SOLAR SALT HARVESTERS

For MUD FLOOR CRYSTALLIZERS

SALT HARVESTING MACHINES
Solar Salt Engineering Harvesters are built in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA and are used to harvest salt from mud floor crystallizers . That is salt grown and recovered directly from the mud on the crystallizer bottom.

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GW HARVESTER SERIES

This harvester design is based on the type harvester used since the mid 1930's in the San Francisco area salt plants to harvest from 2 ? to 6 inches of solar salt from mud floor crystallizers to feed a refinery producing food grade salt..  The important features of this machine were wide flat tracks for very low ground pressure, a rotary barrel with picks to loosen the salt to keep the disturbance at the mud salt contact point to a bare minimum.  The harvest machine stays always on the salt crop avoiding any contact with the bare mud pond floor.

The Bobcat series of T-rubber flat track FE loaders provides a power unit to operate a similar salt harvesters small enough to be used in very small salt plants. The pickroll device loosens the salt for easy pickup and provides some forward pulling effect, lessening the power used for pulling the unit forward   (or backward in this case) There is sufficient power available to operate the machinery on the harvester.  The harvester devices are built to provide the maximum capacity consistent with the power available and  the power unit ability to lift the weight of the unit for turnaround and travel betweens ponds.

There are currently two models available :

GW 60
60 tons per hour capacity to initiate the first step in converting small plants to mechanical means.
 
Click images for larger view. View GW 60 Video Here


GW 250
200 tons per hour capacity for small industrial size plants.
 
Click images for larger view. View GW 250 Video Here

A GW 320 is planned for the last model in this series around the Bobcat T 300 (the largest of this type that Bobcat builds) to produce over 300 tph.

There are several inherent advantages to this machine because all the power to operate the harvest devices comes from the engine and hydraulic system of the Bobcat Power system.ĘC

1. One man operation, no additional equipment needed.
2.  The only connections of a power nature from the Bobcat to the Harvester are the hydraulic hoses.
3. All the controls are in the Bobcat cab except the travel direction ofthe conveyors right outside the door within easy reach of the operator.
4.   The rubber tracks result in a ground pressure of about 5 psi for all the units, about like a man walking and the unit will be spun in it's own tracks. The unit will work anywhere a man can walk. 5.  With the Bobcat inching control there is good slow speed control of the travel, very important to achieve a consistent salt feed to the unit.
6.  There are four hydraulic motors on the harvester, one at each end of the pickroll (one only for the GW-60) and one at each end of the conveyor, all directly connected, there are no electrical connections, gear boxes, chain drives or similar devices on the harvester to be exposed to the salt atmosphere .
7.  The adjustable skid cut depth controls on these machines allow a partial crop harvest to grow salt floors gradually, leaving some salt each harvest to build up the salt floor over several years and allow for an earlier start time in new plants.
8.  The sipmlicity of the system should result in long life and minimum maintenance in the salt atmosphere.
9.  The Bobcat can be used for many other uses around a plant during the off harvest season. The mechanical connections can be switched back to the quick connect device in about 30 minutes to attach to FE loaders, backhoes, ditching machine attachments and the like.
10.  There are Bobcat dealerships in most countries and major cities for parts and repairs.

The simplicity of the system should result in long life and minimum maintenance in the salt environment.

SOLAR SALT OPERATING PROCEDURES

In order for a mechanical harvesting system to work there are certain operating practices that need to be followed.

The common practice of retaining bittern ( salt brines in the crystallizers above 32 deg baume) must be changed and not carried over from crop to crop. Salt produced from this type operation is not as firm as normal salt and will not support harvesting or transport equipment. Additionally this practice actually reduces that amount of salt that would be produced by draining away the bittern and refilling with new brine.

Click Here To View A Series Of Notes About Solar Salt Production