A few people using aeration bins may be content just to confirm some airflow is coming out the top, but getting an adequate volume of air moving through the grain is critical to ensure efficient drying. Determining how many cubic feet of air per minute (CFM) is actually moving through any bin, though, depends on a variety of factors, including how much grain is in it. Getting an accurate picture of what that flow is can sometimes be a little complicated.
That’s what motivated Glen and Michael Wilde of Cudworth, Saskatchewan, to create their own pressure gauges with faces that give plain, easy-to-understand information, allowing a grain hauler to monitor real CFM data at a glance while filling aeration bins. With that information, anyone hauling grain knows when to stop filling a bin, because minimum acceptable airflow has been reached.
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Rather than have a gauge that provides just a technical reading in inches of water, the Wilde Brothers’ gauges have scales on their face that provide CFM data calibrated for specific fan sizes.
“You know by that if you have enough airflow to actually dry the grain,” said Michael, who was showing the new gauge idea at a booth at Manitoba Ag Days in January, along with his brother Glenn.
“We’re grain farmers and we just came up with an idea,” explained Glenn. “It was something that made sense. While you’re filling the bin, you can see exactly what it (airflow) is.”
Glenn and Michael are now selling their gauges to other producers under the name Wilde Ag Ventures.
“We feel it’s a really good idea that should be on every fan, because it’s simple, not technical, just a no-nonsense solution,” he added.
“You put it in the transition going into the bin, then you know what your static pressure is,” Glenn added. “By that you know what your airflow rate is.”
They’re selling the gauges for $35 each. So far, the gauges they’ve made only have scales on their faces that are calibrated for three and five horsepower fans, but they are able to build others to match any fan size if a producer asks for it.
“If you’ve got a 10 horsepower fan, you can give him the make and model number of your fan. He can get them made up,” added Michael, referring to his brother Glenn, who is the engineer.
Says Glenn, “We wanted to get it out into the industry, see if there’s interest, see if the fan companies are interested.”
For more information or to order gauges, contact them by email at [email protected] or call (403) 803-6092.