90 and 92 which allow air to pass through the apertures 76 and 78, respectively, depending on the position of the metal plate 88 relative to the apertures 76 or 78. By controlling the linear actuator 82, the air flow rate and temperature in the mixer 70 can be accurately controlled.

A second sliding door unit 94 is connected to the inner wall 38 of the core chamber 34. Figure 12 is a front view of the inner wall 38 of the core chamber 34; The second sliding door assembly 94 consists of a linear actuator 96, two sets of opposed low friction plastic channels 98, a reinforcing L-steel 100 and two flat metal plates 102 and 103 slidably sliding between opposing channels 98. are located near the upper feeder door 62 and lower feeder door 64 respectively. The actuator 96 is connected to a cross member 104. The transverse member 104 engages the metal plate 103 and a rod mechanism 106. The rod mechanism 106 is connected to the metal plate 102. By controlling the linear actuator 96, the upper feeder door 62 and lower feeder door 64 can be opened and closed by sliding the metal plates 102 and 103 up or down. Since the two flat metal plates 102 and 103 are connected, the other feeding door is opened when one feeding door is closed. In this way, the air leaving the blender 70 can be controlled and the upper feeder door 62 or lower 64

-11 · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · Alternatively, two sliding doors may replace the sliding door assembly 94 for independent control of the upper feeder door 62 and the lower feeder door 64. Using two independent sliding doors instead of one allows better control of temperature and pressure, but at a higher cost.

Within each core chamber 32 and 34, two identical groups of sliding door units 80 and 94 are arranged side by side. In the smaller core chambers 32A and 34A, only one set of sliding door units 80 and 94 is required, whereas the core chambers 32A and 34A are smaller.

4-9. FIG. 3B illustrates several possible configurations of mixer filled space 70. In Fig. 4, the mixing chamber 70 is controlled so that air flows upwardly through the maize chamber 34 and originates entirely from the upper filled chamber 66. As can be seen, the sliding door unit 80 is controlled such that the upper hole 90 in the metal plate 88 is overlapped by the opening 76 of the upper filled space, while the lower 92 is not overlapped by the opening 78 of the lower filled space. This allows air from the upper filled space to enter mixer 70, but prevents air from the lower filled space to enter mixer 70. In this arrangement, hot air is blown upwards through the seed in the seed chamber 34.

In Fig. 5, the mixing chamber 70 is controlled so that air flows upwardly through the corn chamber 34 and is entirely derived from the bottom filled chamber 68. As can be seen, the sliding door unit 80 is controlled such that the lower, filled hole 92 in the metal plate 88 has a bottom filled space 78 with the bottom filled space 78. · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·, While the upper 90 holes are not overlapped by the 76 openings in the upper filled space. This allows air from the lower filled space to enter mixer 70, but prevents air from the upper filled space to enter mixer 70. In this arrangement, cooler air is blown upward through the seed chamber 34 in the seed chamber.

In Fig. 6, the mixer-filled space 70 is controlled so that air flows downwardly through the corn chamber 34 and originates entirely from the top-filled space 66. As can be seen, the sliding door unit 80 is controlled such that the upper hole 90 in the metal plate 88 is overlapped by the opening 76 of the upper filled space, while the lower 92 is not overlapped by the opening 78 of the lower filled space. This allows air from the top filled space to enter mixer 70 but prevents air from bottom 68 to enter mixer 70. In this arrangement, hot air is blown down through the seed chamber 34 in the seed chamber.

In Fig. 7, the mixing chamber 70 is controlled such that air flows downwardly through the corn chamber 34 and originates entirely from the bottom filled chamber 68. As can be seen, the sliding door unit 80 is controlled such that the lower hole 92 formed in the metal plate 88 overlaps the opening 76 of the upper filled space, while the upper 90 hole does not overlap the opening 78 of the lower filled space. This allows air from the lower filled space to enter mixer 70, but prevents air from the upper filled space to enter mixer 70.

In this arrangement, cooler air is blown down through the seed chamber 34 in the seed chamber.

