Moisture scanning system for trucks

Measuring moisture on truckloads of straw bales before unloading is a great advantage for all straw processing plants.

Automation of straw bale reception

Measuring bridge for strawloadsTozzi Green S.p.A. operates a 20 MW straw-driven power plant in southern Italy. In connection with the enlargement of the bale storage area, two additional straw reception points were to be constructed in 2017. To control incoming straw bales, the reception points were to be equipped with a truck scale and a moisture measuring system that would allow measurements of bales directly on the trucks.  

The vision of the plant was to automatize the straw reception process, including moisture measurements.

Moisture measurement before unloading

Tozzi Green S.p.A. contacted DSE to request a moisture measuring system that would enable measurements on truck loads with straw bales before unloading the bales. 

The goals of implementing such a system were

  •  Efficient quality control of incoming straw using automated and documentable moisture measurements.
  •  Calculation of payment for straw suppliers.
  •  Reduction of wet bales in stock and risk of self-combustion.

After a close dialogue and clarification of Tozzi’s requirements, DSE was chosen as the supplier of moisture sensors for two bridge systems for truck scanning. The scope of delivery included 24 sets of sensors for the two bridge systems, the design of control software, and a Graphical user interface for the moisture measuring system. The mechanical setup and installation were supplied by a 3rd party supplier organized by Tozzi. 

Movable measuring bridge for scanning the incoming trucks

The system is designed as a movable measuring bridge for scanning the incoming trucks while on the truck scale. In total, 12 sets of sensors (each set containing a sender and a receiver) are mounted vertically on each bridge to ensure good coverage of each pair of bales, measuring from one side to another.

Moisture data reportThe system software is designed to handle several truck loads and bale sizes. A start/stop signal for measurement activation comes from the bridge control system supplied by a 3rd party. Once activated, the bridge is moving along the truck, while making continuous moisture measurements 3 times/second - with the DSE sensors.

Bale separation is applied between the bales to filter out invalid measurements. All the measuring data is processed and displayed in a graphical layout, showing the average and the maximum moisture content in each pair of bales. The bales exceeding the customer-defined rejection limit are displayed for accessible overview.

A measuring data report is generated and sent to Tozzi’s administration system for payment calculation of straw suppliers.

Download the case here.

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