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Publication numberUS3864845 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1975
Filing dateNov 19, 1973
Priority dateNov 19, 1973
Publication numberUS 3864845 A, US 3864845A, US-A-3864845, US3864845 A, US3864845A
InventorsCooper Robert P
Original AssigneeCooper Robert P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Grain drying process and system and apparatus therefor
US 3864845 A
Abstract
In a grain column drier, a plurality of cooperating vertically and horizontally spaced distributing units automatically and continuously treat all the parts of the grain mass passing through the grain column mass by structure utilizing the angle of repose characteristics of grain mass at low velocity to help support the grain and without constricting the cross sectional available for flow of material through the column to provide uniform and efficient gas contact with all surfaces of the grain particles by exposing each particle of grain in each vertically extending grain column segment to contact drying air moving the three different mutually perpendicular planes.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Cooper 1 GRAIN DRYING PROCESS AND SYSTEM AND APPARATUS THEREFOR Feb. 11, 1975 Primary Examiner-Kenneth W. Sprague Assistant Examiner-Larry l. Schwartz Attorney, Agent. or Firm-Ely Silverman 1 1 ABSTRACT In a grain column drier, a plurality of cooperating vertically and horizontally spaced distributing units automatically and continuously treat all the parts of the grain mass passing through the grain column mass by structure utilizing the angle of repose characteristics of grain mass at low velocity to help support the grain and without constricting the cross sectional available for flow of material through the column to provide uniform and efficient gas contact with all surfaces of the grain particles by exposing each particle of grain in each vertically extending grain column segment to contact drying air moving the three different mutually perpendicular planes.

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GRAIN DRYING PROCESS AND SYSTEM AND APPARATUS THEREFOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. The Field of the Invention The field of invention to which this invention pertains is grain drying in column driers.

2. Description of the Prior Art Prior art column driers, while economical to construct, regularly produce damage to grain treated thereby resulting from the high temperatures applied by the drying and heating gases to the portions of the grain directly and continuously exposed thereto while other portions of grain mass moved through the grain columns were incompletely dried. Moisture analysis based on overall moisture content of the grain mass did not distinguish between the composite of overdried and under-dried product increments and accordingly resulted in discharge from the drying columns ofsufficient amount of grain particles of undesirable amounts of moisture to create heating problems in storage bins to which such grains were passed following treatment in such driers, which condition necessitated further cycling of such grain to the drier with added expense of heating for such drying as well as grain spoilage SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Each rear portion of grain adjacent the outlet screen in a grain column drier is moved downwardly toward the inlet screen while supporting an upwardly exposed surface of that grain mass at its angle of repose directly to the hot air stream and directly passing hot air to that upwardly exposed grain surface and through the grain therebelow; and thereafter moving the said first rear portion of grain mass downward of the column along the inlet screen while exposing a vertical surface of said mass to the hot drying air, and then passing the originally front portion of the grain theretofore moved to and adjacent the outlet screen towards said inlet screen while supporting and upwardly exposing a surface of that grain mass at its angle of repose directly to the hot air stream and directly passing hot air through that upwardly exposed grain surface and through that grain mass to provide uniform and efficient gas contact with all surfaces of the grain particles by exposing each particle of grain in each vertically extending grain column segment to contact drying air moving in three different mutually perpendicular planes. The apparatus for this drying improvement is similarly applied to the cooling section to there likewise improve the efficiency of gas solid contact.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is an overall view of the installation assembly 30 of which the grain dryer of this invention is a part.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged broken away view of zone 2A of FIG. 1, broken away along the section 2B-2C-2D of FIG. 3.

FIG. 3 is a vertical longitudinal cross-section of the grain treatment apparatus 33 through section 3A-3A of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a side perspective view of an empty turning assembly 50.3 seen along direction of arrow 4A of FIG. 5.

FIG. 5 is an end view partially in perspective as seen along the direction of arrow 5A of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a phantom isometric view of the apparatus 50 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 with phantom showings of the locations of grain surfaces located in such structure and their movement during the operation of the grain treating apparatus 33.

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic top view along direction of arrow 7A of FIG. 8 of the turning assembly 50.3 shown in FIGS. 4-6 during the operation of the apparatus 33 to show identified locations of portions of grain located in the unit 50.3 during the passage of such portions of grain during the operation of the assembly.

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic vertical section diagrammatically showing the location and movement of some of the portions of the grain shown in FIG. 7 during the operation of grain treating apparatus 33; this view is a vertical section along the section 8A8A of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic vertical section along section 9A9A of the FIG. 7 to show the location and path of movement of some of the portions of grain shown in FIG. 7 during operation of the grain treating apparatus 33.

FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic horizontal section at section to show the distributions of the particles in FIGS. 8 and 9 at the level l0C-IOC of FIGS. 8 and 9.

FIG. 11 shows distribution of particles at level 11A of FIGS. 8 and 9 during the operation of the grain apparatus 33.