In Fig. 8, the mixer filled space 70 is controlled so that air flows downwardly through the corn in the seed chamber 34, which air is a mixture of the upper filled space 66 and the lower filled space 68. As can be seen, the sliding door unit 80 is controlled such that the upper, 90-hole and lower-92-hole, formed in the metal plate 88, partially overlaps the opening 76 of the upper filled space and 78 of the lower filled space. This allows a mixture of air from the top and bottom filled spaces to enter mixer 70 filled spaces. In this arrangement, a mixture of air is blown down through the corn in the seed chamber 34. The air temperature can be precisely controlled by shifting the metal plate 88 in some direction. By moving the metal plate 88 in one direction, more air is introduced from one filled space and less air from the other filled space, thereby increasing or decreasing the temperature of the air mixture.

In Figure 9, the mixer filled space 70 is controlled so that air flows upwardly through the maize chamber 34, which is a mixture of the upper filled space 66 and the lower filled space 68. As can be seen, the sliding door unit 80 is controlled such that the upper, 90-hole and lower-92-hole, formed in the metal plate 88, partially overlaps the opening 76 of the upper filled space and 78 of the lower filled space. This allows a mixture of air from the top and bottom filled spaces to enter mixer 70 filled spaces. In this arrangement, a mixture of air is blown upwards through the corn in the seed chamber 34. THE

-14 ··· ····················································································································································································································! The sliding door units may also, if desired, block air inflow into the core chambers 32 and 34.

In Fig. 10, the mixing chamber 70 is controlled so that no air flows through the corn in the seed chamber 34. As can be seen, the sliding door assembly 80 is controlled such that neither the upper 90 hole nor the lower 92 hole overlaps the opening 76 of the upper filled space and 78 the lower filled space. This prevents air from entering the filled space of the mixer 70.

In Fig. 11, the mixer filled space 70 is controlled so that air flows upwardly through the maize chamber 34 and is entirely derived from the bottom filled space 68, although the air is restricted. As can be seen, the sliding door unit 80 is controlled such that the lower hole 92 formed in the metal plate 88 is only partially overlapped by the opening 78, while the upper hole 90 is not overlapped by the opening 76. This allows a smaller amount of air to enter from the bottom filled space into the mixer filled space 70 and prevents air from the upper filled space entering the mixer filled space. This arrangement is used to control the drying rate of high moisture seed when even the lowest air temperature is too high to achieve the desired drying rate.

Figure 13 is a block diagram of a control system according to the invention. The seed dryer 30 of the present invention can be controlled in various ways based on different information. Each of the linear actuators shown in the figures is preferably controlled by a programmable logic controller. By controlling the actuators • ··

-15 precise control of air flow direction, speed and temperature. The temperature and direction of the air flow are adjusted depending on information on, among other things, the temperature in the seed chamber 34 and the air pressure above and below the seed chamber 34. As shown in Figures 2 and 2A. As shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, each core chamber includes a pair of thermocouples 110A and 110B that sense the temperature above and below the seed in the core chamber. Further, a pressure transmitter is shown having one of its inlet 112A above the seed in the seed chamber and the other of the inlet 112B below the seed to determine the difference in pressure above and below the seed. Inlet 112A and 112B are operatively connected by an air tube to the pressure transmitter. The pressure difference is adjusted based on the filling depth and moisture content of the seed in the seed chamber. Ideally, a two-inch static pressure drop is desirable. The programmable logic controller is electrically connected to a personal computer whose input signals are initial seed moisture level, charge depth, seed hybrid, etc. The computer graphs temperatures, static pressures, seed moisture, etc. Other input signals include, but are not limited to, the rate of seed drying in the seed chamber. The programmable logic controller may consist of one or two independent personal computers. The programmable logic controller preferably uses a graphical user interface (GUI) for initial seed moisture content, filling depth, and hybrid of seed to be dried, etc. input. The programmable logic controller receives input signals from thermocouples 110A and 110B as well as

-16 ···· ···· · * · · · · · · · · · · • ·· · · · · · · · · · • pressure transducer as well. The programmable logic controller controls the operation of the actuators 82 (for controlling air mixing), the actuators 96 (for controlling the direction of airflow from the charged space 70), the actuator 60 (for controlling the lower air outlet door 54). and actuator 58 (for controlling the operation of the upper air outlet door 52).

