Written by: Logan Staheli
A Brief Word About the Coronavirus Pandemic
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention anything about the current COVID-19 pandemic, but then again, you are probably all just as sick of hearing about it as I am. I just wanted to let all our customers and other readers know that our prayers and thoughts go out to each of you and your families. We know that this pandemic will affect each of us in some way or another. We are seeing the effects it is having on agriculture as restaurants and schools remain closed. We want those of you who have been particularly affected by this economic and health crisis to know that we are thinking about you.
With that said, we must go forward, and Staheli West will remain open to all customers, dealers, and prospective buyers. We will continue to service and support our dealers and customers, as well as communicate with prospective buyers that are interested in our technology.
Water Treatment is Important
If you haven’t read our last blog, I would invite you to do so now. We talk about why it is important to use good, quality water that has been treated with either a water softener or reverse osmosis system. We also discussed the importance and proper use of our Boiler Guard/Dew Good water additive. These are principles that you will want to know before reading this blog. In this blog, we will talk about water storage and logistics and how to make sure you have the water readily available when you need it, and where you need it.
Things to Consider Before the Harvest Season
If you are a current customer who wants to improve your water logistics or a prospective buyer of the DewPoint machine, it is a good idea to consider your water logistics well ahead of the harvest season. One decision you will need to make is whether you need to use a water truck or trailer to transport the water to the fields where the DewPoint machine(s) will be working. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Remember that a DewPoint machine will operate from 3-6 hours on one load (1,000 gallons) of water depending on how much steam you are applying to the hay.
- Consider the distance to the field from the water source. Is your farm spread out or relatively central to the treated water source? If your fields aren’t too spread out, a bulk water storage tank will suffice. However, if your farm is spread out, you may want to consider either a water truck or trailer.
- Remember that you can typically bale around 60 tons/hour with a large-square baler and that road transport time to refill with water will affect your overall baler productivity.
Bulk Storage Tank Set-Up
Here are some things to consider when setting up the bulk water tank to store your treated water:
- You will need 2500-3000 gallons of water storage for each DewPoint machine that you plan to service from your water source. This will ensure that you will always have enough water to keep the DewPoint machine operating.
- Select black plastic or other light restricting tank(s) which will eliminate light infiltration. This will prevent algae growth. Black plastic will also help absorb heat from the sun into the water to increase boiler efficiency.
- Install valve and hose fittings to the bottom outlet fitting on the tank and a float valve near the top of the tank to receive water from your water softener or reverse osmosis unit.
Water Softener or Reverse Osmosis Unit Set-Up
When setting up your water softener or RO unit please take the following into account:
- Set up in an enclosed, insulated area that is protected from freezing and connect to a continuous culinary water supply, electrical service, etc. per instructions provided with the unit.
- Connect the softener’s or RO unit’s “clean water discharge hose” to the float valve fitting on the bulk water storage tank. The float valve on the bulk water storage tank will control the water flow to the bulk water storage tank to keep it full during the season.
- Turn water supply ON to the softener or RO unit and LEAVE THIS ON ALWAYS to supply the water pressure necessary to flush/regenerate the softener or RO unit.
What if My Farm is Spread Out?
If your farm fields are spread out, you may want to consider setting up a water transport truck or trailer. This will allow you to be more productive with your time. In this case, many farmers still decide to use a bulk storage tank to fill their water truck or tank on a trailer. Once again, on the water transport vehicle, it is best to use a tank made of either a black plastic, steel, or other light-blocking material which will eliminate light infiltration to prevent algae growth.
Many customers tailor their water/service vehicle to their own needs. Some operations will also carry extra diesel fuel, twine, and other service items on their water truck or trailer.
2-Inch Liquid Transfer Pump
Whether you use a transport truck/trailer or just the bulk storage tank, you will need a 2-inch transfer pump to fill the water tanks on the DewPoint steamer. This transfer pump will fill the machine’s water tanks in about 10 minutes. Click HERE to watch a video on how to fill the DewPoint machine with water.
We hope that this provides a little guidance to those who may be overwhelmed with the water storage and transportation requirements of the DewPoint steamer. Having treated water available when and where you need it will keep your baling processes productive and efficient.
Our next blog and video will give you a glimpse into who we are at Staheli West and what we stand for. We can’t wait to show you our business and the culture that makes Staheli West not only a great place to work, but a great company to do business with!