ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0082.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: fuel reduction; slash pile; grinding operation; grapple excavator; horizontal grinder; simulation; Sierra Nevada; California; wildfire
Online: 12 October 2017 (11:45:44 CEST)
The processing of woody biomass waste piles for use as fuel instead of burning them was investigated. At each landing slash pile location, a 132 kW grapple excavator was used to transfer the waste piles into a 522 kW horizontal grinder. Economies of scale could be expected when grinding a larger pile, although the efficiency of the loading operation might be diminished. Here, three piles were ground and the operations were time-studied: Small (20 m long × 15 m wide × 4 m high), Medium (30 × 24 × 4 m), and Large (35 × 30 × 4 m) piles. Grinding the Medium pile was found to be the most productive at 30.65 bone dry tons per productive machine hour without delay (BDT/PMH0), thereby suggesting that there might be an optimum size of slash pile for a grinding operation. We also examined modeling of the excavator and grinder operations, and we observed that the constructed simulation model well-replicated the actual operations. Based on the modeling, we estimated that the productivity of grinding at a landing area of 710 m2 of slash pile location was 31.24 BDT/PMH0, which was the most productive rate.