The invention works as follows. After harvesting a seed, such as tubular corn, the user of the invention opens the door 40 to the seed chambers 32 and 34 and fills the seed into the seed chambers 32 and 34 up to the line 46 shown in FIGS. It takes samples from the seed and determines the moisture content. The user can enter various input signals into the personal computer (Fig. 13), such as seed moisture, charge depth, seed hybrid. The programmable logic controller utilizes the inputs received from the personal computer (as well as the inputs from the thermocouples 110 and, if used, the pressure transmitter) and controls the drying process accordingly. The programmable logic controller controls sliding door units 80 and 94 as well as upper air outlet door 52 and lower air outlet door 54 for controlling the temperature and direction of air flow through the seed. The air temperature can be accurately controlled by controlling the sliding door unit 80 of the mixer 70 through the actuator 82 of the mixer. The direction of air flow is controlled by actuator 96 of the sliding door unit 94. For example, if the airflow is to be directed down through the seed, the door unit 94 is positioned as shown in Figures 6, 7 and 8. If the air flow is to be directed upward through the seed, the sliding door assembly 94 is controlled as shown in Figures 4, 5 and 9. The control of the upper air outlet door 52 and the lower air outlet door 54 assist in controlling the direction of the air flow and the static pressure drop in the seed chamber. The upper and lower air outlet doors are controlled by actuators 58 and 60, respectively. The air flow direction and air temperature can be changed at any time during the drying process. In this way, the temperature and air flow direction in the core chamber can be precisely controlled so that drying is efficient and uniform throughout the core chamber. In the prior art two-thread seed dryers (see Figure 1), the seed dries at the bottom of the seed chamber first and consequently the moisture becomes layered (drier seed at the bottom). The second passage of air will allow the wetter seed above to dry faster. In contrast, according to the present invention, the direction of the air flow can be changed periodically (e.g., every 8 + 10 hours). As a result, drying will be more even. This preserves the quality of the seed and allows the user to determine the moisture content of the seed from a seed sample.

The efficiency of seed dryers is affected by many factors. At the beginning of the drying cycle, it is desirable to have a lower air temperature and thus a high flow rate to start the drying process. Towards the end of the drying process, high temperature air and thus a low flow rate are suitable to complete the drying process. The operation of the seed dryer can accordingly be efficiently and effectively controlled.

The invention may also have various alternative or optional features. Instead of manually measuring the moisture content of the seed in the seed dryer, automatic humidity sensors can be incorporated into the seed chambers 32 and 34, which detect the amount of moisture during the drying process. The measured moisture content is used by the control system to support control of the drying process. There are several options for controlling the seed dryer 30. the control system of the present invention can be used to control a drying process using a fuzzy controller (not based on bivalent logic). The fuzzy controller includes a fuzzy module that converts numeric values (such as those used by the programmable logic controller) into fuzzy values; a inference module that uses fuzzy values as input to membership functions and fuzzy logic rules; and a fuzzy decontamination module that converts the fuzzy values into numeric output signals. The output signal of the fuzzy controller is the air temperature setpoint and the static pressure setpoint. The result can be transferred to a PID controller for sliding doors (proportional integrator-differential controller) and a PID controller for exhaust doors to limit airflow. Decisions made by the fuzzy logic machine are based on the input signals, their relative importance, and the role sets created from previous drying experiences. In another embodiment, the various doors are operated manually by ropes, wires, crank arms. Although this embodiment will work, but

I

Many advantages of the present invention are not realized. The actuators used to open and close the various doors are preferably standard 24 V linear actuators but may be replaced by any suitable actuator.

