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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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Cotton Production and Processing LaboratoryLubbock, TX

& Cotton Incorporated

Researcher

Mathew G. Pelletier


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Research Goal

  • Development of accurate bale moisture sensing.

  • Focus on issues relevant to wet bales


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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.


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Excess Bale Moisture in storageCauses Change in Color Grade

01364


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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.


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Moisture Sensing Technologies gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.

  • 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)


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Current industry standard for testing bale moisture is gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.

By hand-held resistance sensors.

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


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To test the accuracy of the hand-held sensors; gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.

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


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Hand-held Resistance Sensors gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.for Bale Moisture Measurement


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How well do the meters agree to each other? gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.


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What are the error sources? gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.


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Within-Bale Moisture Variation gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.for very wet bale


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Low MHz Frequency gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.Roller Conveyor Capacitance Sensor


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Surface Sensors can’t detect interior moisture gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.


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How to detect interior wet spots per FSA/CC mandate? gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.


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Disadvantages of current microwave moisture sensors gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.

  • Modern Microwave systems average moisture over large sensing areas.

  • The large sampling volume dilutes or misses localized high moisture areas


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  • Experimental USDA-ARS gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.

  • Microwave Sensor for bale moisture


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Sensing of local gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.moisture variability critical for wet bale moisture determination

  • Experimental Lubbock Gin Lab Microwave Imaging system in development to sense internal wettest spot in bale.


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Impulse response of gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.microwave imager


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Microwave Pencil Beam Imaging Can Resolve Interior Moisture gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.


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Advantages to Pencil Beam Microwave Imaging gin to contain less than 7.5% M.C. at ANY point in the bale.

  • 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


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Controlled Testing of Microwave Imager on Mini-Cotton bales perform quantitative analysis?

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.


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Conclusion perform quantitative analysis?

  • 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


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Bale Moisture Sensors perform quantitative analysis?

must be able to

Resolve Interior Spot Moisture,

Not just Surface or Average Moisture


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