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Garden Composters > Composting > Technology
Pile Type Composters
The most common design is the compost pile, where material is added to the top of the pile and removed from the bottom. These units are typically less expensive, but because they are not easy to mix, they have the disadvantage that they tend to dry out and lack oxygen in the middle of the pile.

 
Drum Type Composters
Drum type composters have the advantage that they normally allow for easier rotation of the compost, with superior aeration and moisture distribution. However, they typically are more expensive than “pile” type composters, and secondly, because they are not continuous composters they tend to operate one batch at a time.

Technology

SUN-MAR’s Autoflow technology on 200 and 400 models combines the best features of both pile and drum type composters.

The patented double drum ensures that as the drum rotates, compost moves along the main outer drum and back through the inner drum, before dropping from the output port.

How Does this Work?

200 and 400 Units

The 200 and 400 units consist of an outer main drum, with an inner drum inside it, supported at both ends by the outer drum. The whole drum assembly is supported by a cradle. At the far end of the inner drum is a “scoop” designed so that as the drum rotates, material is picked up by the inner drum and pushed along the inner drum to the output port. When the outport port door is unscrewed composted material falls out into a container.

200 Inner Drum 400 Inner Drum
  • The output end is featured here.
  • The scoop end is featured here.
The inner drum picks up more material as the level of compost in the outer drum increases. The amount it picks up and conveys to the output port is also dependent on the number of rotations of the outer drum. This means that material travels automatically in a circular fashion before exiting the composting unit through the output port. This kind of continuous flow, means that material can be added continuously to the composting drum.

The output port is the output end of the inner drum which is surrounded by the cradle bearing into which it fits snugly. At the other end a 4" bearing on the outer drum fits into the a hole in the cradle, and is supported by a drum cap which prevents the drum from working its way out of the cradle.

200 Cradle 400 Cradle
Because the scoop is at the far end of the drum, compost is not picked up by the scoop until it has traveled the length of the drum from the input port end to the scoop end. Once the material gets into the inner drum it tends to dry out as it is conveyed back to the input/output end because it is separated from receiving any new moisture.
Some features of SUN-MAR’s AUTOFLOW technology...
  1. Compost discharges automatically.
  2. No waiting for batches to finish.
  3. Pest resistant.
  4. Easy to load and turn.
 

AUTOFLOW provides optimum composting conditions!

The SUN-MAR 200 and 400 units make it easy to mix, oxygenate, and distribute moisture throughout, while eliminating the disadvantage of batch production normally associated with composting in a drum.

Material Travel Within the composter.

Because the scoop is at the far end of the drum, compost is not picked up by the scoop until it has traveled the length of the outer drum from input end to scoop end. Once material gets into the inner drum it tends to dry out as it is conveyed back to the input/output end because it receives no new moisture.

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