Date:20.02.2018Time:06:12
profi Tractors and Farm machinery for farmers and contractors
Source:https://www.profi.com/news/Gassed-up-and-ready-to-go-soon-9038636.html

Gassed up and ready to go ... soon

Gassed up and ready to go ... soon

The methane-powered tractor and energy-independent farm are almost here, according to New Holland.
 
Speaking at the firm’s Alternative Fuels conference, Global Product Manager for Alternative Fuels, Mark Howell, confirmed the New Holland Methane Power Tractor will be on sale in the next three years, adding that demand for the gas-powered tractor is already growing, especially from businesses that already have a biogas plant in operation.
 
“There’s no doubt these biogas-producing farms will be the early adopters of methane-powered tractors. For them, the tractor is the missing link,” said Mr Howell. “Take the example of a large-scale vegetable grower with a biodigester for generating gas and power as well as dealing with the vegetable enterprise’s waste products. This business could also be running a fleet of road-going trucks and a fleet of tractors, so it now has the potential of powering both of these fleets on biodigester-generated biomethane rather than diesel, dramatically reducing its fuel bill in the process. 
 
“Interestingly, however, cost is not the only driver. Just as important — and, in some cases, even more important — for vegetable-growing businesses is ‘being seen to be green’. By running the tractors on biomethane, their carbon impact is virtually zero, and this becomes a major boost to the grower’s green credentials when it comes to negotiating with its supermarket buyers.”
 
Most of Mr Howell’s comments clearly also apply to large-scale dairy units with biodigesters, which again might be running both trucks and tractors capable of being powered by ‘home-grown’ biomethane.  
 
Yet this is not all about big business. It might be that smaller farmers in the area are already growing and supplying energy crops to the larger business’s biodigester, as well as taking digestate back to their farms in return. It’s conceivable that these smaller farmers could also buy biomethane for their tractors in part-payment, the main benefit being an approximate 30% reduction in their tractor running costs when compared with diesel. Other claims versus diesel are for an 80% reduction in overall emissions and 50% decrease in drive-by noise.
 
Looking ahead three years, New Holland says it will introduce two Methane Power Tractor models at the outset. These will be based on the existing T6.155 and T6.180 diesel tractors and performance levels — EPM boosted powers of 155hp and 175hp respectively — and both will be powered by six-cylinder gas engines. Other potential homes for the methane motor are in New Holland’s higher hp T7 tractors, loading shovels and combines. It’s unlikely that methane power will appear in smaller tractors, as this would require New Holland’s sister company, Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT), to develop a completely new engine.
 
By Andrew Faulkner


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