Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

THE SWITCH FROM SHEET STEAMING TO STEAMING HOOD SAVES 50% HEATING OIL

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Yet another German horticultural business has recently made the switch from sheet steaming to sandwich-type steaming using a steaming hood, and the results are impressive.

The business – which is based near Stuttgart in the Federal state of Baden-Württemberg – had been operating successfully for more than 10 years using sheet steaming, and wanted to take a step forwards towards greater energy efficiency.

Raised steaming hood with pikes for sandwich-type steaming

Raised steaming hood with pikes for sandwich-type steaming

Under the guidance of MSD GmbH the business took the step and, instead of procuring a new sheet, it opted for two steaming hoods used in sandwich-type steaming. Instead of guiding the steam under a sheet which is weighted at the edges, the sandwich-type steaming method utilises a special steaming hood equipped with spikes, which drive the steam into the soil to a depth of up to 25cm. The business made the decision to initially operate the hood manually. This involves a single operator lifting and lowering the hood using a lever construction, and moving it while positioned on wide rollers.

 Manually moveable steaming hood with masking foil

Manually moveable steaming hood with masking foil

The result was worth it. The savings generated in comparison to sheet steaming were close to 50%. Instead of almost 6,000kg of steam, the horticultural business only requires just over 3,000kg of steam per greenhouse with a surface area of 260m² and a steaming depth of approx. 25cm, for a target temperature of more than 80°C. This equates to a very cost-effective steam requirement of approx. 12 kg per m². Consequently, energy costs when measured in today’s price for heating oil are below EUR 0.5 per m².

NEW SEMI-AUTOMATIC STEAMING SYSTEM IN OPERATION WITH THE LARGEST ORGANIC PRODUCER OF SALAD LEAVES

Friday, August 19th, 2016

As a cheaper alternative to the fully automatic steaming machine, which is now in operation as the latest model MSDZ-1 as of July this year, the leading steam specialist MSD has now also developed a semi-automatic machine and has delivered it on 18.08.2016 near Frankfurt.

Semi-automatic steaming machine MDS 600 from MSD GmbH, Durbach

Semi-automatic steaming machine MSDA 600 from MSD GmbH, Durbach

In contrast to the fully automatic machine, which operates in self-propulsion over the field without a driver, the semi-automatic, with the complete assembly including the appropriate high-performance steam boiler, is drawn over the beds by a towing vehicle. The system operates, however, in a similarly automatic way. In the current version of the machine, three beds can be steamed simultaneously with one hood. The three hoods are lifted and lowered hydraulically.

Semi-automatic steaming machine with 12m² steaming hoods

Semi-automatic steaming machine with 12m² steaming hoods

A video on Youtube can be watched here: VIDEO semi-automatic steam robot, 2016

The semi-automatic steam machine is available from MSD GmbH, Durbach, in two sizes. The smaller version has a steam performance of up to 600kg per hour and can completely free a surface of up to 12m² of weeds in around 5 minutes with a steam depth of 4-7cm. The larger version of the semi-automatic has a steam performance of up to 800kg per hour and can completely disinfect a surface of up to 18m² in the same time and to the same depth.

The semi-automatic steam machine carries all the fuel oil it needs with it in a tank and supplies its own electricity via a hydraulic generator for steering and for the operation of the high-performance burner. Further information can be obtained directly from the MSD company: www.moeschle.de

WORLD DEBUT: NEW FULLY AUTOMATIC STEAM ROBOT IN OPERATION FROM JULY

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The MSD company has developed a new version of the steam mobile unit together with specialist machine manufacturer Josef Zeyer Agrarsysteme in Neresheim. The new edition came about subsequent to a direct enquiry from one our largest local producers of salad leaves. This new fully automatic steam machine sets new standards. In contrast to the previous model, which was produced by MSD in cooperation with the Swiss company Bärtschi-Fobro, this new field robot MSDZ-1 fulfils the latest requirements, in particular in the areas of approach area monitoring and tracking control.

