Forest biomass is currently one of the most important source of renewable energy and accounts for almost half of the EU’s total renewable energy consumption. In addition to raw materials, forests also provide a wide range of vital non-wood services that should be protected during wood extraction. The innovation project Forwarder2020 has the main aim of improving sustainability of wood production and delivery as well as operational forest management and planning through the development of specific modules for more efficient forwarders (wood extraction and transportation vehicles):
• hydrostatic-mechanical power-split transmission
• hydro-pneumatic suspension of the forwarder
• hybrid hydraulic system for driving the crane with double recuperation of the potential energy
• bogie axle with three instead of two driven wheels at each side to be mounted under the timber load
• monitoring system for transparency and documentation of process data like machine data, static and dynamic load over time and position
The combined effect of these five innovations applied to forwarders will have the following impact:
• lowering of the dynamic wheel load by 25% over the same forwarder without suspension at same payload and speed.
• reduction of rut depths by 50%
• lowering fuel consumption while driving over the existing hydrostatic transmissions by 30%
• making long hauling distances more economic by the efficiency of the power-split transmission
• lowering fuel consumption while loading and unloading due to the double recuperation of the potential energy of the crane mass by 30%.
• more precise planning of the tracks and documentation of the loads carried on the specific part of the track
• supplying to the market a unique and modular system of high-end solutions above the competitors, where the customer can make his choice of equipment and bear no higher costs for the modules not chosen.
• bring consortium partners and thus Europe to a strong position on markets