Novel Developments in Agricultural Machinery and Technology

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 June 2024 | Viewed by 2994

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences- DI4A, University of Udine, I-33100 Udine, Italy
Interests: agricultural engineering; mechanical and energy aspects of agricultural machines and equipment for agrifood processing systems; agricultural engines and biofuels; safety of agricultural machines; test systems for agricultural machines; numerical modelling and optimization of agricultural machines and equipment for agrifood processing systems
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E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences- DI4A, University of Udine, I-33100 Udine, Italy
Interests: agricultural and forestry mechanics and mechanization; machinery and equipment for agro-food industry, viticulture and oenology; production systems; management and optimization of agro-energies; work-related safety and health issues in agriculture

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, LV3001 Jelgava, Latvia
Interests: mathematical modelling; heat-mass transformations; emissions in agriculture; renewable energies; agricultural machines; material drying; fire resistance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Novel, interesting opportunities and development scenarios in the engineering field can be applied to agriculture, and are being contributed due to the growing need to enhance the overall productivity of crops, exploit at best all the material resources involved in agriculture (machines, substances and chemicals), increase the energy efficiency, reduce the environmental footprint of the machinery and of the operations carried out with them (in terms of the better use of assets, localization and timeliness of interventions) and to reduce the risks to sector operators.

Therefore, in recent years, designers and manufacturers of agricultural machinery have been called upon to substantially intervene in every technical subsystem of driving and operating machinery, proposing novel solutions or even just improving existing ones.

Novel technologies have been proposed for, e.g., the abatement of exhaust gas pollutants and reduction in chemicals drift, the increase in the powertrain efficiency, the load-adaptive optimisation of the transmission ratio (intelligent CVTs), the automatic adjustment of tyre pressures, the damping of vibrations perceived by the driver, the assisted and automatic navigation of vehicles and the satellite-driven creation of prescriptive maps for the automatic regulation of the implements’ work intensity (variable rate adjustment and precision farming). Lately, there has been a lot of talk about an intelligent power management system for driving and operating machinery, alternative fuels (synthetic and bio), engine hybridisation and electrification, robotic systems for many agricultural tasks (weeding, harvesting, etc.), artificial intelligence, vision systems, nanomaterials and active rollover safety systems.

This Special Issue aims to provide the readers with an overview of recent cutting-edge research and advances in the field of agricultural engineering, with a very concrete multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach. Both theoretical and experimental studies are welcome, as well as comprehensive reviews and survey papers, illustrating improvements through the modification or optimisation of existing technical systems or even the introduction, development and use of novel materials and mechanical, electronic or robotic technologies, even borrowing ideas from fields other than agriculture.

The object of study can be a (driving or operating) machine as a whole, one of its subsystems/components or a design–development methodology/tuning strategy/performance test procedure/agricultural product transformation process. With regard to agricultural implements, there are no limits. Contributions can provide examples of technical systems used in any phase of a crops’ cultural cycle (tillage, seeding/transplanting, crop care and harvesting) or in any postharvesting process (crop washing, screening, portioning, cooking/freezing, squeezing and pressing), on any type of crop (horticultural, herbaceous and trees) and for any climate (e.g., temperate or tropical).

Dr. Marco Bietresato
Dr. Rino Gubiani 
Dr. Aivars Aboltins
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • agricultural engineering
  • agricultural mechanics
  • agricultural machinery
  • agricultural robotics
  • farm tractors
  • farm implements
  • technology transfer
  • novel technologies
  • innovative design
  • machine optimization
  • advanced materials

