High Tonnage Forest Biomass Production Systems from Southern Pine Energy Plantations [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 2014.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy
- Physical Description:
- 227 pages : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- United States. Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- In this study, a high-tonnage harvesting system designed specifically to operate efficiently in the expected stand types of a bioenergy scenario was built, deployed, and evaluated in a production setting. Stands on which the system was evaluated exhibited the heavy stocking levels (> 600 stems per acre) and tree size distributions with significant volume in small stems (down to 2” DBH) that were expected in the modified energy plantation silvicultural approach. The harvest system also was designed to be functional in the traditional plantation stands dominating the commercial forestry landscape in the region. The Tigercat 845D feller buncher, which was a prototype machine designed for the high tonnage harvest system, used a boom-mounted prototype DT1802 shear felling head and incorporated a number of options intended to maximize its small-stem productivity, including: a high-speed shear severing system that was cheaper to operate than a saw; a large-pocket felling head that allowed larger accumulations of small stems to be built before expending the time to drop them for the skidder; efficient, low ground pressure, tracked carrier system to decrease the amount of maneuvering, saving time and minimizing soil disturbance; and various energy-saving devices to lower fuel costs and minimize air quality impacts. Overall, the feller buncher represented a quantum advance in small-stem harvesting technology. Extensive testing showed the machine’s production rate to be relatively insensitive to piece size, much less so than comparable traditional equipment. In plantation stands, the feller buncher was able to produce approximately 100 green tons of biomass per productive machine hour (PMH), and in natural stands, it produced nearly 120 green tons per PMH. The ability of the high tonnage feller buncher to maintain high productivity in stands with smaller diameter stems is something that has not been achieved in previous feller buncher designs. The Tigercat 845D feller buncher is now a production machine for Tigercat and is being sold in their current product line. The high-speed felling system was paired with a Tigercat 630D skidder and high-capacity grapple; one that could match the felling productivity when pulling small stems. The harvesting system minimized hourly costs using a single, high-capacity skidder (with a single operator), rather than two smaller ones, which is the traditional practice. The skidder itself can be considered a mid-range size and had an engine no larger than other machines in its class, but it incorporated a very large capacity 25 ft2 grapple. The large grapple is well suited to grabbing and hauling a large bunch of small-diameter trees, as produced by the high tonnage feller buncher. The grapple worked effectively in larger stems as well, but its ability to carry large numbers of small stems meant the average payload did not drop as stand DBH decreased. Tests with the machine indicated its travel speeds were nearly the same as, or perhaps slightly better than, conventionally equipped skidders, but grapple capacity was 75% larger. Productivity and cost per ton of the new skidder were better than conventional skidders for average skid distances of any length greater than 100 feet. Measured skidder productivity was as high as 143 gt/PMH. Its productivity exceeded that of the high-capacity feller buncher for skid distances out to nearly 700 feet, so system productivity could be expected to remain high for stands of a size typical in the southern U.S. The Tigercat 630D skidder is a production machine for Tigercat and the large grapple can now be ordered by customers using it for small diameter trees. When the feller buncher and skidder are analyzed as a two-machine system, overall productivity is fixed at the level of the least productive machine. Results from a set of side-by-side tests in the same density stand with conventional feller bunchers and skidders showed that the high tonnage system produced 97 gt/P...
- Report Numbers:
- E 1.99:1
- Other Subject(s):
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Steve Taylor; Timothy McDonald; Oladiran Fasina; Tom Gallagher; Mathew Smidt; Dana Mitchell; John Klepac; Jason Thompson; Wes Sprinkle; Emily Carter; Johnny Grace; Robert Rummer; Frank Corley; Grant Somerville.
Auburn Univ., AL (United States)
- Type of Report and Period Covered Note:
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