Meth­ane pow­ers sus­tain­able farm­ing


New Hol­land Agri­cul­ture pre­sented at the North Amer­i­can Farm Progress Show the lat­est devel­op­ment in its vi­sion for the sus­tain­able fu­ture of farm­ing: a meth­ane-pow­ered con­cept trac­tor that reimag­ines the de­sign of this ma­chine and re­veals a con­nected fu­ture.

The brand imag­ines the farm of the fu­ture as be­ing com­pletely en­ergy-in­de­pen­dent — a farm that pro­duces not only food, but also the biomass it needs to gen­er­ate the en­ergy it uses to run its op­er­a­tions and power its trac­tors and other ma­chin­ery.

Such a self-suf­fi­cient fu­ture is achiev­able with New Hol­land’s ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and vi­sion.

New Hol­land Agri­cul­ture brand pres­i­dent Carlo Lam­bro said the new meth­ane-pow­ered con­cept trac­tor was the lat­est devel­op­ment in New Hol­land’s pur­suit of sus­tain­able and ef­fi­cient tech­nol­ogy through in­no­va­tion.

“Its ground­break­ing en­gine de­liv­ers the same per­for­mance and has the same dura­bil­ity as its stan­dard equiv­a­lent, but with much lower run­ning costs,” he said.

“It com­bines al­ter­na­tive fu­els and ad­vanced agri­cul­tural tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate a vi­tal link that closes the loop in the En­ergy In­de­pen­dent Farm’s vir­tu­ous cy­cle by run­ning on the en­ergy pro­duced from the land and waste prod­ucts.”

New Hol­land has been push­ing the bound­aries of in­no­va­tion in clean en­ergy so­lu­tions for more than a decade through its Clean En­ergy Leader strat­egy.

It was the first man­u­fac­turer to of­fer 100 per cent com­pat­i­bil­ity with biodiesel back in 2006. In 2009 it de­vel­oped the world’s first hy­dro­gen trac­tor con­cept, NH2 prov­ing the feasibility of this ze­roe­mis­sion tech­nol­ogy for the fu­ture. This was a key el­e­ment of the brand’s En­ergy In­de­pen­dent Farm con­cept, launched at the same time.

New Hol­land con­tin­ued to ex­plore al­ter­na­tive fu­els that would de­liver re­duced emis­sions and lower run­ning costs. In 2012, it cre­ated its first propane-fu­elled trac­tor pro­to­type and is now de­vel­op­ing the T6 Propane Power trac­tor in part­ner­ship with the Propane Ed­u­ca­tion & Re­search Coun­cil.

In 2013, New Hol­land pre­sented its first T6 Meth­ane Power trac­tor pro­to­type, which it has been de­vel­oped fur­ther and tested with cus­tomers

The new meth­ane-pow­ered con­cept trac­tor de­liv­ers the per­for­mance and dura­bil­ity of its diesel equiv­a­lent, with up to 30 per cent run­ning cost sav­ings.

The new meth­ane-pow­ered con­cept trac­tor builds on the foun­da­tions of the pre­vi­ous T6 Meth­ane Power pro­to­types to achieve a sig­nif­i­cant tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance.

It fea­tures a pow­er­train that uses a ground­break­ing ef­fi­cient com­bus­tion tech­nol­ogy specif­i­cally de­vel­oped for agri­cul­ture ap­pli­ca­tions by FPT In­dus­trial, a brand of CNH In­dus­trial that has pi­o­neered nat­u­ral gas trac­tion for more than 20 years.

The six-cylin­der NEF meth­ane en­gine de­liv­ers 180hp and 740Nm: the same power and torque as its stan­dard diesel equiv­a­lent. It has the same dura­bil­ity and ser­vice in­ter­vals.

The in­no­va­tive tank de­sign, us­ing a com­pos­ite lay­ered tubu­lar struc­ture, en­ables a full day’s au­ton­omy in line with an equiv­a­lent diesel model.

The pow­er­train of the meth­ane-pow­ered con­cept trac­tor has the added ben­e­fit of quiet op­er­a­tion, with en­gine noise level re­duced by up to 3dBA. This trans­lates to around 50 per cent re­duc­tion in drive-by-noise, which makes it ideal for mu­nic­i­pal­ity, yard and trans­port op­er­a­tions.

In real field con­di­tions, the trac­tor pro­duces at least 10 per cent lower CO2 emis­sions and re­duces over­all emis­sions by 80 per cent com­pared to a stan­dard diesel trac­tor. Its en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance fur­ther im­proves when fu­elled by biomethane pro­duced from crop residues and waste from farm-grown en­ergy crops, which re­sults in vir­tu­ally zero CO2 emis­sions.

The New Hol­land trac­tor is pow­ered by meth­ane and re­veals a con­nected fu­ture.

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