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 1798 KiB  
Article
Theory of Movement of the Sugar Beet Tops in Loading Mechanism, Taking into Account the Influence of the Air Flow
by Volodymyr Bulgakov, Ivan Holovach, Semjons Ivanovs, Aivars Aboltins, Oleksandra Trokhaniak, Yevhen Ihnatiev and Mariia Ruzhylo
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(20), 11233; https://doi.org/10.3390/app132011233 - 12 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 704
Abstract
A new design of the haulm harvester with an improved loading mechanism has been developed, which is made in the form of a centrifugal thrower that receives the entire volume of the cut sugar beet tops, as well as an unloading pipe, the [...] Read more.
A new design of the haulm harvester with an improved loading mechanism has been developed, which is made in the form of a centrifugal thrower that receives the entire volume of the cut sugar beet tops, as well as an unloading pipe, the end of which is at the level of the vehicle, moving beside the haulm harvester. To substantiate the rational parameters of this loading device, a mathematical model of the movement of a particle along the thrower blade and its exit from the blade was developed in order to simulate further movement along the inner surface of the cylindrical part of the casing and its straight part before entering the vehicle. The resulting differential equation for the movement of a haulm particle along the thrower blade takes into account the influence of the airflow created by the rotation of the thrower, the blades of which capture and accelerate the air in the closed space of the cylindrical casing. The indicated differential equation includes the basic design, kinematic, and power parameters affecting the flow of the studied loading process of the tops. The solution of these differential equations on a PC made it possible to obtain graphic dependencies, with the help of which the rational parameters of the working bodies of the loading mechanism of the haulm harvester were substantiated. As calculations show, an increase in the angular velocity of rotation of the thrower and the length of its blade leads to an increase in the absolute velocity of the haulm particle M from the end of the blade. Thus, by increasing the length of the thrower blade from 0.1 m to 0.35 m and its angular velocity from 10 s−1 to 40 s−1, the absolute velocity increases from 1.2 m s−1 to 16 m s−1. At an angular speed of rotation of the thrower equal to 10 s−1, an increase in the airflow velocity from 5 to 35 m s−1 leads to a smooth linear increase in the relative velocity of particle M, as it moves along the blade of 0.67 to 0.78 m s−1. For a higher angular velocity of rotation of the thrower, equal to 20 s−1, the growth curve of the relative velocity of particle M is more intense at an airflow velocity in the range from 5 to 25 m s−1, approaching the linear law at an airflow velocity of more than 25 m s−1. In this case, the relative velocity varies from 0.9 to 1.4 m s−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Developments in Agricultural Machinery and Technology)
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24 pages, 19377 KiB  
Article
Design and Experimental Validation of a Scaled Test Bench for the Emulation of a Hybrid Fuel Cell Powertrain for Agricultural Tractors
by Valerio Martini, Francesco Mocera and Aurelio Somà
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(15), 8582; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13158582 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1352
Abstract
Hybrid fuel cell powertrains are a promising strategy to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles and non-road mobile machinery. To preserve the state-of-health of fuel cells, an energy storage system with sufficient power capacity, such as ultra-capacitors or batteries, should be introduced in [...] Read more.
Hybrid fuel cell powertrains are a promising strategy to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles and non-road mobile machinery. To preserve the state-of-health of fuel cells, an energy storage system with sufficient power capacity, such as ultra-capacitors or batteries, should be introduced in the system to help the fuel cell during sudden and abrupt changes in power demands. However, the presence of two or more energy sources necessitates the development of an energy management strategy. The energy management strategy should properly split the power request between the different energy sources. In this paper, the design and the experimental validation of a scaled test bench for the emulation of a fuel cell/battery powertrain for a vehicular application is presented. The fuel cell is emulated through an analogically controlled DC power source that reproduces its real voltage–current curve. To split the power between the emulated fuel cell and the batteries, controlled DC-DC is used and a simple energy management strategy based on a proportional-integral controller is developed. The external load is reproduced using a load unit composed of a programmable electronic load and a power supply. Experimental tests are performed to evaluate the system behaviour and to characterize its main components. The experimental results show that the system successfully emulates the powertrain in accordance with the proposed energy management strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Developments in Agricultural Machinery and Technology)
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