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  • Andrew Fisher

"Innovating Grain Aeration: The Genesis of Harveston Aeration Fans"

We started Harveston Aeration Solutions because we saw that there was an industry need for Aeration systems that performed better than the current offerings. We did a lot of reading about aeration from around the globe. In almost 100 papers we found a good knowledge base, and identified a number of information gaps that we are in the process of filling. In all of this we identified fan selection as the most important criteria in building an effective aeration solution.

Silo aeration fan EC400
Harveston EC400 fan installed

In developing our fan offering we searched the fan market for a fan that met our criteria for innovation. We felt that the current offerings did not cope well with the size of grain silos that were being constructed. The backpressure created by the height of the grain stack significantly affects the ability of a fan to achieve a good flow rate. Fortunately, we found a fan range that has class leading pressure capabilities. We did have a few false starts when we were selecting the right model but that is the nature of product development.

The next criteria we were looking for was efficiency. We knew the current offerings and the number of amps required to run them. We wanted a motor that produced a lot of power for less amps. We found this in an EC motor, EC stands for electronically commutated. These motors have no brushes and an on board controller to ensure the best use of the available power. EC motors are vastly more efficient that conventional motors.   Our 5.9kw fan motor draws at most 9 amps on 415 volts, 33% less than its nearest competitor.

Our core offering is the Harveston EC400. This fan produces class leading pressure and flow rates.  For the commonly built on farm silos the EC400 will exceed the GRDC minimum airflow requirement of 2.0 litres per second per tonne of stored (wheat) grain. Every silo configuration is different and the right combination of silo height and fan numbers can produce flow rates far in excess of the minimums.

Harveston silo aeration fan
Harveston EC400 fan showing control box and inlet shutoff.

Because we always base our products on research, we have incorporated a new to industry design feature in the EC400. We based this on research conducted by UniSA which concluded that if the silo aeration inlet was left open on warm days that the silo would breathe in warm air. This created a heating layer at the bottom of the grain stack that needed to be eliminated each day. The run time penalty for this heating was measured in hundreds of hours over the storage life of that grain. Over the life of the silo that is thousands of unnecessary run hours. The Harveston EC400 incorporates an automatic inlet shut off, that doubles as a fumigation seal. This ensures that the silo only ever receives that air that the fan is producing and eliminates any hot air contamination, significantly reducing the runtime requirements.

In summary, the Harveston EC400 silo aeration fan produces class leading airflow using less energy. When coupled with its automatic inlet shut off  the EC400 ensures that fan run time is minimised, each and every season. The EC400 ensures modern aeration goals are met, leading to preserved grain quality. 

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