FIG. 12 is an overall diagrammatic exploded view of the separate overlapping paths of movement of adjacent inner and oouter zones of the grain mass in the column 42 of appratus 33 and the relative location of portions of such zones at different vertical positions in column 42.

FIGS. l320 are diagramatic representations of the location of the portions of grain at positions 13A-20A, respectively, of FIG. 12 and shown in plan view.

FIG. 2lA-F diagrammatically illustrate the shape and size of the horizontal cross section area available in unit 55 of assembly 50 at levels 21A-2IF shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 22 is a diagrammatic longitudinal and vertical cross section through column 42 along a vertical section corresponding to the vertical plane 22A-22A of FIGS. 2 and 6.

FIG. 23 is a isometric diagrammatic representation of grains in the mass 80 adjacent grid 52 at Zone 23A of FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The overall assembly of a grain storage installation 30 in which this invention is applied comprises a plurality of vertical storage bins such as 31A-31G and additional horizontal bins as 32 and a dryer assembly 33 operatively connected to these bins by conduits as 35A, 35B, 35C and 35D, whereby grain is fed to the dryer assembly 33 and transferred from the dryer assembly 33 back to the bins as needed in storing, drying and turning the grain. A feeder station 34 is provided for trucks as 34A and/or trains loaded with grain to empty such grain at the location of the assembly 30 whereby to transfer grain to the bins as 31A by conduits as 35D, and, also, for transfer of grain to empty trucks whereby the full cycle of bringing grain to the storage facility and discharging from the storage facility 30 to a transport media as 34A is accomplished. Trucks are illustrated but transport media could be railroad cars as well.

The dryer assembly 33 comprises a vertically extending interior chamber 40, in an exterior housing, 41, and a plurality of grain treatment columns 42 and 42A and heating fan assembly 58 and a cooling fan assembly 59.

Housing 41 comprises vertical front and rear walls 41.1 and 41.2 and vertical left and right side walls 41.3 and 41.4.

The front and rear walls 41.1 and 41.2 of the housing 41 and the left and right columns 42 and 42A define a vertically extending gas input chamber 40. A horizontal imperforate baffle 43 separates the chamber 40 into a lower cooling section 44 and upper drying section 45.

Vertically extending exhaust spaces 46 and 46A are located between the exterior surfaces of the columns 42 and 42A and walls 41.3 and 41.4. Vents 47 and 47A in the upper end of the lateral wall of the housing 41.3

and 41.4 provides for exhaust of moisture laden air. I

Discharge conveyors 48 and 48A at the bottom of the column 42 and 42A, respectively, discharge the treated grain into the boot or feed of the return conveyor 36, and are variable speed helical augers.

A garner bin 57 is located between walls 41.1, 41.2, 41.3 and 41.4 at the top of the columns 42 and 42A and the imperforate floor 57.1 thereof provides for distribution of the grain therein to the top of each of the col umns 42A and 42. The heater and fan assembly 58 comprises a heater fan 58.1, a heater 58.2 and a duct 58.3 with a discharge opening 58.4 in wall 41.2 operatively connected so that the discharge duct opening thereof enters the dryer section 45 of the air chamber above the baffle 43; a cooling fan assembly 59 comprising a fan 59.1 and aduct 59.2 with an opening 59.3 is arranged with its discharge duct 59.3 entering the chamber 40 below the baffle 43 in the cooling section 44 of the chamber 40 at the bottom end of wall 41.2 as in FIG. 3.

The column 42 comprises a rigid open frame 25 composed of rigid spaced apart vertical members 26, 26' rigid spaced apart horizontal members as 27 and 27 firmly joined together and defining grid frame spaces as 28 on inside and 29 on outside perforate flat inlet grid 52 in spaces 28, perforate flat outlet grid 53 in spaces 29 and turning sections 50, 150, and 250.

The frame 25 is a rigid frame extending vertically and located within the housing 41, the frame supports in the spaces at its interior face the inlet grid 52 and at its outer side the outlet grid 53. The inlet grid and outlet grid are parallel to each other and in combination with the walls 41.1 and 41.2 of the housing 41, provides a grain space 54 of rectangular cross section within each column where through grain passes to be treated by warmed air or cool air from fans 58.1 and 59.1.

The column 42A comprises a rigid open frame 25A composed of rigid spaced apart vertical members 26A, rigid spaced apart horizontal members 27A firmly joined together and defining grid frame spaces as 28A on inside and 29A on outside perforate flat inlet grid 52 in space 28A, perforate flat outlet grid 53A in space 29 and turning sections 50A, 150A, and 250A.

The frame 25A is a rigid frame extending vertically and located within the housing 41, the frame supports in the spaces at its interior face the inlet grid 52A and at its outer side the outlet grid 53A. The inlet grid and outlet grid are parallel to each other and in combination with the walls 41.1 and 41.2 of the housing 41, provides a grain space 54A of rectangular cross section within each column where through grain passes to be treated by warmed air or cool air from fans 58.1 and 59.1.

