Development of a small-scale harvester for biomass operations
Concerns about population growth and the availability of conventional non-renewable sources of energy have sparked lots of emphasis for studies about renewable energies. Biomass is an alternative source of energy that can be very successful in the United States where there is a surplus of growing stock of forests. While very promising, new development in the USA about how to improve this market has been slow to occur. Our objective is to develop a small-scale machine that can be used as a feller-buncher for biomass harvesting. As it is known that most woody biomass availability is in small diameter material, we are going to use a mini hydraulic excavator as a basis for this study, making modifications to its boom, and adding an auxiliary motor that will make the machine more productive and economically feasible while aiming for Timber Stand Improvements (TSI).