The fans used to move air through a grain dryer are important. While a heat source can help dry grain, without air movement, the system won't get the job done efficiently. Trouble is, vane axial-fan grain dryers have one problem — they tend to be noisier than other fan types.
Grain Systems Inc. knew its dryer could use an upgrade. In 2016, the dryer had a range of changes made to improve maintenance access and performance, but there was one area that needed more attention — the vane axial fan that moved air in the system. Company engineers figured they could achieve quieter operation, but how?
Jarod Wendt, GSI grain conditioning engineering manager, explains that the company looked to its tower dryers for inspiration, and the result is the new all-heat Quiet Dryer. Essentially, GSI engineers turned the dryer blower on its side.
Less noise, more pleasing sound
With this design, Wendt explains that the new system has fewer blades, a less open design and heavier-duty construction. This created a blower with less noise, and a more pleasing sound during operation, he says. To give readers an idea of how quiet the new blower is, GSI ran it on the show floor during the National Farm Machinery Show. The lower-pitched sound of the blower didn't overpower conversation.
The Quiet Dryer offers the new blower design mated to the upgraded dryer introduced in 2016. As Wendt points out, this machine has the GSO Starfire burner, and other maintenance and design tech that is popular for these machines. "We're able to maintain capacity, and grain quality, while reducing the noise level," he says.
Traditionally, this dryer style uses either a vane axial or centrifugal fan to keep air moving. The vane axial approach can be loud, as GSI knows, but quieter operation of the centrifugal design can come at a cost —more power needed for operation. Wendt notes that the new GSI blower design will rotate at 1,200 rpm and use the same power as the vane axial fan, far below the power requirement of the centrifugal fan.
In the past, dryer makers have added noise suppression systems to their machines to cut sound. These covers, and other approaches, are sometimes objectionable to farmers. GSI's patent-pending approach deals with the problem at the source.
Wendt notes tests on the system were conducted in 2015 and 2016 on farms from the southern U.S. to Canada. The aim was to validate performance across a wide geography. For farmers in areas closer to town, running a little quieter during harvest couldn't be a bad thing.
The new system is available on 12-foot through 26-foot single-header, single-module versions of the dryer. Learn more at grainsystems.com.