Air flow adjustments on Wolf pickers! What to do.

Thank you, Mike Napier of Barn Talk Hops, for bringing up such an important subject on how to adjust your Wolf picker. All Wolf pickers of the WHE design from 140 to 513 have blowers on either side to create a suction. Some blowers are bigger than others and key in maintaining them is to avoid vibration. These motors spin a direct drive propeller at approximately 3000 RPM and if the blower is out wack you can say good bye to your motor fairly soon.  

Some imported machines have control panels with VFDs (variable frequency drive) for each motor which allows you to adjust the speed (RPM) of each motor. If your machine is driven by such control panel you can slow down or speed up your blower speed to increase or decrease suction. The early designs of machines only have a start and stop bottom for the motors and they spin at 3000 RPM constantly. This is where the damper comes in effect. By opening or closing the damper the suction within the machine changes.

How does this come into effect?

In this illustration it shows the airflow created by the blowers. 2 blowers on either side of the machine create a suction within the machine that pulls the air in from the front side. All the picked matter that falls down from the picking drums is transported to the front of the machine where it ends up on the angled portion of the revolving mesh belt. Now depending on the suction (intensity of blowers) either more or less hops and leaves will stick to the belt which transports everything to your chopper and out it goes. So, the goal here is to adjust the suction of the blowers in a way that only leaves and stems and unwanted matter end up on the mesh belt. The hops need to fall down past the rake and deflector to end up on the lower transport belt to get to the cleaner belts in the back of the machine. Here is the trade off: You want as little as possible leaves and stems on the lower transport belt but you also don’t want to lose the hops down the hatch. Better have some more unwanted matter travel to the cleaner belts and let them deal with it during the separation process. That’s what they are there for. While adjusting the blower strength, the rake and deflector also have to be adjusted in a way that a proper separation is taking place. All of these adjustments have to be done while bines are being fed into the machine. Try not to miss a bine hook to get a good idea of how much hops ends up at the mesh belt. These adjustments will change with variety of hops and size of plants. 



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