New Holland Agriculture presented the latest development in its vision for the sustainable future of farming – it’s methane powered concept at the Farm Progress Show in the US.
New Holland 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.
Carlo Lambro, New Holland Agriculture Brand President, commented: “The new methane powered concept tractor is the latest development in New Holland’s pursuit of sustainable and efficient technology through innovation. Its ground-breaking engine delivers the same performance and has the same durability as its standard equivalent, but with much lower running costs. 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% compatibility with Biodiesel back in 2006. In 2009 it developed the world’s first hydrogen tractor concept, NH2 ™ proving the feasibility of this zero-emission technology for the future. This was a key element of the brand’s Energy Independent Farm™ concept, launched at the same time.
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 (PERC).
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 builds on the foundations of the previous T6 Methane Power prototypes to achieve a significant technological advance. It features a powertrain that uses 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 6-cylinder NEF methane engine delivers 180 hp and 740 Nm: the same power and torque as its standard diesel equivalent. It has the same durability and service intervals, and generates up to 30% running cost savings. 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 has the added benefit of quiet operation, with engine noise level reduced by up to 3 dBA. This translates to around 50% reduction in drive-by-noise, which makes it ideal for municipality, yard and transport operations.
In real field conditions this concept tractor produces at least 10% lower CO2 emissions and reduces overall emissions by 80% 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.