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Title:
A CONTINUOUS FLOW BASED SERPENTINE GRAIN MOVEMENT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/074789
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure focuses on compact dryer unit for drying of grains without deteriorating the quality of grains and provides ease in handling transport, maintenance and operation. More specifically the present disclosure relates to the vertical stacking arrangement of conveyors which leads to serpentine movement of grains. The improved conveyor design is simple in construction, and can be easily manufactured, operated, and maintained properly. The conveyor system-based dryer mainly consists of conveyor belt (3) and supporting elements to prevent conveyor grains from sliding down of conveyor belt (3).

Inventors:
GUDDANAHALLI SREENIVAS SRINATH (IN)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2020/059607
Publication Date:
April 22, 2021
Filing Date:
October 13, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GUDDANAHALLI SREENIVAS SRINATH (IN)
International Classes:
A23N12/08; F26B17/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SINGHAL, Gaurav (IN)
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Claims:
We claim:

1. A system (100) for continuous movement of grains for drying the grains comprising:

- one or more conveyor belts (3) placed in a way, so as to allow a plurality of linear paths for continuous movement of the grains, wherein each linear path is substantially in opposite direction with respect to a preceding linear path or a succeeding linear path, wherein the preceding linear path is the linear path traversed by the grain prior to traversing a current linear path, and the succeeding linear path is the linear path to be traversed by the grain after traversing the current linear path.

2. The system (100) according to the claim 1, wherein the linear paths shall be at an angle more than 270 degrees with respect to each other.

3. The system (100) according to any of the claims 1 or 2, wherein the linear paths are placed such that provide movement of the grains along the gravity while transferring from one linear path to another.

4. The system (100) according to any of the claims 1 to 3, wherein at least one of the conveyor belts (3) has two or more runs of the belt, and each run of the conveyor belt (3) defines the linear path for traversing of the grains, wherein a run of the belt is defined as an area of belt between two pulley onto which the conveyor belt (3) is either completely bound, or partially bound, or around which the conveyor belt (3) takes a turn.

5. The system (100) according to the claim 4, wherein the conveyor belt (3) having two or more runs comprises a transferring mechanism which opens up near to one of the pulleys, so as to transfer grains from one run of the belt to a subsequent run of the belt, so as to change succeeding linear paths.

6. The system (100) according to any of the claims 1 to 5, wherein the conveyor belts (3) are placed one over another in a vertical stack up arrangement.

7. The system (100) according to any of the claims 1 to 6, wherein the conveyor belt (3) comprises a support structures (2) to keep the grains in place when the grains are traversing on the conveyor belt (3).

8. The system (100) according to the claim 7, wherein the support structures (2) extend out from conveying surface of the conveyor belt (3).

Description:
TITLE: “A CONTINUOUS FLOW BASED SERPENTINE GRAIN MOVEMENT

SYSTEM”

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[001] The present invention relates generally to the field of agricultural equipment. More specifically, the invention relates to the field of driers used for drying of various agriculture produce. The agriculture produce includes raw, semi- processed and processed commodities like paddy, grains, pulses, cereals, corns, lentils, seeds, vegetables, fruits, nuts, peanuts, peas etc. Particularly, the invention relates to a continuous and a compact system for drying agricultural grains.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[002] Agriculture produce drying is the process of drying agriculture produces to prevent spoilage during storage. There are various existing techniques in prior art that are used for agriculture produce drying. One such technique of drying involves drying under sunlight over a vast patch of prepared land. This technique involves a labor-intensive process utilizing either manual or semi-mechanized means to spread out and subsequently gather back the agriculture produce to and from the open-air drying areas. This is particularly stressful to the workers especially in adverse weather conditions normally found during drying seasons. [003] A conveyor belt is the carrying channel of a belt conveyor system. A belt conveyor system is one of the many types of conveyor systems. A belt conveyor system comprises of two or more pulleys , with an endless loop of the conveyor belt that rotates about them. One or both of the pulleys are powered, moving the belt and the material on the belt forward. The powered pulley is known as drive pulley while the unpowered pulley is named as idler or driven pulley. The industrial classes of belt conveyors is mainly classified in general material handling & agricultural materials such as grain, salt, coal, ore, sand and more.

