Feb 3, 2021
Forest Concepts’ Hemp Dryer Model 1 Receives Innovation Award

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has named Forest Concepts’ Hemp Dryer Model 1 winner of a 2021 AE50 Award for Innovation.

AE50 awards honor the year’s most innovative designs in engineering products or systems for the food and agriculture industries. The novel Hemp Dryer Model 1 will be featured in the January/February 2021 special issue of ASABE’s magazine Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World.

“We are pleased and honored to receive the 2021 AE50 award as it recognizes the innovation of our Hemp Dryer Model 1 equipment and the contribution to the economic sustainability it represents for all of the companies in the new hemp industry,” said Dr. James Dooley, chief technology officer at Forest Concepts.

The Forest Concepts Hemp Dryer Model 1 is a continuous incremental zoned dryer optimized for drying industrial hemp prior to storage and extraction. Raw harvested hemp is processed on screen-bottomed trays through the dryer and then either to an extraction facility or for dry storage. A continuous line of bins advances through six drying zones and one cooling zone prior to exiting the dryer system every five minutes.

Semi-independent modules allow optimization along the drying curve and greatly reduces total energy consumption. Each of the seven dryer zones has independent air handling fans, and heated zones have independent propane burners. The mechanical, drying and cooling system is managed by an integrated PLC-based control system. The dryer is mounted on a highway-legal 48-ft flatbed trailer for mobility.

Companies from around the world submit entries to the annual AE50 competition and up to 50 of the best products are chosen by a panel of international engineering experts. The judges select innovative products that will best advance engineering for the food and agriculture industries.

The AE50 awards program emphasizes the role of new products and systems in bringing advanced technology to the marketplace. These engineering developments help farmers, food processors and equipment manufacturers increase efficiency, enhance quality, improve safety, and increase profits.

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