Countdown to Plug in Hybrid CUT?

   #1  

MiserableOldFart

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Jun 27, 2006
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Delaware County Catskills NY
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NH Workmaster 40, Kubota GR2120
With the plug-in hybrid cars beginning to come to the fore, and Volvo's diesel plug-in on the market now, it would seem that tractors would be a natural extension. The extra weight of the batteries is virtually meaningless (or even a plus for some duties) in a tractor. Most CUT owners have to lug their diesel fuel home from gas stations, and the plug-in reduction of fuel use would be a back saver in addition to making the air a little cleaner. Many of us don't use our tractors for long periods of time (and even when we do, the diesel should perform fine for us) so many of the smaller tasks could be performed without the diesel even coming into play. For most of us, the long charge times associated with 110 volt charging probably even wouldn't be that big a deal, though the higher voltages are good if you have the money or already have it.. Might even be possible on a tractor to have an extra battery that sits in the loader or in a ballast box when doing work not requiring the loader or rear PTO. The auxy battery could be left to charge while using the main one in the field. Lots of possibilities with a tractor that might not make sense with a car..

Probably one of the issues with a tractor would be temperature control of the battery, but it's likely in a tractor, the battery could be surrounded by plenty of insulation so even that might be easier than in a car. The CVT trannies, which claim to be more efficient, might be even more capable in an electric environment - likewise with the standard gear transmission, because it would seem to be a simple matter to build a forward/reverse pedal or lever for them both - just like on the hydros.. Lower cost of fuel, cleaner air, fewer trips to the filling station.. these would all be good things in the compact tractors imho. Anyone else out there think it would be cool?
 
   #2  

tungularafishcamp

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Sep 30, 2010
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kodiak island, Alaska
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kubota L2800, 1/2 of a L48
U get my vote. Hardly use mine for more than an hour or 2 at a time and I have almost free electricity so it would work for me.
Rick
 
   #3  

wawajake

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Aug 25, 2008
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Canada
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My wife won't know where I am on my property, unless there is a exhaust sound. ;)
 
   #4  

Travelover

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Washington
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B7100
Electric fork lifts have been around for eons. Personally, I love the smell of diesel exhaust in the morning
 
   #5  

KBL3830

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Jan 27, 2011
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Kubota L3830 HST
wawajake said:
My wife won't know where I am on my property, unless there is a exhaust sound. ;)

is that a bad thing????
 
   #6  

Grandad4

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Kubota BX2230, Farmall Super M
GE offered an all-electric garden tractor back in the 1970's. Put a lot of engineering into it and had what I thought was a very innovative product. I think they sold a couple of dozen (just kidding... but they never took off in the market). They're collector items now.

Biggest issue I see with a hybrid tractor is that there's very little coasting or braking done with a tractor, which is where hybrid cars recharge the battery during operation.

And if you go all-electric, everything a tractor does involves pulling under a load, so you'd draw down even a large battery array very quickly. Some guy in California cooked up an all-electric sports car which runs like stink for 10 minutes and then needs a 4 hour recharge. That would be similar to a tractor's operation, at least from an energy usage standpoint.

Personally, I'm holding out for a nuclear-steam turbine setup like the Navy uses. Cheers.
 
   #7  

Short Game

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Sunny SW Washington
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LS R4010 & Cub Cadet 7300
Personally, I'm holding out for a nuclear-steam turbine setup like the Navy uses. Cheers.

Those are best for under water use.

I bet they could engineer a pretty good tractor tire fill battery if they put their minds to it.
 
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   #8  

mmurphy

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Dec 23, 2009
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There is a teacher some where that tears tractors apart and rebuilds with electric. As the one post above says, electric fork lifts have been around along time and are quite capable of moving lots of material. Probably will not replace a field tractor that runs all day but, should work good for small acreages.
 
   #9  

Danno1

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Mass, Northshore, Merrimack Valley
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B6100DT
.


Budddy of mine has an all elec tractor w an elec FEL. I think he just recently bought a snowblower for it too!

I'll have to get some pics one of these days.


.
 

old fool

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Jun 10, 2011
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Kubota BX 25
Has anyone actually looked at the cost of making electricity? Unless you are making your own you are paying way more than you are for diesel. The break-even point on solar cells might be as much as 5 - 6 years. Until then you haven't saved a penny. Remember, also, that energy is always lost in any conversion and transmission process. Diesel comes off the bottom of the distillery. It is the easiest and cheapest to make. It has more BTU per volume than gasoline or natural gas. Remember, also, that any DC politician spews out more noxious fumes than any diesel engine.
 
 
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