Control for Forestburg Grain Storage Operations
East Country Electric specializes in designing and building electrical control panels for your grain storage facilities or any other agricultural purpose. ECE electrical control panels are built for you using hard wire rather than printed circuit boards. Printed circuit boards are less expensive to install but if you ever have trouble with a circuit board you need a hard-to-find and more-expensive specialist to fix the problem. With hardwire technology, you can call your local electrician and he can usually locate and fix the problem in a fraction of the time. If repair cost and down time is a concern for you, then hardwire technology is a better way to go.
The East Country Electric installation in Forestburg, Alberta is a prime example of the complexity and simplicity of a control panel in controlling the complicated operation of this grain storage facility.
The control panel at the Forestburg grain storage facility controls the storage and aeration of grain for 20 flat bottom grain bins, 20 electric gates, 20 bin sweeps, 1 grain leg, 13 drag conveyors, 3 safety sensors for each drag conveyor motor, one bucket elevator , 2 overhead surge hopper bins, and one load out incline drag conveyor.
The control panel starts the sequence when a truck drives over the dump grate. In order for the bottom drag conveyor to deliver the grain to the chosen bin for storage, the start-up of the bucket elevator must precede the startup of the drag conveyor, or the unloading grain will have no destination and the drag conveyor will plug. At the same time as the Bucket elevator starts, the operator, located in the control room just off the scale, must choose the bin which will accept the delivery.
The control panel will rotate the grain distributor located at the top of the bucket elevator, to direct the grain to the proper top drag conveyor, and open the appropriate electric gate above the bin that will receive and store the grain. The control panel manages the rotating head at top of elevator that turns so only one spout is open to prevent contamination of products.
Each of the motors that operate the drag conveyors has 3 built-in safety sensors to ensure that the operation runs smoothly and safely. These sensors are in place to guard against chain break, conveyor plug and shaft monitor. If any of these operations fail, the motor shuts down to prevent system damage.
The control panel also operated an aeration fan for each flat bottom grain bin. The system has a package grain moisture monitor built in to each bin with a display in the control center that tells the operator the moisture content of the grain in each bin. If grain has a higher than optimum moisture content, the aeration fans can be turned on from the control panel, or grain with less moisture can be mixed with the grain with higher moisture content to achieve optimum moisture levels for both batches.
Complete load-out of the grain bins is achieved with a bin sweep. The load-out procedure begins with the activation of the auger that runs along the bin floor. Most of the grain in any bin can be removed with just the operation of the auger. The in-bin auger delivers the grain to a bottom drag conveyor that runs along beside each row of bins and takes the grain to an incline drag conveyor that loads the overhead surge bins positioned at the end of each bin row. When the bin is almost empty the bin sweep initiates operation and rotates along the bin floor sweeping up the remaining grain and delivers it to the auger to complete the bin unloading operation.