One of the big hits on big bins is they do not lend themselves to aeration. They’re made for efficient storage of grain that’s already in good condition.
Gavin Green farms near Portreeve in southwestern Saskatchewan, where he has two of those 65-foot tall 50,000 bushel bins. They measure 33 feet in diameter and 65 feet tall.
“I know for a fact that if you put floor aeration in those things and try to pump air all the way up, your grain would rot in the bin for sure. You can’t push air through 65 feet of grain,” Green states emphatically.
With one bin full of durum and the other full of chickpeas last fall, Green took a gamble and bought two horizontal aeration systems from Gary Schreimer at Gatco. At that time, Schreimer had installed fewer than ten of the revolutionary aeration systems, so Green knew he was taking a chance with an unproven product.
“But the idea made sense. For one thing, I can go cheaper on the fan. The general rule is that you need one h.p. of fan power for every thousand bushels of grain with normal aeration.
“That’s a 50 h.p. fan for each bin. If I was to do that, I’d need a tractor standing there at each bin for a month. With this system, I installed just a single 15 h.p. fan on each bin. They’re some kind of high pressure low r.p.m. fan.
“It’s a lot easier to push air 16 feet to the centre than 65 feet to the top. I’ve got three phase power to the bins, so that’s a help.”
Green says that for his smaller bins, the central Grain Air Tubes are sufficient to do the job.
For bigger bins, he says the horizontal system is the best aeration he’s seen.
His system was installed with an eight inch diameter rubber hose manifold running from the fan to the half-dozen cone ports. Green says the hose leaked a lot of air. He thinks that once the metal manifold is installed, the system will be even more efficient.
“But really, I’m not sure if I like the metal manifold either. It would look a lot neater to run my three phase power all the way around the bins and then put a small fan at each of the six ports.”