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 IHP technology ready for space flights
20.08.2018 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

nachricht It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries
20.08.2018 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

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: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>