[004] Grain drying process is accomplished to prevent spoilage of agricultural grains during their storage. Grains such as wheat, corn, soybean, rice and other grains as sorghum, sunflower seeds, rapeseed, barley, oats seeds are dried in grain dryers in hundreds of millions of tons. A grain drying equipment uses fuel- or electric -powered source for functioning. Aeration, unheated or natural grain drying, deration, in-storage cooling, heated air grain drying, solar drying, etc. are some of the conventional methods adapted for drying of grains. Grain Dryers consists of three types: Bin, Batch and Continuous flow.

[005] The conventionally used drier equipment are bulky in construction and need huge amount of space, as generally, the grains need to be dried in bulk. It may not be feasible to set up such drier equipment in a huge space, as these cannot be set up in congested areas, with space constraints. Further, management and maintenance of such bulky and overspread equipment requires a lot of efforts, involve huge costs of setting up and maintenance, require a lot of human intervention, thereby leading to hiring more manpower, thereby leading to extra costs.

[006] Therefore, there is a need of a compact system for drying agricultural grains, fruits, seeds, vegetables, etc.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

[007] The object of the invention is to provide an efficient, elegant, and compact system for the drying of the various agriculture produce in a “continuous process flow basis”, thereby providing an efficient and controlled drying of raw, semi -processed and/or processed agricultural produce including paddy, corns, grains, lintels and the like, on a sustainable basis, utilizing the minimum possible area. [008] This system and method are also capable for providing dehydration process for the various fruits, vegetables, seeds and the like and drying any organic & inorganic products, by virtue of its unique versatility and process flexibility.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [009] The shortcomings of the prior art are overcome, and additional advantages are provided through the provision of the present disclosure. Additional features and advantages are realized through the techniques of the present disclosure. Other embodiments and aspects of the disclosure are described in detail herein and are considered a part of the disclosure. [0010] The present disclosure focuses on a drying equipment for grains, comprising series of conveyors. Particularly, the present disclosure provides for the features series of conveyors includes multiple conveyors placed one above the other in a vertical stack-up arrangement/ a single conveyor designed in a vertical flow arrangement, to allow serpentine motion of grains. These types of arrangements allow the processing of grains with ease, and utilize minimal set-up space.

[0011] It is to be understood that the aspects and embodiments of the disclosure described above may be used in any combination with each other. Several of the aspects and embodiments may be combined together to form a further embodiment of the disclosure. [0012] The foregoing summary is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. In addition to the illustrative aspects, embodiments, and features described above, further aspects, embodiments, and features will become apparent by reference to the drawings and the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0013] The novel features and characteristics of the disclosure are set forth in the description. The disclosure itself, however, as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following description of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. One or more embodiments are now described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals represent like elements and in which: [0014] Fig. 1 represents a schematic diagram showing serpentine flow of grains using vertically stacked one-pass belt conveyor arrangement in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0015] Fig. 2 represents a schematic diagram showing serpentine flow of grains using vertically stacked two-pass extending conveyor arrangement in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0016] The figures depict embodiments of the disclosure for purposes of illustration only. One skilled in the art will readily recognize from the following description that alternative embodiments of the assemblies, structures and methods illustrated herein may be employed without departing from the principles of the disclosure described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION [0017] For the purpose of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiment illustrated in the figures and specific language will be used to describe them. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Such alterations and further modifications in the illustrated system, and such further applications of the principles of the invention as would normally occur to those skilled in the art are to be construed as being within the scope of the present invention.

[0018] It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory of the invention and are not intended to be restrictive thereof.

[0019] The terms "comprises", "comprising", or any other variations thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process or method that comprises a list of steps does not include only those steps but may include other steps not expressly listed or inherent to such a process or method. Similarly, one or more sub-systems or elements or structures or components preceded by "comprises... a" does not, without more constraints, preclude the existence of other, sub-systems, elements, structures, components, additional sub systems, additional elements, additional structures or additional components. Appearances of the phrase "in an embodiment", "in another embodiment" and similar language throughout this specification may, but not necessarily do, all refer to the same embodiment. [0020] Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by those skilled in the art to which this invention belongs. The system, methods, and examples provided herein are only illustrative and not intended to be limiting.

