Development and testing of a sugarcane harvester single drum chopper system

Barnes, M,G., Loughran, J.G., Whiteing, C., and Lamb, B.W. (2009) Development and testing of a sugarcane harvester single drum chopper system. In: Proceedings of the 2009 Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, pp. 546-555. From: 2009 Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 5 - 8 May, 2009, Ballina, NSW, Australia.

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Abstract

A global push towards renewable energy has seen the birth of cogeneration in Australian sugar mills. To maximise the amount of energy extracted from the material, whole crop harvesting has been introduced, where a higher proportion of total biomass is sent to the mill. The adverse affect of this is a significant reduction in bulk density of the harvested material. Transport costs to harvester owners and millers significantly increase as bin weights are reduced, and therefore there is a case for developing a harvester chopper system which maintains bin weight as the amount of trash sent to the mill increases. A single drum chopper system was developed in this study and a prototype was constructed for experimental assessment of the performance of the system. Cane and juice losses and billet quality were measured for a range of operational conditions which included varying the chopper drum speed and material pour rate. The cutting process was captured by high speed photography for analysis into the causes of damage and losses. Speeding up the chopper drum and therefore shortening the billet length proved to have the most detrimental effect on system performance, with reducing the target billet length from 200mm to 100mm resulting in over three times the overall losses. An increase in pour rate did not have a significant effect on losses or billet quality. For the set of trial conditions most closely representing those previously done with differential choppers, the single drum system produced similar efficiency results. However, the advantages of this system are most prominent in whole crop harvesting where shorter billets are required to maintain bin weights. A number of modifications to the concept are suggested which are expected to significantly enhance the performance of the concept in future trials.

Item ID: 11327
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: chopper; billeting; bin weight
Date Deposited: 21 May 2010 04:35
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091301 Acoustics and Noise Control (excl Architectural Acoustics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 86 MANUFACTURING > 8614 Machinery and Equipment > 861403 Industrial Machinery and Equipment @ 100%
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