Fully automatic steam machine MSDZ-1, developed by the MSD company in cooperation with the J. Zeyer company in Neresheim

Fully automatic steam machine MSDZ-1, developed by the MSD company in cooperation with the J. Zeyer company in Neresheim

In addition to the latest control technology, the steam efficiency of the system has been increased again by almost 40% on the previous model so that, under optimal conditions, surfaces of much more than 30 hectares can be completely freed of weeds annually.

Fully automatic steam machine in test operation for open land application in northern Germany

Fully automatic steam machine in test operation for open land application in northern Germany

The first new fully automatic steam machine is currently in test operation in areas in northern Germany in order to adjust it optimally to the current conditions. The machine will then be able to steam three rows of beds simultaneously, completely independently and without a driver, lifting, moving and then lowering the hoods again for this purpose until the end of the row of beds is reached. When the robot has reached the end of the row, it will send a signal indicating that it can now be moved by a driver. During the entire operation, however, the machine can also be operated via remote control.

Detailed information on price and performance of the new fully automatic steam machine can be obtained directly from the MSD company, especially online at www.moeschle.de.

A video on Youtube can be watched here: VIDEO fully-automatic steam robot, 2016

EFFECTIVE CONTROL OF TIGER NUT SEDGE WITH HOT STEAM

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

On 17.06.2016, the research group Extension Gemüsebau of the Swiss Agroscope Institut presented several methods for combatting tiger nut sedge. One of the most effective methods among these is steaming.

Three different steaming methods were successfully tested: hood steaming, sheet steaming and pile steaming via steam conveyor in cooperation with several partners, including MSD GmbH, Durbach.

Little steaming hood set on open field

Little steaming hood set on open field

In the two surface steaming processes (hood and sheet), the tiger nuts are completely killed off to a depth of around 25cm, which translates as an effective rate of around 95% over the entire area. After steaming, the steam-treated surface areas were observed. Growth from deeper lying tiger nuts, which the steam was not able to reach, can subsequently be killed off easily by mechanical or chemical means. In the case of pile steaming, e.g. via steam conveyor, the soil that is contaminated with tiger nuts is lifted completely and treated with steam.

Tiger nut sedge can be killed off completely with a soil temperature of 75°C. It is recommended that heat is maintained for at least 15 minutes in order to achieve a clean result.

Sheet steaming against neophytes at Sinzheim

Sheet steaming against neophytes at Sinzheim

More information can be found in the “Mit Dampf erste Befallstellen tilgen” (eradicate first infestations with steam) leaflet on www.agroscope.ch from July 2017.

Hot steam against ice and snow goes to the next round

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

The reduction of roof loads due to snow is a top topic again this winter. For this reason, after the first major snow falls in higher areas new tests were made to find out which steaming methods are most efficient.

The big advantage of hot steam in contrast to classic methods to remove snow with shovels is clear: Due to the heat snow flows away as water. There is no need to first remove snow from the roof and then transport it further away from the building.

Moreover labor cost is much lower when using steam.

In order to melt 1kg of snow only 0,1691 kg of steam is needed. Efficient steam generators with an efficiency of 96% only consume 0,015l of fuel to produce this amount of steam.

In order to calculate energy cost density of snow has to be considered, which is about 0,17kg/dm³ = 170kg/m³ for fresh fallen snow.(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow). In order to steam 1 m³ of snow about 2,55l fuel is needed. This amount was confirmed several times in tests.

Based on this knowledge this year 4 steaming methods were tested and compared.

1. Steaming Hood

The area is covered with a light hood made of aluminium. Then hot steam is induced. The hood is moved to another location by hand once all snow has melted. The results are always 100%.

Hood steaming – The area is completely free of snow – an optimal result

Hood steaming – The area is completely free of snow – an optimal result

Only 15 kg of steam were used to melt all snow on an area of 3.2m² within only 4.5 minutes. (about 0,5m³/89 kg snow).

2. Steaming pipes with steaming sheets

Perforated pipes are laid out on the snow covered area in regular distances and covered with sheets. Hot steam is induced into the pipes to melt snow.

Steaming pipe with steaming sheet. On the left side remaining steam is clearly visible.

