OPI’s remote fan control can reduce run times up to 80%

Rising energy costs and thin margins mean you need a grain management solution that’s going to put money back into your pocket.

OPIsystems Inc. knows that farmers need efficiencies, and as such have designed a new wireless monitoring system to include automated remote fan technology that can reduce run times by up to 80%.

Before automated fan control, many famers had their fans running all the time. That is not only inefficient and costly from an energy perspective, but it creates the potential for over-drying and in-turn hurting bottom lines when it came time to sell.

OPI’s systems such as IntegrisPro and OPI Blue feature remote fan control that takes the guesswork out of runtimes by only turning on fans when they drive toward your desired moisture and temperature targets. In OPI Blue’s case, it does this through a gateway that collects data wirelessly from cable nodes in the bins and then sends commands to a fan node and radio that remotely controls the fans.

The decision on when to turn on the fans is determined by two distinct fan control algorithms: grain aeration, which typically happens immediately after it comes off the field and focuses on cooling and conditioning grain to a uniform temperature throughout the bin; and natural air drying, which involves removing moisture to get to a grain’s equilibrium moisture content (EMC).

With OPI Blue, you enter the grain type, EMC and target window. As an example, if it’s canola, you might want to hit 10% moisture with a target window of +3% and -2%, as well as 10°C/50°F, with a window of plus or minus 6°C/43°F.

The system is going to turn the fans on when it’s within that operating window to drive toward the target of 10% and 10°C/50°F, as you get closer, you will end up shrinking the operating window until you finally achieve your target EMC.

OPI’s automated fan control also allows you to create a rate of rise temperature set points based on our commodity requirements. If the temperature measured by any sensor exceeds a threshold you set, it triggers an alarm and alerts you via email or SMS. This early-warning sign allows you the time to act before spoilage occurs. Giving you the ability deal with an issue before it becomes a problem.

This will also help you realize decreased utility costs through reduced energy consumption. This increased efficiency hits your bottom line by saving you money that would have otherwise been spent running your fans at inopportune times.

The cost of electricity used by bins fans can be estimated by multiplying the number of hours each motor runs by 85% of the horsepower rating of each motor, and then by the cost per kw/h of electricity used. For example, operating a 20-horsepower fan for 700 hours at 12 cents per kw/h (20 x 85 x 700 x 0.12) costs $142.80 per bin. For 10 bins, that’s $1,428 per season.

For more information on how you can benefit from an OPI system, contact your local OPI dealer or call us toll free at 1-800-661-1055.