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Energy Audit of Wood Harvesting Systems

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A computer-based model for the evaluation of energy use in mechanized wood harvesting systems (EnergyCalc) was developed with aid of life cycle analysis methodologies. The system boundaries were determined "from stump to roadside" with wood volume over bark (m3) as the functional unit. The computer model (based on a database system) used a Visual Basic program, and the energy audit was based on fuel and oil consumption, and the energy consumed in the manufacture of the machines and replacement parts. The general scenario from the literature, results from Sweden and a preliminary study from Ireland are presented. In the overall energy audit of mechanized wood harvesting systems in Ireland, fuel consumption was the most significant item (82%), followed by oils (7%) and machine repairs and replacement (11%). The mean energy use from the data for Ireland was found to be 16% higher than the equivalent in Sweden (120 vs 103 MJ m−3). An energy reduction strategy that has the potential to reduce overall energy consumption for Irish systems by up to 13% was suggested.

Keywords: Ireland; fuel consumption; life cycle analysis (LCA); mechanized wood harvesting; oil consumption

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Coillte Teoranta Cork 2: Agricultural and Food Engineering Department University College Dublin Earlsfort Terrace 2 Dublin

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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