Did you know that there are a number of different ways of loading a silo. Each method of loading the grain storage structures has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Take a look, and tell us in the comments below how you load your silos.
Blowers & Augers
Blowers and augers are used to fill the majority of silos, however, these are primarily used for grains. Blowers and auger systems are incredibly expensive and either use complicated mechanical systems or compressed air to move grains to the loading entrance at the top of the silo. These systems ensure that the grain is not damaged or broken and assists in retaining the quality of the grain. Another disadvantage of the augers and blowers is that they carry significantly less weight than a conveyer system. This means that they are not an economical or practical choice for silos that store coal or other materials.
Conveyors & Hoppers
A conveyor system may be used to load grain, coal and other materials into a hopper mounted at the top of a silo. This is the easiest way of loading a silo, and the system can deal with immense loads, which makes it ideal for those businesses looking at storing large quantities. However, this system leads to a great loss in material through spillage, both off the sides of the conveyor system, as well as over the sides of the hopper. This makes the system very expensive for farmers storing grains used in human food production.
Yes, this system exists, especially in poor farming communities. Grains are loaded into buckets and are then fed into silos. Farmers have to climb to the top of commercial silos (usually provided by the government or NGOs) or traditionally made clay, stone or pit silos. This method requires a lot of time and energy, however, the upside is that the system doesn’t cost a cent for subsistence farmers in places such as Africa, South-East Asia and South America.
Silos are sometimes used to store liquids or liquid-solid compounds. In these instances, the easiest way of loading a silo is through a unique system of pumps. The pumps, through the assistance of an attached motor, sucks up and offloads the liquid into the silos quite easily. Again, such a system is incredibly expensive and often requires continual maintenance.
These are the most common methods used to load silos. If you know of another method of loading a silo, feel free to comment below.