Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2000
Publication Date: 6/30/2000
Citation: Moody, F.H., Wilkerson, J.B., Hart, W.E., Goodwin, U.E., Funk, P.A. 2000. Non-Intrusive Flow Rate Sensor For Harvester and Gin Applications. Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 410-415. Interpretive Summary: GPS-based yield mapping has reduced production costs and chemical usage for many crops. For cotton growers to benefit from this technology, a reliable measure of cotton mass flow (yield) is needed that will work on the harvester. Automation in cotton gins has improved fiber quality and reduced production costs. An important input to further automate cotton gins is also mass flow rate. Both of these needs require measuring the mass flow rate in real time. Both of these needs can be met with the developed sensor. Light beams sense the amount of cotton present without interrupting its flow.
Technical Abstract: An optically-based system for measuring cotton flow rate has been designed. Prototypes were tested in both harvester and gin applications. Accuracy was documented by comparing actual and predicted load weights. The system predicted harvester load weights with an average absolute error of 4.7 percent. Accuracy in the gin was similar with an average absolute error of 3.4 percent. The technology has been patented and transferred to industry for mobile equipment applications