The columns 42A and 42 are mirror image alike structures. Each column as 42 is composed of a plurality of like column segments 49, 149, 249 and 349 and like turn assemblies 50, 150 and 250, with the turn assemblies located between the column sections (as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 22) and screens 52 and 53 and supported on frame 25 members as 26 and 27.

Column 42 comprises a central portion 42.3, a front portion 42.1 and a rear portion 42.2 each formed of like units. Portion 42.1 is composed of the front grain column segment portions 49.1, 149.1 and 249.1 and 349.1 and turn units 50.1, 150.1 and 250.1.

In rear column portions 42.2 are similarly located the rear turn elements 50.2, 150.2 and 250.2 and the rear grain column segment portions 49.2, 149.2, 249.2 and 349.2 therebetween and in central portion 42.3 are located the central turn elements 50.3, 150.3 and 250.3 and the central grain column segment portions 49.3, 149.3 and 249.3 therebetween and 349.3 therebelow.

The turning assemblies 50, 150 and 250 are like in construction; the description accordingly given for assembly 50 applies to 150 and 150; however, the parts of assembly 150 are given referent numerals units higher than the referent numerals applied to the corresponding parts of unit 50, while the structure parts in unit 250 corresponding to the similar structures in assembly 50 are given referent numerals 200 units higher than the corresponding referent numerals for corresponding parts in unit 50.

One turning assembly 50 is located between the baffle 43 and the bottom 57.1 of garner bin 57 (the bottom 57.1 is the same as the roof of the drying or heating section 45 of gas input chamber 40) with the top of such assembly 50 one-third of the distance between bottom of the gamer bin and the top of the baffle 43; another assembly is located with its top two-thirds of the distance between bottom of the gamer bin and the top of the baffle 43.

Each turning assembly 50 is composed of three structurally identical units 50.1, 50.2, 50.3 arrayed side by side as shown in FIG. 2. Each unit as 50.3 is composed of a pair of identical sub-units 55 and 56 with a common median plate 68 adjacent portions of screens 52 and 53 and plates 69.1 and 69.2.

Assemblies 50.1, 50.2, 50.1A and 50.2A and 50.3A are identical to 50.3 as are all the turn assemblies of assembly 33.

Each column segment as 49, 149 and 249 comprises the grids or screens 52 and 53 and the horizontal and vertical members of frame 25 forming a vertical rectangular sectioned rigid perforate container for a portion of the grain space 54. The column segments have the same rectangular interior cross section as the exterior cross section of units 50, 150 and 250. Each segment, as 49, comprises a central portion (as 49.3), a front portion (as 49.1) and a rear portion (as 49.2) each of same horizontal rectangular cross section, and the same horizontal rectangular cross section as the turn assembly units in vertical line therewith (as 50.3, 150.3, 250.3, respectively).

In the following description of unit 50.3, the term central means in the direction of arrow 81 towards the central plate 68 of unit 50 (while forward and rearward are as shown in FIG. 2) lateral means in a direction away from the median plate 68, as shown by arrows 82 and 83; right and left are as shown by arrows 83 and 84, respectively, inward refers to direction of arrow 85 of FIG. 5 or movement toward chamber 40 from space 46 while outward, as shown by arrow 86 of FIG. 5 and means toward space 46 from chamber 40.

The referent numerals l01-126 refer to the points of intersection of edges or unit 50. Two of such points identify each of the lines and edges in FIGS. 4 and 5, by indicating the line or edge between such points. These points are tabulated in Table I.

Column segment 49 extends from the level or surface at the top of column 42, immediately below garner bin 57 to the top level of the turn unit 50 and segment 149 extends between the turn units 50 and 150 from a few inches below the bottom of the upper turn unit (as points 1111 of unit 50.3) to the top level of the next turn unit 150. The top level of each turn unit, as 503, is a horizontal plane in which points as 106, 107, 108, I09, I25, I26 and 128 are located.

The right unit 56 comprises, in operative combination, a right upper lateral centrally sloped rigid flat smooth surfaced panel 61, a vertical right transverse triangular rigid flat smooth surface panel 62, an upper rear central laterally sloped rigid flat smooth surface panel 63, a rigid vertical right median panel 64, a lower right lateral inwardly sloped rigid flat smooth surfaced panel 65 and a lower right central outwardly sloped rigid flat smooth surfaced panel 66 firmly joined as shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6. As also shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, the left turn unit 55 of unit 50.3 is composed of a left upper inner central laterally sloped panel 71 operatively connected at its bottom to the top of a vertically disposed left transverse rectangular panel 74 and a vertical left transverse triangular rigid flat smooth panel 72. The bottom of panels 72 and 74 are each firmly attached to panel 74. The top of panel 74 is also firmly attached at its top to an upper rear lateral centrally sloped flat smooth surfaced panel 73. The panel 71 is attached at its bottom edge to the inner half of the top edge of the vertical left median panel 74; the bottom edge of panel 73 is attached to the rear half of the top edge of panel 74; left lateral outwardly sloped panel 76 and a left forwardly sloped panel 75 are firmly attached to the lower sloped edge of panel 74.

