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Hybrid Tractors Reduce Fuel Consumption By 50%

Heavy duty machinery, such as tractors have been used for mining and agriculture for a very long time. When these heavy duty machines are used, not only do they use up a lot of fuel and produce byproduct carbon emissions, but they are used for hours on end- usually to get some type of job done.

Fortunately, researchers at Aalto University in Finland have taken the success of hybrid technology (pictured top) from cars and implanted that knowledge to build hybrid machines. The heavy duty hybrids use both combustion and electric engines, cutting fuel consumption in half.

So how does this technology work? It starts by capturing energy–energy that is normally lost by the machine while working, and uses that energy as fuel. The majority of electrical energy is captured while working, when the machine creates most of the extra energy.

The researchers aim to analyze the work cycles of different types of machinery to learn the optimal ‘capture rate’ for each machine. What are some other benefits besides helping to save the planet? Why, the new technology will also give the operator better control, more comfort, and will increase efficiency, thereby lowering costs. The electric power transmission can even be connected to normal wall sockets, when the machine runs out of fuel, or is near a outlet.

Photo Courtesy of ZDnet
Photo Courtesy of Walmart