In domestic power supply, the only sure thing to watch for continuously is change: but how?
In our power generation, change is constant
In domestic power supply, the only sure thing to watch for continuously is change: but how? This is the assessment of experienced wood chipping contractor Kurt Häggman together with Vöyri Energy Cooperative (Vöyrin Energiaosuuskunta/Vörå Energiandelslag) leader Per Johan Grannas. CHP, i.e. combined heat and power production, would be, in their opinion, a very suitable option for Finland. "Politicians decide on these trends, and right now CHP is out of favor. In Central Europe, the CHP production has gone very far. Locally, a by-product could always be electricity, which is easy to transmit. In winter in Finland, the need for power is the greatest and solar and wind are in short supply, so those forms of energy do not keep this country warm."
"In the summer, solar energy is very available but energy storage is difficult and expensive. This energy is best preserved growing in the forest, which can be cut down for energy use as needed," explains Häggman quite aptly. Grannas and Häggman don't yet sound enthusiastic about the recent trend of burning wet wood. Research from different viewpoints, calculations and judgments is still required.
Häggman's truck- and tractor-mounted chippers
Machine contractor K Häggman uses truck- and tractor mounted chippers to chip wood in an 80-km radius from his home village in Komossa in the Vöyri environment. From the very beginning (2003-), his chipper has been a Kesla, now he runs a third tractor-mounted chipper and another truck-mounted chipper. Municipal heating plants are his main source of employment, and there are currently 11 plants in the region. There are also a good number of industrial buildings and farms so that in total Häggman produces wood chips for more than 200 locations. His fees are based on cubic meter of chips produced.
"There are indeed differences in wood stacks, and of course one notices differences in transporters. The quality has certainly improved. The cleanliness of the product is very important, as the blades are easily damaged by stone or metal," he assesses the day's chipping conditions. The cleanliness of the wood chipping, that is, without stones or iron, is at the top of every wood chipping contractor's list; cooperative greetings to the drivers in these models of harvesters and forwarders.
Kurt himself works with the truck-mounted chipper C860A and his long-term partner Ralf Backman works quite independently with his own Valtra T tractor with an uniaxial C645 trailer-mounted chipper. "Uniaxial is more agile. We operate over a 40-km radius, and sometimes there are difficult places that are soft and hilly. It is more convenient to work with a truck-mounted chipper, which offers greater mobility on the road and a good material yield, almost 250 m3 per hour," explains Häggman on his choice. The engine power offered by the vehicle is 650 horsepower and the whole weighs 26 tons.
The Finnish chipper is convincing
Why only Kesla? "I have of course looked at other brands and heard promotions, but it has been easy to stay with Kesla, which is a reliable Finnish partner. The service has been excellent and the quality-price ratio is okay," says Häggman without hesitation.
"The new LogCut rotor with straight blades is a very successful structure and produces even more wood chips. There is a big difference compared to my first truck-mounted chipper. The ability to turn the chip pipe from the truck's cab is in practice a great advantage in tight spaces," continues Häggman. For municipal customers, an 85-mm sieve is used in the chipper and for others 65 or 45 mm. With the 85-mm sieve the chip size in practice is in a range of 30-50 mm.
Häggman does the maintenance himself and entrusts major repairs to Kesla or a local repair shop. Despite the distance of 450 - 500 km, Kurt has often visited the factory. He has also worked as Kesla's machine presenter at trade fairs, such as FinnMetko, in Sweden at Elmia and Nolia. As an experienced user, he knows what he is talking about.
Text and photos: Juhani Rahkonen