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The objective of the project was to design, build and test a harvesting system for short rotation forestry. The harvesting machine was specified to cut and process a wide range of trees of various types and sizes, with maximum stem diameters not exceeding 10 cms. It should be capable of traversing different types of terrain including peatlands and sloping ground. The machine should be flexible, mobile and should leave the plantation in a suitable condition to facilitate coppicing and regrowth of the cut stumps, whilst at the same time collecting all grown material without waste. The harvesting system/machine should have minimum energy requirements and a low labour demand. The "processed" material produced should be in such a form as to take maximum advantage of solar drying with minimum rewetting and should be capable of storage over long periods without deterioration. The short rotation harvester which has been built by Bordna Mona is a fully trailed unit suitable for towing behind a 98 kW tractor. The harvester is equipped with tracks to reduce ground bearing pressure. The biomass trees are cut by means of two counter-rotating saws of 1 meter diameter. The trees are then conveyed to the billeting cutting mechanism where they are cut into billets 150 mm long and then to a storage container of 7 m**3 capacity. This container which is built into the machine frame is tipped by hydraulic rams. The harvester has undergone a series of tests in the past year on both single stem and coppice plantations with moderate success. However, some of the planned tests could not be carried out fully because of a scarcity of suitable biomass material. This scarcity was due to the failure of the tree growing programme to achieve projected targets on cutaway peatland. There have been, however, sufficient tests carried out on which to base a critical assessment of the design and boiler trials on the billeted material.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: EUR 9997 EN (1985) MF, 18 P., BFR 150, BLOW-UP COPY BFR 200, EUROFFICE, LUXEMBOURG, POB 1003
Availability: Can be ordered online
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