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Impact of Blade Angle on Miscanthus Harvesting Energy Requirement

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

Citation:  Paper number  131596571,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13031/aim.20131596571) @2013
Authors:   Justin D Maughan, Sunil K Mathanker, Tony E Grift, Alan C Hansen
Keywords:   Biomass blade angle cutting energy disk cutter efficiency energy consumption energy requirement forage harvesting machinery management miscanthus mower conditioner power requirement precision agriculture real-time self-propelled timeliness windrower yield

Abstract. Miscanthus is emerging as a promising feedstock for domestic biofuel production. However, inefficiencies of machinery that are used for harvesting bioenergy crops such as miscanthus currently prohibit commercial production. The performance of a mower-conditioner used to harvest miscanthus was evaluated and modifications to the disk head were made to allow the machine to operate more efficiently. Previous work on cutting parameters for harvesting miscanthus concluded that the energy requirement could be reduced by changing blade oblique angles and varying cutting speeds. Results from studies involving a single disk cutter system were evaluated for use in determining the cutting parameters that should be implemented on the mower-conditioner. As a result, blades with oblique angles of 20° and 30° were manufactured and fitted to the mower-conditioner. The 30° oblique angle resulted in the greatest energy reduction with an energy consumption of 13.5 MJ Mg-1 as compared to 18.5 MJ Mg-1 for the conventional straight 0° blades. Further studies could reveal the effects of the replacement cost of the blades as compared to the savings achieved by using them.

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