The emergence of battery operated landscaping equipment has driven increased scrutiny of the energy usage of such devices. Energy consumption is a primary design constraint for these new yard tools due to the low energy density of current battery technology compared to gasoline. Consumer battery-powered electric chain saws are an example. In order to provide both portability and usability the system’s power use must be understood in detail. Power use associated with cutting, friction, vibration, chip removal, and parasitic loads are all relevant entities in cutting system design. Interface friction between the cutting chain and bar as well as increases in cutting force due to chain vibration are of particular interest.

In this work, a test apparatus capable of determining the efficiency of cutting systems for use on chain saws is designed and constructed. Cutting power and frictional losses can be determined with the device under automated, user specified conditions. Operational parameters including chain velocity, feed velocity, and feed load may be used as feedback for device control. A universal mounting and drive system allows for testing with a wide range of off-the-shelf chains, bars, and drive sprockets. Input torque to the chain and reaction forces on the cutting media are recorded outputs which are used to analyze system efficiency. Preliminary work with the machine confirms trends found in existing research literature. Future research performed with the test apparatus will aid in new product design and enhance understanding of energy consumption in chainsaw cutting systems.

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