Project Summaries

08-476  Project Manager: E. M. Barnes


Richard Byler, USDA-ARS

This project has had dual objectives of determining factors that impact cotton quality at harvest and in evaluating energy use at cotton gins. In 2012, part of the focus was the publication of the results of energy monitoring at several cotton gins across the U.S. Energy costs are the second largest source of variable costs for cotton gins, with electricity accounting for 18% of variable costs. Energy use has typically not been a major consideration in gin design and previous studies of energy use have utilized instantaneous readings or aggregated season-long values. In this study, electrical energy use was monitored throughout the entire season for several gins across the cotton belt. Motor loads were recorded for gin stands, fans, cleaning machinery, module feeders, and bale presses. Power consumption and power factor were recorded at motor control center disconnects. The gins monitored in 2010 averaged 35.8 kWh bale-1, slightly less than the annual average values reported in past surveys. Differences in electricity use between monitored gins were likely due to differences in layout and installed equipment. The primary factor affecting electricity use per bale at a specific gin was the processing rate. For maximum energy efficiency, cotton ginners should operate at full capacity as frequently as possible and avoid idling equipment for periods longer than several minutes.


Project Year: 2012

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