Steaming pipe with steaming sheet. On the left side remaining steam is clearly visible.

Most snow melted away. However despite the continuous induction of steam, snow isles remained as no optimal melting affect was achieved due to slightly higher snow density.

3. Steaming pipes in roof gutter

Perforated pipes are laid out in the roof gutter of a green house and continuously covered with snow from both sides while steam evaporates.

Steaming pipe in roof gutter

Steaming pipe in roof gutter

As long as the pipe is constantly covered with snow, an optimal melting affect could be achieved. However, a constant use of labor was needed to supply snow.

4. Steaming with steaming lance

Similar to a high pressure cleaner, steam gets applied via a lance and distributed manually.

Steaming with steaming lance. The majority of steam escaped into the air.

Steaming with steaming lance. The majority of steam escaped into the air.

Although melting was achieved, however the method was very inefficient as the majority of steam doesn’t reach the snow.

Conclusion: Melting snow with a steaming hood is the most effective method to free big areas from snow. The biggest mobile steam generators produce 2000kg of steam per hour and have about 10 times the output than the machine used in the upper mentioned tests. With such a big generator in 4.5 minutes about ~890 kg = ~5m³ of snow can be melted. Per hour a reduction of roof load by more than 65m³ = ~11t is feasible.

Steaming Technology presented on the Horti-Vienna and Agritechnica

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

The new trade fair for horticulture and vegetable farming in Middle and Eastern Europe took place from the 27. 09 to the 28.09. in Vienna.
Furthermore the world’s biggest agricultural show, taking place from the 14.11. to the 19.11, was fully booked out with more than 2.500 exhibitors from 48 countries.

On both fairs the latest steaming technology was presented. Several thousand visitors could learn more about the latest innovations for soil sterilization with hot steam. For the first time the newly developed steaming system “A-1350-24” was introduced. The robot was designed and manufactured by MSD GmbH, Durbach in cooperation with Fobro-Kress, CH- Hüswil. The steam robot, specialized on the efficient steaming of groomed beat cultures, such as baby leaf salads, was upgraded to double its capacity.

In addition, the current research results of the DLR Rheinlandpfalz on steaming of arugula were presented.

Steaming reaps convincing results in Babyleaf cultures: No weeds – more yields

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Within 14 days present on 3 field days: Steaming is everywhere. On the 31.08.2011 the latest results on steaming research made by the DLR RLP were the only topics in a field day in Switzerland. Mr. Ziegler, department manager horticulture, introduced steaming as most efficient means for weed control to more than 50 guests. At the same day new steaming methods were presented on the field day of the chamber of agriculture in Cologne / Auweiler.

Two weeks later, on the 15.09., the Service Center for Rural Areas (DLR) Rheinlandpfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate) presented its latest results of steaming tests with babyleaf and arugula on the Quckbrunner Hof during its field day. Two steaming methods were compared with other means of weed control such as classic herbicides, etc. Both steaming methods showed the same effects.

Baby-Leaf Culture treated with herbicides. Worst growth, weeds still present (in particular ragwort!)

Baby-Leaf Culture treated with herbicides. Worst growth, weeds still present (in particular ragwort!)

Baby-Leaf on control area, not treated: Lots of weeds and good plant growth.

Baby-Leaf on control area, not treated: Lots of weeds and good plant growth.

Baby-Leaf culture on steamed soil: Best quality and highest yields – 100% weed free

Baby-Leaf culture on steamed soil: Best quality and highest yields – 100% weed free

The use of herbicides (Kerb Flo and Cadou) in general always came with significant growth disturbance. Cadou suppresses ragwort well, but strongly harms babyleaf as shown in the first picture. The exclusive treatment with Kerb Flo shows much less damages, but the weed control effect is insufficient. Herbicide treatments all required manual removal of weeds.

Areas treated with hot steam showed different results: the steamed beets were all totally weed free. Furthermore plant growth was increased. The DLR pointed out that the effect of hot steam depends on steaming time. If steaming time is too short (below 5 minutes), weed seeds might survive.

