BulkTobac developing new fuel-saving technology
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BulkTobac, a tobacco curing equipment manufacturer, announced in July that they are developing a fuel-saving, modulating gas valve.
World Leaf News
The valve will adjust position to compensate for the amount of heat required to give the lowest possible heat input during the curing cycle.
The valve is currently being tested to document the fuel savings with other manufacturersí barns using BulkTobac HeatX heat exchangers.
BulkTobacís variable rate technology allows the grower to adjust the Btu input rate at any time during the cure in order to maximize fuel efficiency. Research has shown that fuel consumption can be reduced substantially by using the proper input or firing rate. This improved efficiency is obtained by reducing the actual gas pressure and hence the input rate, which extends the time the burner is on and lengthens the average cycle time. By lengthening the cycle time, extra fuel is not used to heat up and cool down the heat exchanger too often during the cure.
The chart below shows the effect of firing the burner at full input rate versus firing at half input. In this example, the burner does not need to fire as often, as the heat exchanger is operating on a longer cycle. Experience has shown that the lower firing rate is needed during yellowing, and the highest firing rate will be needed during the leaf drying cycle. In both cases, BulkTobacís variable input rate offers the grower the ability to control the supply of heat throughout the cure.
The results of the field trials will be available from BulkTobac at the end of the year. Growers interested in finding out more about the fuel savings achieved with the modulating gas valve should contact BulkTobac directly for more information.