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Grain dryer id from pic


acem

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Amount of propane used will differ greatly depending on crop, ambient temps and humidity. I'm no dryer expert and can't tell you what is good or bad fuel use. But, I do know that Dad was extatic about the fuel use of his AB120 vs the old PTO run, upright batch dryer he had. IIRC, he had to fill the 1000 gallon propane tank mid harvest and barely finish on the that, and the Farm Fans dried everything for 2 seasons on the same tank.

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Difference between ambient temperature and dryer plenum temperature is a large driving factor in fuel usage (raw heat required to get to drying temp), as is the moisture of the material being dried (wetter = longer time in the dryer = more time raising temp from ambient to plenum = more fuel burned).  Grain quality (air flow), design/efficiency, and ambient humidity are smaller factors.

I work in the natural gas utility industry supplying gas to all types of dryers from in-bin to cross flow to commercial tower and everything in between (Farm Fan, Meyer, GSI, Zimmerman, NECO, Sukup, etc.).   Usage differences we observe on our natural gas system are heavily dependent on outdoor temps.  In my experience, a quality modern tower dryer drying field corn will use ~65% of it's max burner rating drying corn commercially at 25-30 Deg F ambient with a plenum temp of +/-215 Deg F.  If temps are in the 60's or 70's that number drops back to 40-50% max burner capacity......if less than 20 deg F, you see an increase above 65% (don't see that much due to rate structure at my employer financially de-incentivizing drying at temps under 25 deg).   I would expect a 7000 BU/hr (5% removal rating) Zimmerman tower dryer (max burner rating of 74MMBtu/hr) to operate around 42 MMBtu/hr at 25-30 deg F once warmed up and full of grain.

For older used dryers and smaller continuous flow dryers the percentage numbers are probably a little higher due to improvements in efficiency in modern tower dryers.

To be clear, I don't operate the dryers, but I have observed their gas usage rates over time (30 years) and on various types, so our system models for predicting usage are pretty dialed in.  

BTW, In my experience the "Average fuel usage" number published by the dryer manufacturers is usually around 45-50% of max burner rating and roughly correlated to 60 Deg F ambient temp.  Very few manufacturers put a temp with their average usage, so that number has to be taken with a grain of salt and applied to your climate.

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It's an older LP dryer with the vacuum tubes and lots of dirt dobber nests. It shows 2xxx hours. Can't see the bottom because it's on the ground. Some paint on metal above bottom auger. The wiring in the panel looks ok but the outside wires are suspect. Obviously it hasn't been used in a while.

Any comments or other things I should look at?

It had just rained so it looks wet in spots.

 

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34 minutes ago, acem said:

I couldn't make out the name on this dryer. It's a recirculating type. I have a friend who uses one on corn and other stuff occasionally. I've never seen one used with rice.

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Agreed its a GT (Gilmore Tage)

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The Farm Fans looks pretty good. Still has the old mechanical timer. A lot of them still work fine. Something else to check is the capillary tubes, tiny copper tubes, on those 4 thermostats. They can get damaged wherever they are exposed. Not the end of the world but it could add up. 

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A few years ago, I got lucky and bought a nice 1000 gallon lpg tank for $750 from a poultry farm converting to natural gas. 

I went to pick it up and it took two tractors. It was nearly full...

I'll never beat that deal again...

Any more ideas about the farm fans dryer?

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So that picture of the 2 dryers could basically have been taken at dad's place. The upright Gilmore was exactly what he had and as I mentioned above he had a FF AB120. The Gilmore took 3x more propane, plus the diesel through the tractor on the PTO to dry the same crop.

The one problem area we had on the AB120 is not visible in your pictures. There's a clean out slot along the bottom that is closed by a strip of 2" angle iron. It is held in place by a couple wedges. On ours the slot had warped open and it was difficult to get it sealed. There was 1/2 a bushel of corn on the ground after each batch even with a bottle jack helping push it closed.

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I'll go by to look  and get some pics.

Looking at your pics I think I understand your setup.

Combine fills gravity wagon.

Gravity wagon hauls it to auger which fills wet tank (red box with auger).

When dryer timer goes off it unloads dry corn into storage bin. When empty it fills dryer from wet tank. Then fan and heater starts up until dry and repeat.

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4 hours ago, acem said:

I'll go by to look  and get some pics.

Looking at your pics I think I understand your setup.

Combine fills gravity wagon.

Gravity wagon hauls it to auger which fills wet tank (red box with auger).

When dryer timer goes off it unloads dry corn into storage bin. When empty it fills dryer from wet tank. Then fan and heater starts up until dry and repeat.

You have it correct. The setup would run automatically when dad let it. The dryer had a tendency to over run the auger to the bin and that was a mess to be avoided, so he would manually control the unload.

Since he was only doing about 65 acres and generally working alone, the wagon was just left there for the combine to dump in. He just drove the full combine in from the field. It worked out well for him. The wagon held 2 combine dumps and the dryer cycle took about the time to fill the combine 3x. So, every 3rd trip in from the field he'd get the dryer unloading, then the wagon going into the holding bin, once there was enough room- dump the 3rd combine load into the wagon, the dryer was usually empty by that time, so start the next dryer batch, finish emptying the wagon... repeat.

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On 9/19/2023 at 1:48 PM, Reichow7120 said:

This was our old AB120 we ran for comparison. Ran it from 2014 thru 2021 harvest. Ours had the updated timers. The originals are NLA. There are a few other parts in the control box that are NLA but can be worked around to some exitent

 

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We still use our dryer like this,  it goes in the shed after fall,  still looks like brand new!   But the timers are shot and we havent updated... i think it was going to cost like 2k to update the timers???    I used my phone and babysat it everyminute of the day for 15000 bushels last time we used it... Had to go out and flip the unload circuit off or it may decide to unload,   or may get stuck on heat, ... it was a headache....   Timers will get updated next time we need it! lol

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13 hours ago, acem said:

The clean out strip appears to be missing. I couldn't get pics of the missing bottom but got closer pics of the bottom sides 

What does the clean out strip look like?

I'll probably have to make one if I buy it.

Thx-Ace

 

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If it's the same as ours was, it's just a piece of angle iron, easy to make. Just make sure the slot it fits in is not spread apart in the center. 

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Not exactly sure how I'm going to load the dryer. It's sitting on the ground. My flatbed truck has a bed height of  4 ft and I don't think I can get it that high. Maybe I can get it on the utility trailer somehow...

I also bought the gt dryer, new idea 5409 project disk mower, good working Kelly backhoe attachment, post hole digger, working IH 35 rake and more junk for the yard/pasture.... Less than $900 out the gate for all of it.

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