Comparative analysis of harvesting machines on an operational high-density short rotation woody crop (SRWC) culture : one-process versus two-process harvest operation
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Engineering sciences. Technology
Biomass and bioenergy. - London
, p. 333-342
University of Antwerp
Short rotation woody crops (SRWCs) are being studied and cultivated because of their potential for bioenergy production. The harvest operation represents the highest input cost for these short rotation woody crops. We evaluated three different harvesting machines representing two harvesting systems at one operational large-scale SRWC plantation. On average, 8 ton ha(-1) of biomass was harvested. The cut-and-chip harvesters were faster than the whole stem harvester; and the self-propelled harvester was faster than the tractor-pulled. Harvesting costs differed among the harvesting machines used and ranged from 388 (sic) ha(-1) to 541 (sic) ha(-1). The realized stem cutting heights were 15.46 cm and 16.00 cm for the tractor-pulled stem harvester and the self-propelled cut-and-chip harvester respectively, although a cutting height of 10 cm was requested in advance. From the potential harvestable biomass, only 77.4% was harvested by the self-propelled cut-and-chip harvester, while 94.5% was harvested by the tractor-pulled stem harvester. An increase of the machinery use efficiency (i.e. harvest losses, cost) is necessary to reduce costs and increase the competitiveness of biomass with other energy sources. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.