A right lateral support panel 67 is firmly attached to the lateral edge of the lower right lateral sloped panel 65.

A left lateral support panel 77 is firmly attached to the lateral edge of the lower left lateral sloped panel 76.

The panels as 76 and 66 serve to support each unit as 50 on the horizontal frame members as 27 of the frame 51 of assembly 33. Panels 61, 63, 71 and 73 are of equal size and have the same rectangular shape, rigidity, thickness and surface smoothness; also, panels 65, 66, 75 and 76 are all of the same size and shape, rigidity, thickness and surface smoothness. Panels 72 and 62 are of the same size and shape and panels 64 and 74 are of the same size and shape. The top edges of panels 65, 66, 75 and 76 lie in the same horizontal plane and the bottom edges of panels 65, 66, 75 and 76 are colinear and straight. Panel material is l/l6-inch imperforate steel sheet but may use screening at panels 62, 72, 69.l and 69.2, as shown in FIG. 4 also impervious to the grain treated.

The installation 30 provides a system for the process of grain drying hereinabove described using the turning apparatus as 50 constructed and arrayed as above described. Grain dryer 33 is an improved column grain dryer: the essential elements thereof are herein described in adequate detail for one of ordinary skill in the art to construct and use the apparatus and process according to this invention; details of the conventional structures in dryer 33 are set out in available literature and patents such as in Schanzer Co. Bulletins and handbooks. As the improvement provided by this invention lies in the structure of plurality of turning units as 50 and the operations therein and the operation of the system resulting from the use of such units, such structure and operation are set out in detail needed for one skilled in the grain dryer art to make and use such apparatus system and process.

In the overall operation of installation 30, grain stored in the bins 31A-G is tested and is passed into the grain garner bin 57 and slowly moves downwardly through the columns 42 and 42A to the discharge augers 48 and 48A at a rate controlled by the rate of discharge of the discharge augers. Between the bottom of the garner bin and the top of each section as 50, and between each of the turning sections 50 and 150 and between turning sections 150 and 250 and between section 250 and discharge auger 48, the particles of the grain moves through grain column portions as 49, 149, 249 and 349, at a steady rate (of one-fourth to onehalf) inches per second downward through the columns 42 and 42A, depending on the setting of the rate of speed of the discharge angers as 48 and 48A and gates therefor.

During the downward travel of the grain through the columns 42 and 42A, the hot air from the heating fan assembly 58 passes into the zone 45 and then through the screens 52 and 52A through a mass of the grain 80 to and through screen 53 and 53A, respectively, to the exhaust spaces 46 and 46A and outwardly through the vents 47 and 47A. As the grain moves in columns 42 and 42A downwardly past the level of the baffle 43, the cool air in the cooling section space 44, passed thereto by the cooling fan assembly 59, passes through the inlet grid screen 52 and 52A to the spaces 46 and 46A, respectively.

In operation of apparatus 33 on downward motion of the grain in each portion, as 42.0 of each column as 42, all of such grain particles moves in parallel vertical rec tilinear paths in the vertically sequentially arrayed column portions as 49, 149 and 249, which column portions are located between the turn units 50, 150 and 250 and above turn unit 50 and below turn unit 250.

In each straight column segment, as 49, 149 and 249 and 349, representative adjacent grains, as 181l87 of mass 80 are diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 23. In FIG. 23, reference points 191-197 define corner points of a rectangular prism 200 surrounding those grains 181-187 for purpose of defining direction of movement of gas past such grains. A horizontal plane 188 is located at the level of points of contact between particles that are located one above the other, as grain 181 over grain 183, and as grain 182 over grain 184 and as grain 186 over grain 185. The vertical plane 199 is is parallel to inner grid or screen 52, while vertical plane 198 is perpendicular to inner grid or screen 52 and also perpendicular to plane 199. Adjacent particles at the same vertical level and distance from grid 52 as 181 and 182 and as 183 and 184 and as 186 and 187 are in contact at points generally located between the centers of such grains along the direction of or parallel to the line between points 191 and 192 while adjacent grain particles as 181 and 186 and as 182 and 187 are in contact at points between the center of such grains and along the direction of the line between points 191 and 195, or parallel to such lines.

