Almost all agricultural operations and processes can be viewed as transformations of energy from one form to another. Fertilizer to feed grains; feed grains to dairy products; livestock wastes to fertilizers. Progress in agricultural science and engineering has led to better understanding of these energy transformations, much of which has been expressed in the form of mathematical analysis. Computer programs have been developed that perform the calculations necessary to obtain the required results quickly and accurately. The objective of this handbook is to explain some of the most important of these analysis techniques as they have been applied to real agricultural energy problems throughout the world. In addition to the strictly mathematical calculations of these techniques, also covered are the beginnings of a new field of artificial intelligence. The analysis methods described are all applied to real agricultural energy system problems such as biomass energy, energy uses in livestock housing and ethanol production on the farm. The techniques include expert systems, linear programming and simulation. Knowledge-based systems allow expression of the expert's concepts in a language and form that is much more like the expert's personal language. Linear programmimg is used to solve the complex, realistic problem of energy crop analysis. Drying of grain crops is a major energy cost and simulation methods take into account risks of increased field and storage lossses when energy inputs are reduced. This handbook is filled with techniques, programs and data for analysis of various agricultural energy systems. Methods are detailed enough for the expert reader and extensive tables show energy requirements for a large number of industrial processes related to processing agricultural products and converting and utilizing biomass energy.
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