quafeed producers are losingabout $4 to $10 per ton of product produced in terms of lost production, higher energy consump-tion and lowered product quality. Theselosses can be recovered by substitutinga more effective moisture (MC) sensingand control technology for currently usedtraditional MC sensing and control.
The control problem
Two main problems prevent traditionalMC sensing and control technology frombeing effective. Firstly, the lack of timely andaccurate MC data upon which to base con- trol action (poor MC sensing). Secondly, theinability to correctly adjust for evaporativeload changes entering with the feed.Figure 1 shows a typical normal MC dis- tribution curve produced by traditional MCsensing and control technology. The curve isrelatively wide as a result of the effect of highMC standard deviation. It is obvious that thewider the MC variation the lower the targetmean MC must be to prevent production of wet product. Consequently, use of currently available control technology forces manu-facturers to over dry their products whichcauses significant costs in terms of lower production, higher energy usage, and poorer quality. Figure 1 illustrates the effect of poor MC sensing and control on MC variation.The control solutionLosses caused by poor MC sensing andcontrol may be recovered if the MC vari-ation (standard deviation) is reduced such that the mean MC can be maximized with-out exceeding the upper specification limit(USL). Fortunately, a solution for poor MCsensing and control was supplied by the deri-vation of a MC sensing and control modelfrom first principles. The Delta T model:MC = K
relates the product MC exiting a dryer to the temperature drop (ΔT) of hot air after contact with the wet product and theproduction rate or evaporative load (S). Themodel solved the two main problems withMC sensing and control by producing. Firstly,a rugged, reliable ‘inside-the-dryer’ moisturesensor; and secondly, a new and powerfulcontrol algorithm that precisely adjusts theset point for evaporative load changes.
A new type of MC sensor
Figure 2 describes how the Delta T MCsensor continuously measures the MC of aquafeed inside the harsh environment of adryer while it is being dried with a belt dryer.As illustrated by Figure 2, patented DeltaT technology invented a new type MCsensor that can be installed ‘inside-the-dryer’ which reduces the dead time (time to detect a disturbance entering with thefeed) by at least 30 percent. Since dead time is directly proportional to the productstandard deviation, use of this ‘inside-the-dryer’ sensor reduces the standard deviationat least 30 percent below that achieved by
Figure 1: Typical MC distributioncurve produced by poor MCsensing and controlFigure 2: Delta T ‘inside-the-dryer’ MC sensor
by John Robinson, president, Drying Technology Inc, USA
fd milliG tcholoG32 | January - february 2013