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Grain drying systems: the main features compared




Which dryer best meets the needs of your company? The choice of a drying system basically depends on three main interrelated factors:

  • type of operation: continuous cycle or discontinuous cycle;
  • drive mode of the dryer;
  • system heating system and type of fuel.

Before going through them one by one, let's briefly explain what are the benefits that derive from a correct drying of cereals.

First of all, the drying process removes excess moisture naturally present in the grain. In this way, moisture is prevented from fermenting the cereal, affecting its conservation and subsequent processing.

If you choose carefully which system for drying cereals to use in your company, you can bring a huge advantage to your business: an increase in productivity, by spending the right amount.

On the market you can find many and different types of dryers, but what are their functions? In this article, Mecmar compares the main components that characterize drying systems, so as to help you choose the best dryer for your reality.

What aspects to consider before buying a grain dryer?

Before opting for one type of agricultural dryer rather than another, it is essential to make it clear what the needs of your business are. Does your company have to dry one or more batches of cereals - even several - in a single season? After drying, will the grain be used for human or animal feed?

Only after having identified an answer to these questions is it possible to understand what are the elements that differentiate the dryers on the market.

Do you know the main 5 advantages of drying cereals? Find out by reading our dedicated article!

#1 System operation: should you choose a continuous or discontinuous cycle dryer?

If your company needs to dry small quantities of product but different types of cereals - even at the same time - the drying system that's right for you is a mobile dryer. Operating in a discontinuous cycle, after completing an entire drying cycle, the mobile dryers are emptied and reloaded for subsequent processing. The mobile dryers are easy to transport and do not require any type of installation. In fact, they function as independent drying plants.

If, on the other hand, your reality has high drying needs - for example more than 240 tons of product in a day for several consecutive days - and already has a storage system, tower dryers are the most efficient solution. Tower dryers provide for continuous drying of the grain: the cereal enters the plant from one end and exits the other - dried and cooled - without stopping. Installation costs are typically higher, authorizations are usually required before installation and management costs are related to the frequency of breaks: the fewer the breaks, the better the return on investment.

#2 How to operate the system

While continuous flow dryers always require electrical power, mobile dryers allow more flexibility in operation, as they can be operated in three different modes:

  1. The PTO dryers are driven by a tractor of variable power based on the size of the dryer. Although the model requires the constant presence of an operator who monitors and controls the system, the enormous advantage of this system is the ability to be transported and used anywhere.
  2. Electric dryers, on the other hand, are driven by 1 or 4 electric motors to ensure totally independent management of the drying process. In fact, the technical components are activated only when the drying process is started. In this way, electric dryers are able to guarantee significant energy savings. These dryers can be integrated with digital and remote control systems to allow remote management and interaction with the machine.
  3. The dual drive dryers can be operated either by tractor or by electricity. This is the ideal solution for all those companies that need a system that includes both modes of operation.

#3 Dryer heating system: better direct or indirect?

It is precisely the hot air that circulates inside the dryer to ensure the continuous removal of the moisture present inside the beans. In this way, degenerative processes are prevented from affecting the cereal, affecting its quality level.

Depending on the needs of a company, there are two main ways of heating the air:

  • If the heating takes place directly, the combustion products are mixed with the air present in the system. The gases end up being introduced directly into the mass of cereals to be dried, ensuring a high drying performance.
  • In indirect heating dryers, on the other hand, the combustion gases are kept separate from the air used to dry the grain. After being expelled, the combustion products are dispersed into the atmosphere, so as to keep the dried product clean.

In conclusion

Before buying a dryer, it is important to determine what the needs of your company are, depending on the size of your reality and the type of cereal to be processed.

Among the many variants available on the market, dryers are distinguished mainly on the basis of three components: the drive mode (tractor, electric or dual drive), the air heating system (which can be direct or indirect) and continuous or discontinuous cycle operation of the plant.

Still have doubts about which drying system to choose? Mecmar, manufacturer of dryers for over 40 years, will be happy to answer all your curiosities. Contact us: we will guide you in choosing the dryer that best suits you.

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