“Dämpfmobil” is awarded the German Innovation Price 2011

Friday, September 9th, 2011

On the 2nd September 2011 at the forth award ceremony of the German Innovation Price Horticulture, the best innovations were awarded.
MSD GmbH belonged to the group of winners of this year. The award was presented with the following text:

The „Dämpfmobil“ developed by Firma MSD GmbH in Durbach serves the purpose of physical plant protection.

     

It is a new development of a mobile, fully automated steaming device for the superficial, deep penetrating treatment of large, groomed open land areas After manual set up on the field, the steaming robot operates fully automatic.

In comparison to previous systems for area steaming, the steaming robot facilitates the use of steaming and reduces operation cost per hectare, as work time and energy can be saved. This device takes thermo physical plant protection one big step further and makes it more practical.

Award ceremony on the 02.09.2011 in Koblenz (from left to right: Christian and Michael Seifert, the parlamentary state secretary of the federal ministry of agriculture, Peter Bleser, Sonja Seifert, Dieter Seifert, German flower princess Lisa Maurer and the president of ZVG –Heinz Herker. (Photo: ZVG)

Award ceremony on the 02.09.2011 in Koblenz (from left to right: Christian and Michael Seifert, the parlamentary state secretary of the federal ministry of agriculture, Peter Bleser, Sonja Seifert, Dieter Seifert, German flower princess Lisa Maurer and the president of ZVG –Heinz Herker. (Photo: ZVG)

Due to the linkage of modern technology for automation as well as the high efficiency of the used heating system it was possible to create a modern machine based on the proved process of soil steaming. For the future it is expected of such processes to grow in importance. For ecological horticulture steaming is often the only alternative.

Steaming becomes even more beneficial: No weeds also after 2nd crop!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Steaming becomes even less inexpensive. Besides the fact that steaming time can be reduced by 20% without losing the positive weed control effect of steam, recently a study revealed that yet another energy saving potential can be used.

Steam trials with arugula have shown that the 100% effect of hot steam against weeds at a steaming depth of about 8 – 10 cm persists even for the 2nd crop.
After the first and the 2nd crop no weeds were found in the arugula beets. Hence the harvest meets highest quality standards.

No weeds also after 2nd crop – Research result of DLR RLP

No weeds also after 2nd crop – Research result of DLR RLP

Conclusion:
The beets only need to be steamed once for two harvests. Please pay attention to the following: When steaming, the soil needs to be steamed a little longer down to 10cm depth. As long as the soil of the beets isn’t moved, the 2nd crop grows without any weeds. One steaming process can be saved and cost comes down by another approx. 25%!

More results of steaming were presented in Cologne / Auweiler at a field day of the agricultural chamber of the German federal state NRW.
Furthermore the DLR RLP presents its latest research results on steaming during the field day on the 15th of September 2011 in Queckbrunnerhof, Schifferstad.

New Steaming System“Steam Mixer” reaches series-production readiness

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

The new steaming system, developed by Mobildampf in cooperation with Fobro Kress, has reached maturity. Since this month it’s ready for production.

Steam Mixer, drawn by tractor | Photo: Mobildampf

Steam Mixer, drawn by tractor | Photo: Mobildampf

The Steam Mixer allows variable steaming in greenhouses or on open land. It has a fixed scraper with a two-rowed hydraulic vibrating harrow at 60-200 rounds per minute (no power take off). The steam injector is corrosion-resistant and stands out due to its robust construction.
In accordance to information provided by the manufacturer, the new steaming system runs at a speed of 40-140 m / h, depending on the steaming depth of 5-15cm and on the output of the steam boiler.

Steam Mixer, drawn by tractor | Photo: Mobildampf

Steam Mixer, drawn by tractor | Photo: Mobildampf

The standard scope of supply contains frame, cover, rod-type rolls, steam injector, vibrating harrow, 2 steaming sheets (15m), sheet intake, hydraulic drive incl. plug-in couplings DIN 2 and throttling valve.

This machine was presented for the first time in Nuremburg on the 04th of August 2011