The vertical spacing between edge 123-124 above the edge 118-119 of panel 117 and rigid wall structure and horizontal space between panels 74 and 68 (edge 104-105 and 102-103 of unit 56) of unit 50 and units 50.1, 50.2, 150, 250, 50A, 150A and 250A) provide vertical support for the mass of grain above the level defined by the edges as 125-126 and 108-109 of unit 50.3. Thereby, unit 50.3 and the like units of apparatus 33 (50.1, 50.2, 50A, 150, 150A, 250, 250A) provide for an even rate of flow below the horizontal level of edges as 104-105, 105-110 (and 123-124 and 123-122) while the absence of constricted cross sec tional area as shown in FIG. 21 to the downward passing of the grain through each unit as 55 and 56 of each assembly as 50.3 in assembly 33 prevents jamming of the grain and allows for smooth passage and control of the rate of flow of grain passing through each entire column as 42 by the rate of discharge of the auger, as 48, therefor.

In operation of the apparatus 33, as illustrated in FIG. 23, the outward passage of hot air parallel to bin 192-196 and 191-195 from space 45 and heater assembly 59 normal or perpendicular to plane 199 is blocked in zones 49, 149 and 249, as well as 349, of each column as 42 from reaching the portions of grains as 185, 186 and 187 facing planes as 199 and outward of other grains as 183, 181 and 182, respectively, which are closer to the inner grid or screen 52, except as below described in regard to surfaces 91-94. Similarly, those surface portions of each portion of grain mass outward of particles as 185, 186 and 187 whose surfaces are substantially parallel to the plane 199 have their access to air passing through the mass 80 perpendicular to the inner screen or grid 52 similarly blocked by grains as 185, 186, 187 and 181-184 located between such grains and the grid 52.

As shown in FIG. 22, the outer portion 80.2 of the grain mass 80 in the grain space 54 of column 42 is the portion thereof adjacent to grid 53 above unit 50. When the mass of grain 42.3 moves downward past edges as 125-106 and then passes below edge 106-123 of panel 71 (like edge 105-108 of panel 61 of unit 55 of assembly 50.3) the upper surface 93 of that grain mass is directly exposed to very hot and dry air which passes directly to that upper surface 93 through the grid 52 from space 45. This occurs to all increments of grain in the portion 80.2 during movement of such overall mass of grain 80.2 from its position above units 50.3 and units 50.1 and 50.2 of assembly 50 to their position below assembly 50, as shown in FIG. 22. Thereby, the surface of all such grain particles as (181-187) are exposed to air passing parallel to the plane 199 when the upper surface of each increment of the mass of grain 80.2 is so exposed as at position 193, as shown in FIG. 22; the portions of mass 80.2 are thus exposed to streams of air passing in the direction of a line extending from points 195 to 197, as shown in FIG. 23 as each increment of grain of mass 80.2 passes through a surface as 91 and 93.

Additionally, the inner portion 80.1 of the grain on each column as 42 of apparatus 33, is the portion of grain mass in grain space 54 of column 42 adjacent to grid 52 above the unit 50, as shown in FIG. 22; when such mass 80.1 passes below the outer edge of panel as 171 (corresponding to edge 106-123 of panel'71 of unit 55 of assembly 50.3) the upper surface 193 of such grain mass is exposed to air passing outwardly through grid 52 during movement of the grain mass 80.1 from the position thereof above unit 150.3 of assembly to a position below unit 150.3 thereby the surfaces parallel to plane 199 of all such grain in mass as 181-187 of FIG. 23 are directly exposed to air passing therethrough in the direction of points 195 to 197 and parallel thereto and are perpendicular to planes 188.

Thereby, according to the apparatus and process of this invention, while the grain mass as 80 of each column as 42 may beregarded as having, above unit 50, one portion 80.1 adjacent grid 52 and another rear portion adjacent grid 53, both portions are exposed to the flow of drying air through the interstitial spaces between contact points thereof along three mutually perpendicular planes 188, 198 and 199 whereby all substantial surface portions of grain are directly and effectively contacted by the hot drying gas in their passage through the column as 42 of apparatus 33.

The grain moves smoothly along like air contacting surface planes as 91 and 93 and 191 and 291 at an angle, of about 40, which angle is determined by the angle of repose of the mass of grain as 80 as the downward velociity of such mass of grain is so very slow, as controlled by augers as 48.

On movement of the grain downward through the column as 42 at the particular low speeds for the preferred embodiment and with the dimensions of units as 50.3 the portions of the grain located at different positions at the top surface of each turning element, as shown in FIGS. 12-20, change their position in the grain column, as shown for one, central, portion of the column 42.3 in which portion are located assemblies 50.3, 150.3, 250.3 and the grain column portions 49, 149 249 therebetween from the numbered positions therefor shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 to the position shown in FIGS. 16 and 15, respectively, on passage through unit 50.3 and thence to the numbered positions thereof shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, respectively, on passage through unit 150.3 and then to the position thereof shown in FIGS. 20 and 19 on passage through unit 250.3. Accordingly, such motion, through each two units in tandem as 50.3 and 150.3 of each assembly as 50 and 150, provide for a change of orientation of the grain particles relative to their vertical axis and thereby incease the effectiveness of contact of the air stream passing through grid 52 and the grain mass between grids 52 and 53 although not as regularly as the surface contact provided by the change in relative planes of gas movement at surfaces 93 and 91 provided by the vertically arrayed cooperative units as 50.3 and 150.3 (and others in units 50, and 250). However, the movement effected in these pairs of units as 50.3 and 150.3 are cooperative and additive and accordingly particularly effective to expose all surface of the grains in mass 80 to the air. The samemovement and relation is shown for portions 42.3 apply to the other vertical portions of column 42, Le. the portions 42.1 and 42.2 and, likewise, the corresponding portions of column 42A.