[0021] Embodiments of the present invention will be described below in detail with reference to the accompanying figures. [0022] The system, methods, and examples provided herein are only illustrative and not intended to be limiting.

[0023] Cereal grains and legumes are mostly harvested at moisture contents too high for conservative storage. Thus, drying them becomes an essential process before storing them. A large amount of water has to be removed in drying wet grains. Hence, adequate amount of drying air has to be provided to the grains to assure that drying to safe-storage moisture contents is completed before microbial deterioration of the grain initiates. This is the main objective of all sun and mechanical grain drying based systems. [0024] The largest dryers are in plants and are of the continuous type such as mixed- flow dryers and Cross-flow dryers. Continuous flow dryers may result up to 100 metric tons of dried grain per hour. They generally consist of a bin, with heated air flowing horizontally from an internal cylinder through an inner perforated metal sheet, then through an annular grain bed in radial direction, and finally across the outer perforated metal sheet, before being discharged to the atmosphere. The usual drying times depends on how much water must be removed, type of grain, air temperature and the grain depth.

[0025] The present disclosure focuses on a drying equipment (100) for grains, comprising series of conveyors in a vertical stack-up/a single conveyor designed in a vertical flow (to allow serpentine motion of grains) arrangement. The present disclosure provides for the features which includes multiple conveyors placed one above the other/ a single conveyor designed in a vertical flow to allow serpentine motion of grains) fashion, for processing of grains with ease, and by utilizing the minimum possible space. More specifically, the present disclosure focuses on serpentine movement of grains during drying process.

[0026] A continuous movement system (100) for drying grains is disclosed. The system (100) comprises a single or multiple conveyor belts (2) arrangement, placed in a way, so as to allow a plurality of linear paths for continuous movement of the grains, wherein each linear path is substantially in opposite direction with respect to a preceding linear path or a succeeding linear path. The preceding linear path is the linear path traversed by the grain prior to traversing a current linear path, and the succeeding linear path is the linear path to be traversed by the grain after traversing the current linear path. This kind of structure provides a compact system for drying agricultural grains, which is feasible to be set up in space constraint scenarios, and is also cost-friendly, as it requires minimal set-up space.

[0027] Embodiments of the present invention will be described below in detail with reference to the accompanying figures. [0028] Fig. 1 depicts a conveyor system for drying grains comprising continuous base surface and one pass conveyor belt assembly. The continuous flow design of this conveyor is achieved by placing multiple conveyors in a vertical stack-up arrangement one above the other. The grains (1) loaded for drying are held on the conveyor surface without spilling and all throughout the drying process. This is while the grain is made to move in a one pass configuration over the top surfaces of the conveyor belts (3) while it is heated from above. A vertical stacking up of multiple conveyors accounts to an overall assembly comprising of serpentine motion of the grains. The long serpentine movement of grains above the conveyor surface is extended to travelling of grains, which allows processing of the grains systematically with suitable arrangements and parameter settings.

[0029] In an embodiment of the present disclosure, the conveyor is aligned to previous conveyor to hold the dropping grains. Further, it is moved in reverse direction by one pass conveyor before dropping down in vertical position. The conveyor carries the grain through its predefined route. The same process is repeated continuously to obtain the overall travel length and thereby process time to act on the grains like drying etc. The arrangement of conveyors is such that the processing of the grains is implemented in one overall pass, from grain in movement (1) till grain out movement (4) so that the grains can be fully processed sufficiently with a to and fro motion.

[0030] The conveyor belts have two or more runs of the belt, and each run of the conveyor belt defines the linear path for traversing of the grains, wherein a run of the belt is defined as an area of belt between two pulleys onto which the conveyor belt is either completely bound. [0031] In an embodiment of the present disclosure, the linear paths shall be at an angle more than 270 degrees with respect to each other.

[0032] In another embodiment of the present disclosure, the linear paths are placed in any arrangement which helps in providing movement of the grains along the gravity while transferring from one linear path to another.

