5 December 1997

Monitoring moisture…

A NEW drier sensor launched at Grain 97 automatically monitors grain moisture during drying, considerably reducing the risk of overcooking and rejections.

The Sinar Drypro comprises a series of sensors located in the drier, which take moisture and temperature readings automatically as grain is dried, explains Jason Webb of Sinar Technology.

Connecting it to a farm computer means alarms can be sounded if drying parameters are exceeded and permanent records of readings kept as proof that grain was not over-heated.

"When we were carrying out trials of the prototype, we found that heater controls in driers were generally very crude and overheating of grain was commonplace," says David Hopkin, managing director of Sinar Technology.

By positioning sensors at intake, midway through the dryer and at outflow, several readings can be taken, enabling more efficient management of the drying process. That means output can be maximised, energy costs reduced and overcooking eliminated, he says.

Using an easily updatable, national reference for moisture calibration further reduces the possibility of drying errors, adds Mr Webb.

"Farmers currently using the portable Sinar AP moisture meter can link up to a national moisture calibration via their local merchant or store. In turn this can be down-loaded from the portable meter to the sensor control box in the drier, thus ensuring drying is carried out to an accurate and national calibration."

Checking grain temperature and moisture during drying cuts costs and avoids rejections due to overheating, says Sinar Technologys Jason Webb.