Ezee-Dry Is Back
Stormor Ezee-Dry, the first-ever rooftop grain-drying system, is back today, reintroduced with a bushel of design upgrades and targeted for small to midsize farms.
Only two companies design and sell this type of drying system.
“It’s a really inexpensive and efficient way to solve a grain-drying problem,” says Volkan Kebeli of Ag Growth International (AGI) in Winnipeg, Canada.
The largest Ezee-Dry is a 36-foot-diameter bin holding about 25,000 bushels. In one structure, it dries, cools, and stores grain. It holds a 2,100-bushel load in the dryer section. On continuous flow, removing 5% moisture, it will dry about 1,800 bushels per hour. On batch dry, it will dry about 1,400 bushels per hour.
With this unique drying approach, fresh grain is loaded in the top, dried, and dumped into storage below. Heat blows through the grain without fighting high static pressure, which can drop energy use by 40%.
Over several years, Stormor engineers upgraded the original design of the dryer. A new roof structure supports the plenum with fewer pieces. It is easy to assemble, much more rigid, and has 20% to 30% more holding capacity.
Stormor changed the plenum area, the chutes, and the drying system. It has a new setup for fans and heaters. The blowing system is much quieter, more effective, and more energy efficient.
“Now, we can put the fans on the roof, on the eave, or on the ground. We developed our own blower, which is much more energy efficient and quieter than the old blowers. It’s about half the decibels of an axial fan and a quarter of the volume of centrifugal fans,” Kebeli points out.
Dryer operations now are controlled by a touch screen with dial-in remote access. It is tied to sensors for temperature and moisture. It can load or unload, dry batches, do continuous drying or fully automatic drying.
“You don’t have to touch anything on fully automatic operation, or you can design custom programs,” Kebeli explains. “One auger can load, another can unload, while you control both at the screen. You control whether it’s a batch or continuous dry, how fast, automatic or manual. You can control almost the entire system with that panel.”
Agri-Steel Inc., at Lyle, Minnesota, is a leading Ezee-Dry installer in the U.S. “It is a lot more builder-friendly,” says Brian Helle, of Agri-Steel Inc. “There’s a lot more ease to assembly.”
According to Helle, Ezee-Dry is in the same price range as conventional dryers with similar capacity. But when the drying is done, the bin provides grain storage for the rest of the year. As before, the dryer can be used in continuous flow and batch modes.
It may take two hours to dry a batch of grain. On automatic batch or continuous flow, Helle says, a hydraulic cylinder comes out to dump each batch automatically, then closes again.
Helle has seen the system used for drying many crops, including corn, wheat, sunflowers, soybeans, and others.
“With farms getting bigger, it’s common to have two on a farm,” Helle says. “They’re not used as stand-alone bins. A few farms run three Ezee-Dry systems, but they’re moving a lot of bushels. They use them together on the same leg and take away with the same equipment.”
Like a conventional storage bin, Ezee-Dry has a drying floor that needs to be kept clean.
“Dryers built in the 1970s are still being used,” Helle says. “As long as you keep them clean, they are trouble-free.”