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 Electron sandwich doubles thermoelectric performance
20.06.2018 | Hokkaido University

nachricht Agrophotovoltaics Goes Global: from Chile to Vietnam
20.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Innovative autonomous system for identifying schools of fish

20.06.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling robots with brainwaves and hand gestures

20.06.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>