[0033] Fig. 2 depicts a modular construction of conveyor system for drying grains comprising continuous base surface and two pass conveyor belt assembly. It comprises a single conveyor belt (3), designed in a vertical flow arrangement, which allows serpentine motion of grains. The grains in this type of arrangement travel in two pass configuration mode (6). The serpentine movement is achieved within itself in each of the linear paths arranged in vertically. These linear paths are arranged one above the other, wherein each linear path identically replicates and results in a larger serpentine movement by supporting process compatibility in a seamless synchronized manner. The conveyor belt in such an arrangement is partially bound, or around which the conveyor belt takes a turn.

[0034] The conveyor belt has two or more runs comprising a transferring mechanism which opens up near to one of the pulleys so as to transfer grains from one run of the belt to a subsequent run of the belt, so as to change succeeding linear paths.

[0035] In one embodiment of the present disclosure, the base is composed of flexible conveyor belt (3) material. [0036] In an embodiment of the present disclosure, The conveyor belt (3) comprises support structures (2) to keep the grains in place when the grains are traversing on the conveyor belt (3). The support structures (2) keep the grains in place when the grains are traversing on the conveyor belt (3).

[0037] In another embodiment of the present disclosure, the support structures (2) extend out from conveying surface of the conveyor belt. [0038] A method is devised to have a series of horizontal back and forth movement of the grains using one pass and two pass conveyors. The grains are dropped after its completion of one horizontal pass travel to another conveyor. The grains thus falling over at the end of a conveyor pass is then captured by another conveyor or the same conveyor’s next belt -pass depending on whether it is a single pass conveyor or two pass conveyor or multi pass conveyor design.

[0039] The major advantage of the present disclosure is that it requires a relatively smaller space than the contemporary designs which use multiple passes silos type design of driers. The advantages of having a modular design and construction is observed in terms of ease of manufacturing, handling and transport, quick erections and ease of serviceability. It also helps in replicating best practices across modules and helps to render an overall compact unit. Further, the serpentine movement capabilities of conveyor system enable sufficient processing of grains in one overall process systematically. Equivalents: [0040] The embodiments herein and the various features and advantageous details thereof are explained with reference to the non-limiting embodiments in the description. Descriptions of well-known components and processing techniques are omitted so as to not unnecessarily obscure the embodiments herein. The examples used herein are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the embodiments herein may be practiced and to further enable those of skill in the art to practice the embodiments herein. Accordingly, the examples should not be construed as limiting the scope of the embodiments herein.

[0041] The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the embodiments herein that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without departing from the generic concept, and, therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. Therefore, while the embodiments herein have been described in terms of preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments herein can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the embodiments as described herein. [0042] Throughout this specification, the word “comprise”, or variations such as

“comprises” or “comprising”, will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps, but not the exclusion of any other element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps. [0043] The use of the expression “at least” or “at least one” suggests the use of one or more elements or ingredients or quantities, as the use may be in the embodiment of the disclosure to achieve one or more of the desired objects or results. [0044] Any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles and the like that has been included in this specification is solely for the purpose of providing a context for the disclosure. It is not to be taken as an admission that any or all of these matters form a part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the disclosure as it existed anywhere before the priority date of this application.

[0045] The numerical values mentioned for the various physical parameters, dimensions or quantities are only approximations and it is envisaged that the values higher/lower than the numerical values assigned to the parameters, dimensions or quantities fall within the scope of the disclosure, unless there is a statement in the specification specific to the contrary.

[0046] While considerable emphasis has been placed herein on the particular features of this disclosure, it will be appreciated that various modifications can be made, and that many changes can be made in the preferred embodiments without departing from the principles of the disclosure. These and other modifications in the nature of the disclosure or the preferred embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the disclosure herein, whereby it is to be distinctly understood that the foregoing descriptive matter is to be interpreted merely as illustrative of the disclosure and not as a limitation. List of referral numerals.

1 -Grain in movement in one pass mode

2-Support structures

3-Conveyor belt(s) 4-Grain out movement in one pass mode

5-Grain in movement in two pass mode

6-Two pass mode

7-Grain out movement in two pass mode