The air flow, as 97, through surface as 93 like flow as 97' in unit 150 in like zones (193 in unit 150 and 97" on unit 250) is far greater than air flow, as 98, through column portions as 49 and like air flow velocities through similar full thickness flow through column 42 (through segment 98 through 149 and 98" through 249 and 349). The flow through cavities as 99 and 99' and 199 above surfaces as 96 and 95 and 196 (below panel 75 and 65 and 175, respectively) and like zones in other units as 50.3 in the assembly 33 does not provide contact of hottest driest gases with moist cool surfaces as occurs at surfaces as 93; however, the voids as 99 between surfaces as 96 and panel 75 do provide for some increased rate of flow of air or gas streams as 99A and 199A and 299A.

The first turn assembly units 50.1 and 50.2 and 50.3 and units of assembly 50A serve to remove the grain as 80.2 initially adjacent the inner screen or grid 52 and partially dried by gas streams as 98 in its passage from level 13A to the top of assembly 50 from such a lengthy exposure to the hot heating andldrying gases from assembly 59 as would carmelize portions of that grain in the column portion 42 of apparatus 33 adjacent grid 52 and also serves to expose at surface 93 surfaces of the grain mass 80.1 not therefore directly exposed to the hot dry air.

The units of second turn assembly 150 and 150.A corresponding to units 50.1, 50.2, 50.3 of assembly 50 serve not only to remove the grain mass 80.1 from undue lengthy exposure to the hot heating and drying gases as could carmelize that portion of the grain in segment 149 of columns 42 and like portion of column 42A but also such second turn effectively exposes to the very slow moving gases passing through the columns 42 (and 42A) all surfaces of the grain particles forming portion as 80.2 of the grain mass 80 as above described in regard to actions of surfaces 91, 93, 191, and 291.

The exposure to heating gas on such downward motion is sufficiently effective that the moisture diffusion which occurs from the interior of the grain particles effectively removes so much of the moisture in the grain particles as to permit such grain particles after such treatment in dryer 33 to be stored in bins as 31A-G without deterioration as occurs from excessive moisture content and consequent biochemical action and heating at localized points at which localized high moisture content would otherwise exist. The danger and harm to even small zones of high moisture content is that the sequence of such a content followed by biochemical action followed by heating further provides that the resultant localized heating at one small initial zone of grain at such high moisture condition causes biochemical action and further heating in the volume of grain adjacent to such one small initial point and zone. The raised temperature of the larger resulting zone similarly causes sequential heating and quality deterioration in neighboring zones ofthe grain mass in the bins, as 31A-G; however, by the improved removal of moisture provided by this apparatus and process, such initial development of such initial zones is substantially inhibited and substantially prevented.

Such improved exposure of this procoess results in removal of additional moisture from the grain at low temperature and lowers the frequency of needed recycling of the grain in the bins 31A-31G of the installation 30 to the dryer 33; alternatively phrased, the same dryer 33 with the plurality and sequence of turning assemblies as 50, 150, 250 provided in the columns as 42 and 42A thereof, effectively treats a larger volume of the same grain than would otherwise be treated in such columns with the same heating and cooling assemblies 58 and 59 or more effectively and efficiently treats the same volume of such grain with the same heat and air flow input.

The quantitative effect of the flow above and into the through surfaces as 93 and 91 in units as 50 towards and through screen or grid 53 is very substantial; for example, with a particular installation as 30 wherein the apparatus 33 has a space 40 that is 9 feet wide and 60 feet high, with 12 feet long column segments 49 and 149 and 45 feet from top of column 42 to baffle 43 and 12 feet from bottom of space 45 to baffle 43 with center of assembly 250 6 feet below baffle 43 using 3 like units as 50.1, 50.2 and 50.3 to form each unit as 50 (50A, 150A, 250, 250A, etc.) of dimensions as set out in Table II and grids 52 and 53, each being of a screen opening size of% by V8 with 1/64 inch wire and a pressure differential of one inch of water in the zones 40 and 45 over the pressure in zone 46 treating corn grains and measuring air f1ow rates by the angle of quilting thread in zone 46 an air flow rate of 4 to 6 times the average air flow through segments 49, 149, 249 exists during operation of the apparatus 33 at zones between plates 74 and 68 of units as 50.3 below panels as 71 and also lateral or rightwards of plates as 64 and below the location of panel 61 which corresponds to the lowered thickness of the mass of grain thereat as shown in FIG. 22 and the lowered resistance to air flow through mass near zone surface as 93 as above discussed.

