EconoDri Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use an EconoDri/VAL6 Combo?

The EconoDri/VAL6 combo is positioned with the EconoDri narrow end close to the bin fan intake and the VAL6 radiant heater is centered into the flared end, until it is just short of touching the EconoDri.  There is an almost infinite variety of aeration-bin sizes and corresponding aeration fans.  EconoDri has been designed to be compatible with a variety of bin fan cfm ratings, and the primary intent is that the easiest air for the bin fan to take in, should be the dehumidified EconoDri air.

The secondary EconoDri/VAL6 benefit is the accompanying rise in air temp. What is important to keep in mind is that the EconoDri/VAL6 dry air available to the fan is relative to the amount of fan-cfm-air, and the resulting drier and warmer air will be relative to the amount of air (cfm) being moved by the bin fan.  As EconoDri/VAL6 combos are used with larger and larger capacity bins and fans, there does reach a point where matching the fans capacity with EconoDri/VAL6 capacity takes the form of using multiple combos to feed the bin fan.

Another benefit of this is when the larger bin is dried, being able to split the combos to use by smaller bins, individually, or still use in multiples for higher moisture grain.


Regardless of fan cfm ratings, fans are NOT designed to be air-starved. Do NOT block the fan intake to force all intake to come through the EconoDri/VAL6 combo. If the easiest air for the fan to pull in is the dry air, the fan needs available “free” air to fill its performance spec’s.

Depending on the application, if the fan is capable of considerably more air movement than one combo provides, a 2nd combo can help.

How does the EconoDri / VAL6 Combo work?


The VAL6 operating surface temperature is typically +/- 1500 degrees F.  Air coming into proximity of the VAL6 radiant surface is exposed to simply unbelievable radiant energy and heat, and experiences some humidity reduction, and VAL6 heaters have been reported to be limited-effective by themselves when positioned in front of a bin fan.  Now, please bear in mind that the single most vital operating characteristic of VAL6 radiant heaters is the 1500 degree red-hot design.

ALL efficiency advantages are maximized when the VAL6 radiant is operating in this manner, and any conditions or variables that compromise this will also have a bearing on performance and effectiveness.  Having said this, one variable is the fan type, whether axial or centrifugal and the second variable is the cfm design capacity.  When the VAL6 is positioned (alone) at the bin fan intake, it is exposed to air-flow that it wasn’t designed to operate in, and this leads to the EconoDri design effect.

Early EconoDri cabinets did have the internal energy collector assembly but did not have the wedge cabinet design, and while they did accomplish some drying, they had more of a free-flow “wind-tunnel” effect.  The most obvious symptom of the free flow air was that the VAL6 “signature” cherry-red front would darken to much the same extent as the VAL6 heaters that were standing alone in front of the fan.  The darker operating surface was indicative of a cooler operating surface, with corresponding reduced heating / radiant / fuel consumption-relative-to-performance inefficiencies.  To address this called for comparisons to a funnel for pouring common fluids. Similar to fluid passing through a funnel, the funnel typically limits the fluid pass-through rate, instead of free flow.

The EconoDri cabinet is designed to decelerate the air flow passing through the chamber.  This slowed flow exposes the air to the extreme radiant energy slightly longer, while controlling the companion cooling effect of the air-flow, thereby maintaining the VAL6 1500 degree operating efficiency target.  This is also magnified by the patented internal thermal energy collector assembly.  The collector absorbs the radiant energy and heat through which the decelerated air-flow passes through.

The closest 60% of the EconoDri collector surfaces can temp-read absorbed temps from 250-350° F. and more depending on the VAL6 model used.  Pass-through air typically experiences a 20-40 degree temp-rise, again depending on the size and capacity of the bin fan.  This is where humidity drop and temp rise takes place, and this is where the patented wrap-around EconoDri design manages / controls the performance variables mentioned earlier.  The unique 360 degree “wrap-around” collector design also functions to minimize “escape” radiant energy and heat, and in doing so, works to maximize the intended dry air that a bin fan pulls in and forces through the grain to be dried.

The best analogies for what then happens is to compare how standing grain dries in the field on a low humidity day, when the grain is exposed to dry ambient air, and releases the grain moisture to the relatively dryer air.  Another comparison is the common clothes dryer.  What really does dry the wet clothes?  The first impulse is that hot air dries the clothes, but the hot air is typically a symptom of a heating function which drys the air that is forced through the clothes to be dried.  The heat has a hybrid effect in drying the clothes, but the air was made drier by passing by and through a heating function, and was made hotter as a by-product of the drying.

Another comparison is if you had a sopping-wet sponge in one hand and a bone-dry sponge in the other hand. If you put them against each other, the moisture from the wet sponge would cooperatively transfer to the dry sponge. With the EconoDri/VAL6 combo, substitute dry air for the dry sponge.


In the case of a typical fall harvest season, there is a transition to shorter days, cooler days, and less conditions that are conducive to creating dry air. When natural conditions do produce very low relative humidity conditions, simply take advantage of the dry air “gift.”

Without the EconoDri/VAL6 combo, as the day becomes cooler and humidity tends to rise, leaving the bin fan running can have the effect of un-doing the drying accomplished during the dry air part of the day, by pushing the more-humid air into the grain. In contrast, the EconoDri/VAL6 combos were essentially designed to artificially create a longer drying day for the grain in the bin.  This has also been proven with some grain bin after-market equipment options that operate by sensing humidity conditions and automatically operate fans as long as the days humidity is conducive to accomplishing drying, and automatically shutting off the fans when the humidity is not drying the grain.  Either way, whether the EconoDri/VAL6 combo is integrated with automated fan systems or manually, the net result is for more economical, more cost-efficient drying.

The most popular VAL6 radiant space heaters consume between .85 to 1.1 gallons of diesel per hour.  Compared to conventional drying systems that can consume much higher volumes of fuel, EconoDri/VAL6 combos typically translate into lower per-hour operating costs combined with a reduced tendency to over-dry and the possibility of drying significant amounts of test-weight out of the grain, w/ loss of income from lower pay weight.


VAL6 radiant heaters have just introduced their new product additions that use LP (Propane) and NG (Natural Gas).

While these units only consume @ 140K of fuel per hour, (for example, at 1-1/2 gallon of LP, or the equivalent in NG) the heat production is phenomenal, -and answers the request for VAL6 radiant’s that don’t need to be manually re-filled at fueling intervals, as well as being outstanding facility heaters in the winter.

Please consult the accompanying product-info tab for more details.

How much is an EconoDri/VAL6 Combo capable of drying?

In Ag trade shows, we always watch for opportunities to provide demonstrations that let the interested public actually participate in the demonstrations where we simulate airflow through an EconoDri/VAL6 combo. We always start our demonstrations as early as possible so if there is a high humidity, dewy type of morning, or even rainy / drizzly conditions, this gives a starting point to understanding the EconoDri/VAL6 de-hydrate process and how to project applications. This demonstration uses an approximately +/- 2000 cfm fan to simulate a bin fan pulling air through an EconoDri/VAL6 combo.

Unfortunately, a farm show tends to limit facilities, and our earlier demonstrations were of a single EconoDri/VAL6 combo, and our digital “reader” for demonstrating humidity drop and temp rise. This made it difficult to display capacity expand-ability, and our new display model is a trailer-mounted double EconoDri/VAL6 c