Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2004
Publication Date: 6/12/2004
Citation: Byler, R.K., Anthony, W.S. 2004. Module bottom moisture content indicating sensor - progress report. In: Proceedings of the National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference, January 4-6, 2004, San Antonio, Texas. CD ROM p. 3049-3054.
Interpretive Summary: After cotton is picked mechanically it is formed into modules containing roughly 22,000 pounds of seed cotton. The cotton in these modules is usually dry enough for safe storage requiring limited heat for drying at the gin, but occasionally the modules are built in low lying locations and rain causes the bottom several inches to become very wet. Automated drying systems typically respond to the average moisture content of the cotton and will keep the drying temperature low when dry modules with wet bottoms are encountered. This situation often results in choking of the gin stand and significantly decreases the efficiency of ginning and the value of automated drying control. An electronic system to detect wet seed cotton on the bottom of the module was designed, installed, tested, calibrated, and successfully used in a commercial gin. This technology will help prevent downtime at the gin, reduce wasted heating energy, and help maintain the fiber qualities of fiber length and length uniformity.
Technical Abstract: Most seed cotton is harvested at a moisture content suitable for storage and is stored in modules before it is ginned. Sometimes these modules are located where they are flooded during rain storms and the bottom several inches become very wet. Automated drying control systems set the drying temperature based on an estimation of the overall moisture content of the seed cotton. Therefore, the extremely wet cotton on the bottom of the module can get to the gin stand with little drying. A sensor to detect the moisture content of the seed cotton on the bottom of the module was designed, installed, and operated for six ginning seasons. This system can alert the ginner to the problem or can automatically set the burner temperatures higher than needed for normal ginning.