Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2012
Publication Date: 11/15/2012
Citation: Baker, K.D. 2012. Temperature control for seed cotton drying systems. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 28(6):885-890.
Interpretive Summary: In order to improve the effectiveness of cleaning equipment, cotton is generally dried with heated air as it first enters the gin. In order to maintain cotton fiber quality, the temperature of the drying air must be controlled. On-site visits of 20 drying systems in cotton gins were done to check drying system controls in gins in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The location and settings for the temperature controls and sensors were recorded. Air temperatures were measured throughout the drying system over an approximate two hour period at each gin. Data will benefit those who own and operate cotton gins, as well as those who utilize cotton gins, such as cotton growers and millers.
Technical Abstract: In order to validate the recommendations in ASABE standard S530.1, twenty tests were conducted during the ginning seasons of 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 to measure air temperature variation along various heated air seed cotton drying systems. The cooperating cotton gins were located in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and the San Joaquin Valley, California. Drying systems tested included: standard tower, short tower, hot shelf, crossflow, hi-slip, pipe, hot box, fountain, and collider systems. Temperature measurements were taken over a two hour time period at the mixpoint and at various points downstream of the mixpoint. Although there was a significant correlation between mixpoint temperature variation and distance of the primary temperature control sensor from the mixpoint, the recommendations of ASABE standard S530.1, Temperature Sensor Locations for Seed-Cotton Drying Systems, appear to be satisfactory for seed cotton drying systems with well-maintained burners and temperature controls. All systems, but the hot shelf dryer, had the largest temperature drop in the first 2 m (6.5 ft) after the mixpoint. Thus, for all systems, but the hot shelf dryer, locating a temperature control sensor at 2 m past the mixpoint or beyond would achieve satisfactory control.