Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Harvesting trees at the push of a button

20.03.2013
EU project ROD-PICKER develops automated harvesting machine for energy wood

Fast-growing trees, which are becoming an increasingly important source of renewable energy, are planted on Short Rotation Coppices (SRCs). In order to fulfil the high demand for plant material, the parent tree nurseries must be efficiently harvested and the rods for cutting production sorted and packaged.


Year-old willows are harvested in a parent tree nursery. Picture: ROD-PICKER


The sorting of harvested rods is subject to set criteria and currently still performed by hand. The ROD-PICKER project targets a higher level of automation and greater economy. Picture: ROD-PICKER

This however currently involves manual work on a considerable scale. ROD-PICKER, an EU-funded project, is developing an automated harvesting and processing system for SRC parent nurseries which aims to multiply production efficiency.

Bremerhaven, March 2013. Short Rotation Coppices (SRCs), in which fast-growing types of tree such as willows or poplars are cultivated as a bio-energy source, are very efficient biomass production systems with many advantages for the environment. Biological diversity is raised and soil protection and stabilization of the regional climate are improved.

The ROD-PICKER project has the task of developing an automated harvesting and processing system for parent tree nurseries, which combines the harvesting, the sorting and packaging of the rods and thus makes the harvesting process more efficient. In order to satisfy the sector’s demand economically, cost-efficient harvesting techniques are urgently required here. At present, harvesting, sorting and packaging are however still performed by hand or by self-built prototypes through which demand, above all in the near future, cannot be satisfied.

The method to be developed within ROD-PICKER is expected to result in a harvesting speed which is ten times faster. The target is an automated system for European biomass farmers which will allow an extensive use of SRCs in Europe thanks to time and cost reductions. The prototype to be developed aims to unite all the processes which occur in the course of harvesting and at the same time to be compatible with existing processing and transport equipment.

Through the cost-efficient production of cuttings, wood production in the European biomass sector could be increased by 30 % per year, whilst production efficiency could be raised by at least 500 % in comparison to manual harvesting methods. An improved competitiveness amongst European farmers would preserve jobs in rural regions as well as generate new employment in the manufacture, maintenance and operation of the proposed system. Field trials with ROD-PICKER will commence in November 2013 in Dresden.

All the small and medium-sized enterprises participating in the project are operating in the area of manufacture of agricultural harvesting machines and auxiliary equipment, cultivation of energy crops or the biomass production chain. Coordinator of the ROD-PICKER project is Egedal Maskinfabrik A/S from Denmark. The other partners involved in the project are Salixenergi Europa AB from Sweden, Politehnica University of Timisoara from Romania and from Germany Lempe GbR., the Technical University of Dresden and ttz Bremerhaven, which is responsible for research and technological development including scientific coordination. The project is funded as “Research for the benefit of SMEs” within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union. One of the main objectives of this programme is to strengthen the industrial competitiveness of European SMEs. The project is running from October 2012 to September 2014 and has a total budget of around € 1.700.000, of which about € 1.300.000 is EU funding.

ttz Bremerhaven is an independent research institute and performs application-related research and development. Under the umbrella of ttz Bremerhaven, an international team of experts is working in the fields of food, environment and health.

Contact:
Christian Colmer
Head of Communication and Media
ttz Bremerhaven
Fischkai 1
D-27572 Bremerhaven (Germany)
Phone: +49 (0)471 48 32 -124
Fax: +49 (0)471 48 32 - 129
ccolmer@ttz-bremerhaven.de

Christian Colmer | idw
Further information:
http://www.ttz-bremerhaven.de

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>