The preferred embodiments of the invention have been described in the drawings and in the description and although specific terms are used, they are used only in general and descriptive terms and are not to be construed as limiting. Depending on the circumstances, the shape and proportions of the parts may be varied without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

Claims (10)

  1. PATENT CLAIMS
    A seed dryer, comprising: a seed chamber (32, 34) for holding a seed to be dried; a first passage for a first temperature first air source (top filled space 66); a second channel for a second air source (bottom filled space 68) having a second temperature and the first temperature being higher than the second temperature; and a mixer filled space (70) adjacent to the core chamber (32, 34) communicating with the first and second air sources (66, 68) and a mixture of air from the first and second air sources into the core chamber (32, 34). nourish it to dry the seed in it.
  2. A seed dryer according to claim 1, further comprising an electronic controller for controlling the seed dryer (30).
  3. A seed dryer according to claim 2, characterized in that the electronic controller controls the amount of air from the first and second air sources (upper charged space 66 and lower charged space 68) in the air mixture to control the temperature of the air mixture.
  4. An automatically controlled seed dryer comprising a seed chamber (32, 34) for holding a seed to be dried, which has an upper portion positioned above the seed to be dried and a lower portion located below the seed to be dried; a first passage for a first temperature first air source (top filled space 66); a second channel a second temperature second
    -21 ··· air source (68 lower filled spaces) and the first temperature is higher than the second temperature; and a mixer filled space (70) located adjacent to the core chamber (32, 34) and mixing the air from the first and second air sources (66, 68) to produce air of the desired temperature; an upper passageway formed between the mixer filled space (70) and the upper portion of the core chamber (32, 34) and conveying the mixed air to the upper portion of the core chamber (32, 34); a lower passageway formed between the mixer filler space (70) and the lower portion of the core chamber (32, 34) and conveying the mixed air to the upper portion of the core chamber (32, 34); and upper and lower air outlet doors (52, 54) formed in the core chamber (32, 34) adjacent to the upper and lower portions and allowing mixed air to pass through at least one of the upper and lower air outlet doors, characterized in that the direction of air flow through the core chamber (32, 34) can be controlled by the selective opening and closing of the upper and lower passages and the upper and lower air outlet doors (52, 54).
  5. The automatically controlled core dryer of claim 4, further comprising a first variable aperture (76) formed between a mixer filled space (70) and the first channel and supplying a variable amount of air from the first air source (66). from a charged space) to a mixer into a charged space (70); and a second variable aperture (78) formed between the mixing filled space (70) and the second passage and supplying a variable amount of air from the second leaf source 22 (bottom 68). from filled space) to the mixer into filled space (70).
  6. The automatically controlled core dryer according to claim 4, further comprising an electronic controller for controlling the core dryer (30).
  7. The automatically controlled core dryer according to claim 6, further comprising at least one temperature sensor located in the core chamber (32, 34), operatively connected to the electronic controller and for sensing the temperature in the core chamber.
  8. The automatically controlled core dryer of claim 6, further comprising at least one pressure sensor operatively connected to the electronic controller, disposed in the core chamber (32, 34) and for sensing pressure in the core chamber.
  9. 9. A method for drying seed in a seed chamber comprising the steps of:
    preparing a seed chamber having an upper portion located above the seed to be dried and a lower portion located below the seed to be dried, upper and lower air outlet doors formed in the seed chamber near the upper and lower portions;
    preparing a first temperature first air source; providing a second air source at a second temperature; mixing the air from the first and second sources to produce air of the desired temperature;
    blowing the mixed air into the seed chamber and through the seed; and controlling the direction of the air flowing through the seed so that
    The mixed air is selectively injected into the upper or lower part of the core chamber and the upper and lower air outlet doors are selectively opened and closed.
  10. The method of claim 9, further comprising the steps of providing an electronic controller for controlling the temperature and direction of the air flowing through the seed.
HU0002823A 1997-04-15 1998-04-14 Seed dryer with automatic control of temperature, air flow direction and rate HU0002823A2 (en)

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US5893218A (en) 1999-04-13
AU7246498A (en) 1998-11-11
ZA9803135B (en) 1998-10-21
WO1998046951A1 (en) 1998-10-22
AR012418A1 (en) 2000-10-18
EP0975924A1 (en) 2000-02-02
CA2286276A1 (en) 1998-10-22

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