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Cotton Production and Processing Laboratory Lubbock, TX & Cotton Incorporated Researcher Mathew G. Pelletier

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Cotton Production and Processing Laboratory Lubbock, TX & Cotton Incorporated Researcher Mathew G. Pelletier. Research Goal. Development of accurate bale moisture sensing. Focus on issues relevant to wet bales. Moisture Restoration before the Bale Press.

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slide1

Cotton Production and Processing LaboratoryLubbock, TX

& Cotton Incorporated

Researcher

Mathew G. Pelletier

research goal
Research Goal
  • Development of accurate bale moisture sensing.
  • Focus on issues relevant to wet bales
slide3

Moisture Restoration

before the Bale Press

  • Adding moisture reduces bale packing forces. This effect minimizes the number of repair cycles required to maintain the bale press.
  • Adding moisture also adds weight back to bale, so there’s also an economic incentive for moisture restoration.
slide5
New CC Loan rules dictate all bales must be certified by the gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.
moisture sensing technologies
Moisture Sensing Technologies
  • Resistance sensors (bale probes, bale-press)
  • Capacitance roller conveyor
  • Infrared (top 1mm of surface only)
  • Microwave through transmission (2 types)
    • Signal absorbance (Vomax, Malcalm)
    • Signal propagation time (USDA-ARS; Pelletier)
slide7

Current industry standard for testing bale moisture is

By hand-held resistance sensors.

How accurate are they really for use with wet cotton bales?

slide8

To test the accuracy of the hand-held sensors;

A nation-wide test was conducted by all 3 of USDA-ARS cotton gin labs

disadvantages of current microwave moisture sensors
Disadvantages of current microwave moisture sensors
  • Modern Microwave systems average moisture over large sensing areas.
  • The large sampling volume dilutes or misses localized high moisture areas
slide21

Experimental USDA-ARS

  • Microwave Sensor for bale moisture
sensing of local moisture variability critical for wet bale moisture determination
Sensing of local moisture variability critical for wet bale moisture determination
  • Experimental Lubbock Gin Lab Microwave Imaging system in development to sense internal wettest spot in bale.
advantages to pencil beam microwave imaging
Advantages to Pencil Beam Microwave Imaging
  • Ability to measure wettest spot in bale per new 2006 FSA CC Regulations
  • Local moisture as well as large sample estimation of moisture available through full bale scanning
slide26
With what accuracy can the new microwave imaging technique perform quantitative analysis?
  • To test accuracy; the microwave imager was tested on a set of known permittivitty standards (traceable to NIST labs).
controlled testing of microwave imager on mini cotton bales
Controlled Testing of Microwave Imager on Mini-Cotton bales

Goals:

  • Verify new Imaging System has comparable accuracy to standard microwave sensors.
  • Establish cotton bale’s true permittivity for creation of a standard linkage by which all future sensors and cotton bale-moisture can be traced to NIST Laboratory measurements.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Wet bales exhibit extreme amounts of local variability.
  • A suitable sensing system for moisture restoration systems must be able to sense local variability and control to the wettest spot in the bale; not the average.
  • New USDA-ARS Microwave Imager shows promise for detection of local moisture variability in addition to average bale moisture
slide34

Bale Moisture Sensors

must be able to

Resolve Interior Spot Moisture,

Not just Surface or Average Moisture

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