The objective of this study was to determine the effects of harvest time and drying techniques on the energy requirements and profitability of grain production, particularly corn (Zea mays). In most grain production scenarios, supplemental drying is required post-harvest to allow long-term storage of the crop. Traditional high-temperature, high airflow drying systems have been known to be an energy intensive and high cost process of grain production. However, advanced continuous flow drying systems have shown to be 30% or more energy efficient than systems produced in recent decades. In this study, harvesting times (early fall, mid-fall, late fall) were compared to quantify the effects of field losses as the fall progresses with the potentially reduced drying requirement as the crop undergoes natural drying in the field. A model was developed to investigate the energy and economics of drying, based on harvest period, dryer efficiency, field drydown, and field losses. A sensitivity analysis was completed that focused on the energy consumption of artificial drying based upon harvesting conditions, as well as economic factors of field drying and fuel cost. Preliminary results of the study have shown that the use of higher efficiency drying systems combined with moderately prompt harvest times generally provide the most profitable scenario, while delayed harvest times increase the likelihood of field loss, which are not typically offset by the reduced drying requirements.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division
- Solar Energy Division
Investigation of Grain Harvesting and Drying Strategies to Improve Energy Efficiency and Profitability
Almberg, ER, Twedt, MP, & Gent, SP. "Investigation of Grain Harvesting and Drying Strategies to Improve Energy Efficiency and Profitability." Proceedings of the ASME 2016 10th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2016 Power Conference and the ASME 2016 14th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology. Volume 1: Biofuels, Hydrogen, Syngas, and Alternate Fuels; CHP and Hybrid Power and Energy Systems; Concentrating Solar Power; Energy Storage; Environmental, Economic, and Policy Considerations of Advanced Energy Systems; Geothermal, Ocean, and Emerging Energy Technologies; Photovoltaics; Posters; Solar Chemistry; Sustainable Building Energy Systems; Sustainable Infrastructure and Transportation; Thermodynamic Analysis of Energy Systems; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. June 26–30, 2016. V001T06A005. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ES2016-59531
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