Allmet drier2

North Yorkshire-based grain drier manufacturer Allmet has pushed fuel and power efficiency up the priority list on its latest A-Series range of continuous-flow machines.

 

Traditionally, drier fans run at full speed irrespective of the machine’s loading, and air is allowed to bleed in if the suction pressure needs to be reduced.

 

But Allmet has taken a different route by fitting an electronic controller that allows fan speed to be altered according to the task.

 

“If you’re drying rape or low-bushel-weight wheat – or you’re only taking 1 or 2% moisture out – you can run the fan slower and reduce the heat,” says the company’s Charles White.

 

“That means less electricity use and lower bills.”

 

For a 20t/hr machine with a 15kW fan, taking barley from 20% moisture down to 15% and running 12 hours a day for eight weeks, the ability to alter the fan speed could save more than £550 a year, he reckons.

 

Being able to alter fan speeds should also allow the heating-to-cooling ratio to be kept constant and stop crop being pulled through the drier because of excessive pressure.

 

Prices of the A-Series machines range from £23,500 for an 8.5t/hr unit to £41,000 for a 30t/hr unit

 

High diesel and kerosene prices are also contributing to the current surge of interest in new driers, says the company. Of the 1000 or so driers the company services, a high proportion were installed in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

 

The burners on those machines use roughly twice as much fuel as their equivalent on modern versions and the electric motors were a lot more power-hungry than they are now.

 

Healthier grain prices and Britain’s increasingly unpredictable harvest weather are putting a spring into the step of grain drier makers too. Mr White says the last few months have seen a welcome upsurge in demand from farmers. It sold three driers in the spring and already has several on order for the 2008 harvest.

 

“The level of interest is the greatest it’s been for seven or eight years,” he says.