A new system to remotely monitor and automate grain store ventilation systems has been launched by Evans and Pearce. CropCool Wireless uses the latest technology to autonomously control fans and probes to maintain in-store grain in optimum condition, using ambient air when it is at its coolest and driest to maximise cooling effectiveness and minimise energy consumption. The AHDB recommends 6 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of airflow per tonne of stored crop, says the company, and, even with the correct levels of air it is equally as important to ensure ventilation is well managed, it adds.
Differential temperature control is key to this and with the new technology available, Evans and Pearce is able to bring new levels of sophistication to grain store monitoring and ventilation control. For effective cooling air temperatures need to be 4-6C lower than the crop. CropCool Wireless monitors grain temperature, compares it to ambient air and then decides when the fans should be turned on and off. This will invariably be between 2-6am during early autumn; a time of day when most farmers are not in the grain store but when rapid crop cooling can take place. The HGCA calculates that in some situations differential temperature control can save up to 40% in electricity costs over a manually controlled system.
The beauty of CropCool Wireless, continues the firm, is that it can evolve from a basic monitoring package to a full-blown store control and crop data logging system over time. The wireless temperature probes feed information back to the controller which then coordinates ventilation fans according to temperature and/or humidity. The farmer can build up crop storage trend curves for his ACCS inspection through the Barn Report software which is available for CropCool Wireless. Stores can be monitored remotely from either a PC, tablet or smart phone, the latter with newly developed app. for Apple and Android operating systems. Being modular, CropCool Wireless really is a system for all budgets and expectations, explains Evans and Pearce managing director Rob White. In the coming year we expect to build on its growing reputation here in the UK, helping growers to optimise crop quality and minimise energy use through efficient automated ventilation without the need to be on-site at all times.
CropCool Wireless has a number of key advantages over the other systems currently on the market, he points out:
Modular system running from basic crop temperature sensing to a fully- automated ventilation control set-up with data-logging, the customer can build it up block-by-block, according to budget and expectations
Protected on-site computer controls the system is not exclusively cloud- based so control remains on-site, but monitoring can be remote.
Android/iOS CropCool Wireless can be monitored from a smart phone or tablet via the Crop Cool app