In a previous article, Short Cycling Reduces Motor Life; we covered the expected reduction of motor life when the off time between starts falls below 30 seconds. Heat builds up in the motor, damaging the windings and bearings.
As the industry replaced mechanical paddle-type switches with electronic proximity switches, motor short-cycling became more of an issue. The physical size of a paddle switch means the feed level will rise and fall over a longer distance before activating the switch. The size of this differential may be over two inches or more. The smaller size of a proxy switch means it may only have a feed level differential of only a 1/2 inch — the larger the differential, the longer the potential off time. Although a paddle switch can have a built-in longer delay time, it is not controllable and will vary depending on feed consistency.
|Paddle switches have a larger feed level differential than proxy switches|
The solution to controlling motor off time is adding a delay relay kit. Which kit to install depends on whether the auger control contains a built-in relay. GrowerSELECT, AP®, and Cumberland® equipment include a relay, so the GrowerSELECT HS617 relay kit without an internal relay is the right choice. Chore-Time® systems do not contain a relay, so they require a GrowerSELECT HS598, which includes an internal relay. The operator will manually set a delay of over 30 seconds to prevent short cycling.
|Add a Delay Relay kit to control motor off time|
Another thing to consider is whether the existing control unit contains a maximum run timer like the AE100-A1047. A max run timer prevents an entire bin full of feed from being dumped inside the building if, for instance, a drop tube should come loose. Measure the time needed to fill the feeders or hoppers and set the max timer for an additional 10 minutes.
|The GrowerSELECT Infrared Feed Control combines max run and delay functions with infrared sensing tech|
When it’s time to replace a faulty paddle or proximity switch, the GrowerSELECT Infrared Feed Control (HS820) deserves serious consideration. This all-in-one feed control contains a max run timer, delay function, and other features, including an alarm contact. Instead of a mechanical switch or a proxy sensor, the HS820 utilizes reliable infrared light technology to detect feed levels and control the motor. It features an intuitive multicolor screen that shows the feed system's status at a glance. CLICK to watch a video on its features and DIY instructions on installing the HS820.