Working toward fuel autonomy

Agriculture.com Staff 04/01/2009 @ 8:45am

New Holland's experimental hydrogen-powered NH2 tractor is a key element in a project that hopes to help farmers work toward achieving fuel autonomy.

Based on New Holland's T6000 Series tractor, the experimental NH2 tractor replaces the traditional combustion engine with hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity. Compressed hydrogen drawn from a tank on the tractor reacts in the fuel cell with oxygen, drawn from the air, to produce water and electrons. The electrons are harnessed in the form of an electric current, which drives electric motors to power the tractor's drivetrain and auxiliary systems.

The NH2 tractor is a 106 hp working prototype, which is able to perform all the tasks of a T6000 Series tractor, while operating virtually silently and emitting only heat, vapor and water. The fuel cell generates less heat than an internal combustion engine, offers a consistent output of power and does not produce polluting nitrogen oxides, soot particles or carbon dioxide.

In addition, fuel cells have a long working life and avoid the environmental issues of disposing of batteries, which loose their accumulation capacity during their life. Energy-dense compressed hydrogen can be stored conveniently in a tank, allowing the energy to be stored for an extremely long period and the vehicle to be refuelled quickly.

The clean operation of the tractor brings added health benefits when working in confined areas, like a barn.

For more information, visit www.newholland.com/na.

New Holland's experimental hydrogen-powered NH2 tractor is a key element in a project that hopes to help farmers work toward achieving fuel autonomy.

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