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Sensors 2015, 15(1), 1496-1517; doi:10.3390/s150101496

Structure Optimization of a Grain Impact Piezoelectric Sensor and Its Application for Monitoring Separation Losses on Tangential-Axial Combine Harvesters

Key Laboratory of Modern Agricultural Equipment and Technology, Ministry of Education & Jiangsu Province, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China
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Received: 6 November 2014 / Accepted: 30 December 2014 / Published: 14 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Sensors in Agriculture and Forestry)
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Abstract

Grain separation losses is a key parameter to weigh the performance of combine harvesters, and also a dominant factor for automatically adjusting their major working parameters. The traditional separation losses monitoring method mainly rely on manual efforts, which require a high labor intensity. With recent advancements in sensor technology, electronics and computational processing power, this paper presents an indirect method for monitoring grain separation losses in tangential-axial combine harvesters in real-time. Firstly, we developed a mathematical monitoring model based on detailed comparative data analysis of different feeding quantities. Then, we developed a grain impact piezoelectric sensor utilizing a YT-5 piezoelectric ceramic as the sensing element, and a signal process circuit designed according to differences in voltage amplitude and rise time of collision signals. To improve the sensor performance, theoretical analysis was performed from a structural vibration point of view, and the optimal sensor structural has been selected. Grain collide experiments have shown that the sensor performance was greatly improved. Finally, we installed the sensor on a tangential-longitudinal axial combine harvester, and grain separation losses monitoring experiments were carried out in North China, which results have shown that the monitoring method was feasible, and the biggest measurement relative error was 4.63% when harvesting rice. View Full-Text
Keywords: grain separation losses; monitoring mathematics; structure optimization; field experiment grain separation losses; monitoring mathematics; structure optimization; field experiment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liang, Z.; Li, Y.; Zhao, Z.; Xu, L. Structure Optimization of a Grain Impact Piezoelectric Sensor and Its Application for Monitoring Separation Losses on Tangential-Axial Combine Harvesters. Sensors 2015, 15, 1496-1517.

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