Month: July 2021

What is the coverage area of a sensor?

Imagen de cereal dentro de un silo
Imagen de cereal dentro de un silo

In this article we’d like to contrast one of the great myths that exist around temperature sensors for stored cereal: their coverage area or radius of action.

In the world of manufacturers of temperature control system, one can frequently find brochures or reviews indicating that sensors cover or have a radius of action of about 2 or 3 meters approximately, with some indicating more and others a bit less.

But which of these statements is correct?

The answer is as simple as it is revealing: none.

Why?

The thermal conductivity of seeds and grains – their ability to transfer or spread heat – is very low, and their behaviour is very different from liquids or other materials such as metal. Therefore, it cannot be scientifically affirmed that there is a percentage of the silo covered by the sensors beyond the cereal or grain that is in direct contact with the sensor itself.

Any statement indicating that a percentage of the silo is covered by its sensors cannot be scientifically confirmed.

So how can the area of coverage in a silo be improved to help detecting a hotspot as soon as possible?

Without a doubt, introducing more sensors inside the silo.

Can one predict where a hotspot will occur? 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict where a hotspot will occur inside the silo or warehouse. It could occur near or far from a sensor. As a matter of fact, all sensors available commercially measure the temperature of the grain that is in direct contact with the sensor and cannot measure the grain temperature 3 meters away.

GESCASER sensors are not different from other sensors in this regard and, therefore, when monitoring the grain conditions, it is safe to assume that the temperature in the readings correspond to the temperature of the cereal that is in direct contact with the sensor.

When there is a hotspot somewhere in the silo, the heat is slowly transmitted to other cold areas. The time it takes from the hotspot until it is detected by the sensor depends on may factors (type of cereal, amount of cereal, impurities, degree of compaction, etc.) 

Indeed, the thermal conductivity of the grain is very low. To get a better understanding, the material with the best thermal conductivity is silver, with a coefficient of about 418 W/mK, while cereals such as corn, soybeans or sunflower seeds vary between 0.3 W/mK and 0.1W/mK depending on its humidity. With increased moisture levels, more conductivity (W/mK).

Comparative table of the thermal conductivity of some materials in W/mK
Comparative table of the thermal conductivity of some materials in W/mK

How many probes and sensors do I need?

At GESCASER, manufacturers of temperature control systems for silos with more than 40 years of experience, we provide recommendations with regards to the number of probes and sensors taking into account the type of silo or warehouse and its technical characteristics (diameter, height …).

Based on this information we determine the optimal number of probes and sensors (see graph).

Esquema de las sondas en función del diámetro del silo
Sondas de GESCASER
Our objective is to help finding the right balance between an absolute control of the silo temperature and the economic cost. It is no surprise that with more sensors, one can achieve greater control, but of course at an increased price.

At GESCASER we control the entire manufacturing process: from the receipt of raw materials, to the probe manufacturing, the shipment and the subsequent installation. Thus, probes and sensors can be totally customised to our customers’ needs. 

We hope this article helped resolving some doubts about the sensors and their radius of action. 

Don’t get confused!

Why are javelins the ideal system for grain warehouses?

Almacén con jabalinas
Almacén con jabalinas

After the harvest, a delicate process of grain storage begins. A stage that, if not managed properly, can reduce both quality and quantity of harvest grain. In order to avoid its deterioration, it is important to have an exhaustive control of the grain temperature and carefully monitor grain conditions. Javelins may just be the perfect tool.  

How can we help you?

We’re pleased to present this practical and versatile system, ideal for controlling cereal stored in both small and large warehouses: the javelins or wireless probes. 

What are these wireless javelins or probes?

Javelins or wireless probes are the most suitable device to measure the temperature of grains and cereals stored in warehouses. Its technology does not require initial installation and is totally compatible with Gescaser systems (it works with both the CTC+ and the new CTC lite system).

These javelins are made of fiberglass and have a stainless steel tip. In addition, thanks to their flexibility and small diameter, they are very easy to insert in the grain.

We offer wireless probes with different length and number of sensors, which can be adapted to the requirements and needs of every client.

Javelin or wireless probe

Javelin or wireless probe

 

How do they work?

The javelins can be inserted anywhere in the warehouse where the grain is located. They are very easy to handle and their installation cost is 0.

Infografía de cuatro jabalinas

 

Four great advantages of javelins

If we compare them with other sophisticated systems, typically for silos and large facilities, wireless probes clearly have four advantageous characteristics for warehouses.

1. No installation cost

As already mentioned, its main advantage over other systems is that this type of wireless probe does not require any kind of civil work when installing.

2. Ease of use and handling

Javelins are very simple tools to handle and do not require prior technical knowledge. This feature is a great advantage, and it allows taking temperature readings with ease. In addition, it makes them very versatile: as you empty the warehouse, you can re-insert the javelins where there is still grain to get new measurements.

3. Mobility

Another advantage of javelins is their ease of transport. Wireless probes can be used interchangeably in other warehouses, without depending on any physical installation. This becomes a key point for clients who do not have their own or fixed warehouse and rent it depending on the harvest season.

4. Scalability

Very often, when we consider the possibility of incorporating a new technology, we may have doubts about its convenience or effectiveness. Will it work for us? Will it add value to our company?

Aware of this, at Gescaser we offer you the option of purchasing only one javelin, in addition to the controller and the software, to verify its effectiveness. In this way, you can verify the system in your facility before making a major investment.

 

Temperature control options

For reading the temperatures, one has two control options: the CTC lite app and the CTC+ system.

With the CTC lite app

If a sporadic inspection of your grain condition is sufficient for you, you can control temperatures manually through the CTC lite app.

With the app (available on both IOS and Android) you can obtain records of the temperature of the javelins every time you go to the warehouse.

With the CTC+ system

If, on the other hand, you require a more exhaustive control of the conditions of your grain, you can install the CTC+ system, which allows you to consult the temperature records at any time and from anywhere. This option provides you with more control and less dependency.

In addition, the CTC + system allows you to position the wireless probes with the drag&drop option. In this sense, you can move the javelins around the software screen and place them where they are actually inserted.

Do you have any doubts? Would you like to try our javelins?

Contact our team for more details.