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Expanded Cycle Analysis – Forage or Biomass Harvest

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  056054,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19562) @2005
Authors:   Dennis R. Buckmaster, James W. Hilton
Keywords:   Biomass, cycle analysis, forage, harvest, logistics, machinery selection, silage, transport

A model including interactions of harvest, transport, and storage functions of a system for gathering large amounts of biomass for use in production agriculture or the biomass refining industry was refined to include a harvester power/capacity relationship. Harvester capacity (Mg/h, tons/h) was estimated as harvester power (kW or hp) divided by a constant (3.3kWh/Mg, 4.0 hph/ton). A spreadsheet implementation was developed to facilitate rapid analysis of alternative scenarios designed to maximize the use of the harvester. Transport requirements can be estimated and utilization of the system components can be evaluated for situations with varying harvester size, transporter size, transport distance, transporter speed, and unloader capacity. A theoretical equation for the transport requirement was derived and a simpler empirical, practical model for transport needs was developed. Number of transporters required to keep a harvester fully utilized is a function of transport distance, harvester power, transporter capacity, and average transport speed. Systems with harvesters in the 200 to 300 kW (270 to 400 hp) range will likely require 3 to 5 transporters of approximately 3.6 t DM (4 t DM) capacity each in haycrops and 4 to 6 transporters in corn silage.

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