2012 Annual Report
Optimize energy use and management of the entire ginning system including module protection and hauling, seed cotton drying and moisture restoration, seed cotton and lint cleaning, fiber removal, baling, bale handling and protection, seed handling and use, and byproduct production and use.
Electricity use was monitored in four commercial gins during the 2011-2012 ginning season. Additional monitoring equipment was installed to measure air flows and dryer temperatures at two of these gins. This additional data was used to estimate fuel (liquified petroleum gas) use. One gin used 1.45 Liter/bale(0.38 gallon/bale) for the first stage dryer and 0.32 Liter/bale(0.08 gallon/bale) for the second stage dryer. The other gin required 1.27 Liter/bale(0.34 gallon/bale) for the first stage dryer and did not use the second stage dryer. Dryer fuel use was inversely correlated with processing rate. To reduce the energy required for material handling, machinery was designed and assembled to test the effects of air velocity, material feed rate, and pipe diameter on the pneumatic conveying of seed cotton. A test was conducted to determine the minimum velocity required for conveying seed cotton, using multiple varieties and moisture contents. Static pressure was measured at many points in the conveying system. This data will be investigated to identify variables that can be used in a fan speed control system. This system will reduce air flow when not needed, saving energy and preventing blockages in conveying lines. Because the energy used by centrifugal fans is proportional to the air flow cubed, a small reduction in conveying velocity can result in significant economic savings for gins.
The effect of genetics on ginning study originated as the “ginning efficiency” study when 45 diverse genotypes were screened over two years (2008 and 2009) for ginning energy and ginning rate utilizing a 10-saw lab gin stand and power meter. In that study, large differences were found among genotypes for ginning energy and rate. In 2009, 15 of these genotypes representing a wide range of ginning energy and ginning rate were tested with a pendulum-type fiber-seed attachment force tester. Results of that study showed that ginning energy (not rate) increased as anticipated with fiber-seed attachment force. In 2010, 9 of these genotypes were selected to test for ginning energy and ginning rate in the microgin and with a 10-saw lab gin, and samples were also tested with the fiber-seed attachment force tester. These results are still being studied. Advanced Fiber Information System data showed large differences in seed coat neps which appeared to increase for genotypes with increased ginning energy and fiber-seed attachment force. A “fragile seed” genotype from the Las Cruces Ginning Lab was added to the test. Samples were processed into fabrics and analyzed for seed coat fragments. Seed samples were tested for “seed fragility”. Lint samples collected before and after the lint cleaner were analyzed manually for seed coat fragments, which were retained for microscopic analysis.