Pneumatic Assisted Separation - The Combine Forum

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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Pneumatic Assisted Separation

First off, We at Sunnybrook want to say THANK YOU to the owners, operators and Dealership guys that visit this site. Your opinions and support has been a huge part of our success. It's a two way street and we'd like to openly share our R&D, for feedback and opinion.

This summer we will be field testing a couple of prototypes. Although the concept is in no way limited to the Gleaner platform, its' set up/design is most conducive for proving concept. At present, we are generating air flow and pressure curves to correlate to field performance. (patents pending)

Design Summary (measurements approximated):
-raise 3 channels running full length of rotor by 1/2" to increase open area/air flow
-inset discharge endspool of rotor 12"
-cut 3 rectangular openings into rotor skin past endspool corresponding to underside of the 3 channels to be attached
- mount centrifugal fan blades (12" wide) from 5" rotor core to 20" rotor skin to compress and deliver air into the 3 channels.
- modify "stop" sign (combine side panel) to have a 3/4" high ring that overlaps and insets the 24" rotor skin by 1/8". Between the bearing mount and the inner ring, open approx 50%*of the surface so air can be supplied to the cavity inside.
- modify the rotor stub shaft by adding 2 step-downs. 1st is a small step to accommodate the rpm dial, second step down will be to mount a high volume 22" axial fan, delivering air through the stop sign into the centrifugal fan cavity for compression.
-cut a 22" hole in the combine body panel corresponding to the axial fan and mount a safety screen

* air volume and velocity will be regulated by two means. 1) open area of stop sign will be easily adjustable, varying air supplied to centrifugal cavity. Air delivery to crop processor will be controlled by sliding louvers that attach to channels with/without sweeps in place. Prototypes have 7 jets per channel, 3/4" by 4" running axially, corresponding to the positive pressure side of sweeps. Our hopes are that the static/dynamic airflo curves will allow us to pre-set sliding louvers in consideration of head loss along channel length.

any air leakage via stop sign lip into processor will simply increase air flow to discharge paddles. We believe sweeps (with their high pressure and vacuum effect) will be an important consideration in adding air to the separation equation.

I'd like to thank Dan Hurtt and Blaine Allred in advance for stepping into the batter's box for us this summer/fall with their Customers. We frankly couldn't do squat without these guys. Ideas and opinions are great but rubber to the road is crucial.

We'd post pics of progress but come by our booth in Regina in June.

Cat's outta the bag now TBran LOL ! All considered, this is a very simple modification to an existing machine that may yield a significant return for the buck, hopefully saving HP/fuel. The other colors will pose a bit more challenge. At least we'll know if it's worth the effort in 3 months time.

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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 10:50 AM
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Looks interesting!

I saw this on Friday, cutting, dare I say bleeding edge application of ideas.
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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 12:47 PM
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I like the idea of more airflow to assist separation. Some where in the PAMI video archives, Les Hill has slow motion video of an older conventional combine, with a glass side and you can see the action of the MOG / grain on the concave, and how the leading edge or slope of the rasp bar pushed material through the concave, and how the dead air space behind the rasp bar picked up the MOG and fluffed it up for the next rasp bar to work on.

A 20 inch rotor turning at 1000 rpm will use a lot of air !!

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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The closest mechanical representation to what we're testing with the 2 stage compressor is a "turbojet by-pass" system. That's the loud noise turbo-props make when they use engine power to brake after landing (with prop pitch). Keeping our sense of humor, we hopefully can generate enough air to make the reverse gear on a combine redundant...open the louvers, crank the rotor rpm and your feederhouse becomes a jet exhaust LOL. We're just not in their league in rotational speed unfortunately.

What needs to be determined is what velocity (or ranges) of air can make an impact. That's a function of the relationship between tip speed of the rotor 35-80 mph, circumferential distance between rasp bars and air velocity at or near the orifice. In testing, we're peasants compared to the resources the big guys have at their disposal. Mounting three anemometers on dial indicator magnetic pedestals on our dynamic balancing test bed is the best we can do. This limits all our air velocity at orifice to static testing (adding air via shop compressed air), dynamic measurements are done outside rasp bar swing. Hopefully that's better than guessing. It can tell us the general curve shapes. From there, we can play a bit with where we locate the channels (dead center, closer to leading or trailing edge of rasp bar stand-offs). Is the air stream of most benefit striking the lead face of the stand-off? There in lies all the uncertainty. It is most likely we want the air jet to hit in one place over the concave(s) where threshing is paramount, somewhere else will benefit more in the separation zone?

the old PAMI video you refer to can be viewed slow speed at 1:10 and super slow speed at 1:45 of this video
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 03:13 PM
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That's the one. The old conventional Deere, from 1:45 to 2:15 in the video, demonstrates the principle well. Have that going on all the way around a rotor cage and the increase in separation becomes very significant. A good blast of air in the right direction would aid in separation as well as help the top of the rotor cage to help keep it clean and reduce free grain falling back into the cage.

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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 09:43 AM
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A very interesting idea. I will look forward to seeing more about this. I will say one thought...if in any way your "feederhouse jet idea" actually happens, if pressurizing the rotor actually blows dirt/chaff etc back out the feeder, it would be a very negative selling factor.

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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 10:12 AM
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I do find it interesting watching my neighbors r72 in a dusty crop having as much dust come out the header as the back end starting up to thrash.

Doesn't happen on my rotary with 'screw type compressors'.
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BrianTee View Post
I do find it interesting watching my neighbors r72 in a dusty crop having as much dust come out the header as the back end starting up to thrash.

Doesn't happen on my rotary with 'screw type compressors'.
Remember when we first got a TR70 Brian and telling friends about the dust free feeder house, oh sure, big deal the general response.
Maybe, it's nice though.
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Jeff: adding sweeps that move air to the discharge (screw pump) and employ SOME air where most beneficial may prevent this occurance.
There is no reward without risk as all sowers of seed know well.
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 05:49 PM
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It will be interesting to see how it goes. All the best with it

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