Savings in grain treatment cost by the above process have been and are substantial. At the one installation as above described, treating corn wherein assemblies 58 and 58, without assemblies as 50, 150, 250, 50A,

150A and 250A, produced 92,000 cubic feet per minute and used 18,000,000 B.T.U. per hour for adequate drying of a throughput of 1,500 bushels per hour and used input temperature of 250F, the same drying result (tested by same moisture test at the discharge of auger 48) was obtained using only 12,000,000 B.T.U. per hour and input gases temperature of 140-150F. Edges 108 and 109 and 125-126 and 112-101 and 115-117 of units as 50.3 extend to and are firmly attached to vertical and horizontal members of column frame 25 and extend between and contact screens 52 and 53. Edges between points 126-124-118-119- 107-104-103-102 contact screen 52 while edge between points 109-110-121-120-128-122, 117-116 contact screen 53.

TABLE I EDGES OF PANELS OF TURNING UNIT 50 TABLE l-Continued EDGES OF PANELS OF TURNING UNIT 50 Edges Panel No. Top Inner Outer Bottom & 120-113 7| 106-128 106-123 128-122 123-122 72 125-128 106-123" & 125-123'- 73 125-126 126-124 123-125 124-123 74 124-122 118-114 122-117 117-114 & 114-118" 75 118-119 118-114 119-113 114-118 76 116-117 116-117 115-114 115-114 77 116 (p) 116-127 116-115 115-127 LEGEND:

" Point Central Lateral lnner Outer TABLE II MEASUREMENTS OF UN1T 50.3

From To Distance Point 108 Point 109 Point 106 Point 107 6 inches Point 106 Point 128 Point 126 Point 125 Edge 104-110 Point 111 11 inches Edge 122-124 Point 114 Edge 104-110 Point 103 l inches Edge 122-124 Point 118 Edge 107-128 Point 113 22 inches Point 125 Point 109 34%inches Points 106, 107, 108, 109, 125, 126 and 128 are all on same horizontal plane.

Rigid end rectangular end panels as 69.1 and 69.2 may be screens as 52 and 53 or imperforate panels as 68 and are located between each unit as 50.3 and units as 50.1 and 50.2 adjacent thereto and extend as a rectangular shape from screen 52 to screen 53 and from level of edges as 108-109 to level of 112-101 and from level of edges 126-125 to level of 115-127 and are there firmly held in place by and attached to frame 25.

The rate of discharge control from each column as 42 is controlled by an auger as 48 but is also adjusted by the adjustable gate 54.5 held by a bracket 54.4 which is adjusted by a screw as 54.2 by turning its handle 54.3, the screw being supported on a bracket as 54.1 of the frame 25 as shown diagrammatically in FIG. 22.

I claim:

1. In a grain drier comprising a plurality of grain columns, each of said grain columns comprising an interior vertical perforated grid and an exterior perforated vertical grid parallel thereto with a space therebetween through which grain is moved, a hot air space between the interior grids of said columns, a heater and a fan assembly connected to said hot air space, said grids including perforations sufficiently large to allow air to pass therethrough freely and small enough to retain grain therein, a grain feeding means at the top of each of said columns and a discharge means at the bottom of each said column, the improvement which comprises a plurality of like grain distribution units in .each column adjacent said hot air space, one such like grain distribution vertically above the other, each such grain distribution unit extending from its front edge adjacent to the interior grid of one of such grain columns to its rear edge at the exterior grid of said grain column, each said distribution unit comprising six firmly joined together rigid panels all impervious to said grain as follows:

i. a first flat rigid panel sloped in a downwardly and first sideways direction, said first sideways direction extending in a first vertical transverse plane, said first flat panel being sloped in said first direction at an angle to the horizontal greater than the angle of repose of said grain and said first panel having a straight horizontal bottom edge and a straight horizontal top edge parallel thereto, and parallel straight sideways and downwardly sloped front and rear edges, each such first panel front and rear edge being perpendicular to said top and bottom edges of said first panel;

