Design, fabrication and testing of a dual powered livestock feed pelletizer
Mpanja, Chelsea Muhenda
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A common problem facing farmers rearing livestock is lack of access to proper feeds to meet nutrient requirements for their animals in the right quality and at a favourable price. Due to high costs of feeds majority of farmers who are low-income earners are pushed out of farming. Therefore, farmers have been encouraged to make their own feeds and are using roller operated pelletizers and screw conveyor pelletizers which are associated with constant repair due to blockage and wear plus they are operated by grid electricity which is intermittent and unavailable while others are powered by diesel engines which cause emission of greenhouse gases causing pollution. This study developed a dual powered livestock feed pelletizer under the objectives; to design, construct a prototype and test the performance of machine. The machine consists of the hopper, barrel, frame, screw conveyor, handle and solar system. The design was carried out using engineering principles with due consideration to cost, ease of operation, serviceability, durability and performance. The machine is designed to be driven by a 0.5hp geared motor powered by inverter, battery and solar panels of 300W. The machine was produced using locally sourced materials based on availability, machinability and workability. The test that determined the performance of pelletizer was carried out using dies of 3mm and 5mm under the following parameters; Throughput Capacity of 20kg/hr (using solar) 17kg/hr (hand cranking), Pelleting Efficiency and machine efficiency. The machine is dual powered and has changeable dies to produce pellets with diameter in range (2-8mm) suitable for livestock farmers. Key words; Pelletizer, Green-house gases, intermittent, screw conveyor, Throughput Capacity, Pelleting Efficiency, Machine efficiency, Pollution.