Installation of an Acid Applicator on a Forage Harvester – Here’s How to Succeed

Wondering how to install an acid applicator on a forage harvester? No worries, with the help of this article, the installation will surely go smoothly! The example featured in the article is the NewHolland FR550 forage harvester, on which a dosing system built around the Spreader 30 acid applicator was installed.

Start the Installation with the Pump Unit

The pump unit of the acid applicator should be placed as close to the silage preservative container as possible. A commonly used method is to build a so-called rear rack for a 1000-liter IBC container at the back of the forage harvester, as done in the example case (see picture 1). The cable length between the pump and the controller is 10 meters for the Spreader 30 applicator, which is sufficient even if the pump unit is installed at the rear of the harvester (see picture 2). When running the connecting cable from the pump to the cab, it is important to ensure that the cable is not at risk of disconnecting or getting caught.

The applicator controller is installed in the forage harvester’s cab so that it is easily within reach for operating the applicator (see picture 3). The display should also be clearly visible for warnings, such as low flow alerts. The installation must be sturdy to ensure that the controller remains securely in place. Additionally, when installing the controller, it is important to ensure that it does not obstruct the use of other functions of the forage harvester.

Next, the hoses between the IBC container and the acid applicator’s pump unit are assembled. A suction pipe is installed in the IBC container, from which the preservative is directed to the pump unit through the suction hose connected between these two points (see pictures 4 and 5). It is advisable to install a filter in the suction hose to prevent debris and impurities that may have entered the container from getting inside the pump unit.

Two Possible Installation Locations for the Nozzles

The preservative from the acid applicator travels through hoses to the jets, which are installed either in the harvester’s chamber or on top of the forage harvester’s pipe. The latter remains a popular installation method, partly because it protects the harvester from the corrosive effects of acid that may be used in ensiling. With a sufficiently powerful dosing system – in this case, the Spreader 30 with a capacity of up to 30 l/min – adequate dosing is achieved even with nozzles installed on the chute. In the example case, the nozzles were installed on top of the pipe at the customer’s request (see pictures 6 and 7). The installation method of the nozzles and the hoses running from the pump unit to the nozzles, partially inside the machine’s frame, are well illustrated in pictures 8, 9, and 10.

In the example case, a set of jet nozzles equipped with check valves was used, where the built-in check valve in the jet stops the free flow of the preservative immediately when the applicator is turned off. Additionally, a separate anti-drip valve installed in the hose can be used, which is also necessary when the jets are installed in the forage harvester’s chamber instead of the pipe.

A Time Relay is a Handy Accessory

In addition to the previously mentioned components, the installation in the example case also utilized a time relay specifically designed for forage harvester use (see picture 11). With the time relay – that is, a control relay equipped with a delay function – the applicator’s pumping can be set to start automatically after a desired amount of time once the pickup is lowered to the windrow. This ensures that the pumping of the preservative begins only when the forage has reached the chute, preventing the preservative from being sprayed unnecessarily into the air. However, when using the time relay, the applicator will still shut off immediately, like a standard control relay, when the pickup is raised from the windrow.

Products Used in the Example Case Installation Available in the Happowa Online Store:

Silage additive applicator Spreader 30 – includes pump unit, controller, connecting cable (10 m), and power cable

Suction pipe for 1,000-litre IBC container

Inline filter

PVC hose, spiral-reinforced

Set of rounded jet nozzles with check valves

Time relay

Photos by: Juho Sippola