. a second flat rigid panel sloped downwardly in a second, forward, direction, said second direction extending in a second vertical plane transverse to said first vertical plane,

ii. said second panel having a straight top horizontal edge and a straight horizontal bottom edge parallel thereto and parallel straight downwardly and forwardly sloped left and right side edges,

each side edge perpendicular to said top and bottom edges of said second panel;

iii. said top horizontal edge of said second panel being located in the same flat vertical plane as the rear edge of said first panel and the bottom edge of the second panel is at a vertical height which is above the intersection of a straight line extension in the plane of the rear edge of the first panel and plane of the first panel rear edge with the vertical plane in which the right edge of said second panel lies, and the top horizontal edge of said second panel is at a vertical height no higher than the level at which a straight line intersecting the top edge of the first panel and lying in the fiat vertical plane including said top edge of said second panel, and which straight line is at an angle to the horizontal equal to the angle of repose of said grain, intersects the vertical plane in which the right edge of said second panel lies;

i. a third flat panel sloped in a downwardly and third sideways direction at an angle in excess of the angle of repose of the grain, said third direction extending in a third vertical transverse plane parallel to said first vertical transverse plane, said third flat panel being downwardly sloped in said third direction at an angle to the horizontal which angle is the same in amount as the angle to the horizontal exhibited by said first flat panel;

ii. said third panel having a straight horizontal bottom edge and a straight horizontal top edge parallel thereto and having parallel straight sloped front and rear edges, each said front and rear edge being perpendicular to said top and bottom edges of said third panel;

iii. said bottom edge of said third panel being colinear with the bottom edge of the first panel, said top edge of said first panel and the top edge of 13 said third panel being co-planar on the same horizontal plane, the right hand side edge of the second panel and the top edge of said third panel lying in the same flat vertical plane;

i. a fourth rigid flat panel sloped downwardly in a fourth, rearward, direction, said fourth direction extending in a fourth vertical plane transverse to said first and third vertical planes;

ii. said fourth panel having a straight top horizontal edge and a straight horizontal bottom edge parallel thereto and parallel rearwardly sloped left and right side edges, each said side edge perpendicular to said top and bottom edges of said fourth panel;

iii. said bottom edge of said fourth panel and said bottom edge of said second panel being parallel to each other and co-linear, said top horizontal edge of said fourth panel being located in the same flat horizontal plane as the top horizontal edge ofthe second panel and in the same vertical plane as the front edge of the third panel and said top edge of said fourth panel extending leftward of a vertical plane in which the bottom edge of the first and third panel lies by the same amount as the top horizontal edge of the second panel extends to the right thereof;

e. a fifth vertical triangular panel having a top edge and two adjoined bottom edges and a bottom vertex, the top edge extending from and firmly joined to the front end of the top edge of the first panel and the rear end of the top edge of the third panel and one of the side edges of said fifth panel is firmly attached to and extends from said front end of the top edge of the first panel along the front edge of the first panel to said bottom vertex and the other side edge of the fifth panel extends from said bottom vertex along the rear side edge of the third panel to the top edge of said third panel, said bottom edges being firmly joined to said side edges along the length thereof and in fixed position relative thereto;

f. a sixth vertical rigid panel having atop edge, a front vertical edge and a rear vertical edge and front and rear sloped bottom edges, said top edge being straight and in firm contact with and joined to the bottom edges of the first and third panels, the front edge of the sixth panel extending vertically from the front end of the bottom edge of the third panel to the right hand end of the top edge of the fourth panel and the rear edge ofthe sixth panel extending vertically from the rear end of'the bottom edge of the first panel to the left end of the top edge of the second panel, and the bottom rear sloped edge of the sixth panel being firmly joined to the left side edge of the second panel and the bottom front edge of the sixth panel being firmly joined to the right hand side edge of the fourth panel.

2. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein a plurality of such like units are located side by side and extend from one side of the grain column to the other and wherein a rigid panel extends from the front of the unit to the rear thereof and from the top edge of the third panel of one such unit vertically to the bottom edge of the second panel of each such unit and thereby separates the space between the second and third panel of one unit from the space between the third and fourth panel of the like unit adjacent thereto.

3. Apparatus as in claim 2 wherein said grain drier comprises a cold air space between the columns and a cooling fan, which fan is operatively connected to said cooling air space and each of a plurality of like distribution units are located in a portion of each grain column adjacent said cold air space vertically below a like distribution unit in said column adjacent said hot air space.

4. Apparatus as in claim 3 in combination with a plurality of bins and grain transfer means, said grain transfer means comprising means for transfering grain from said discharge of said grain drier to said bins and for transfering grain from said bins to said grain feeding means, each of said plurality of bins having a greater interior volume than the exterior column of said grain

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4308669 *May 19, 1980Jan 5, 1982Beard Industries, Inc.Advanced optimum continuous crossflow grain drying and conditioning method
US4888885 *Nov 18, 1987Dec 26, 1989New Hampshire Flakeboard, Inc.Dryer for combustible chip-like material
US5233766 *Jun 5, 1992Aug 10, 1993Frederiksen Wilfred CVertical grain dryer
US5860221 *Oct 17, 1996Jan 19, 1999The Gsi Group, Inc.Metering grain unloader
Classifications
U.S. Classification34/171, 34/498
International ClassificationF26B17/12
Cooperative ClassificationF26B17/122
European ClassificationF26B17/12B