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Title:Machine system energy requirements and yield sensing for biomass harvesting
Author(s):Maughan, Justin
Advisor(s):Hansen, Alan C.
Department / Program:Agricultural & Biological Engr
Discipline:Technical Systems Management
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
yield sensing
yield maps
cutting energy
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 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. A single disk cutter system was 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 as compared to 18.5 MJ/Mg for the conventional straight 0° blades. Further studies could reveal the effects of the replacement cost of the blades as compared to the energy savings achieved by using them. A yield sensing system was developed for use as a mechanism to determine the amount of energy consumed by the harvester per unit weight of biomass. The “look-ahead” yield sensing system detected crop yield just prior to the crop being cut by the mower-conditioner and correlated closely (R2=0.80) with the actual crop yield measured by the yield monitor system on a New Holland BB9080 large square baler. The instantaneous yield measurements provided high resolution yield values that were used to determine the material energy consumption of the mower conditioner. Further development of the yield sensing system could enable it to be used as a feedrate control mechanism for controlling machine travel speed.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Justin Maughan
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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