New Holland Agriculture has won a gold medal at the SIMA Innovation Awards 2009 for their NH2 hydrogen-powered tractor. The NH2 is a key element in New Holland’s Energy Independent Farm concept, a project that hopes to free farmers from the cost of purchased fossil-fuel and allow them to achieve fuel autonomy.
Based on the popular T6000, the experimental NH2 tractor replaces the internal combustion engine with hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity, which drives electric motors to power the tractor. The NH2 tractor is a 120hp working prototype able to perform all the tasks of a T6000, while operating virtually silently and emitting only water.
The Energy Independent Farm concept envisages farmers producing their own compressed hydrogen from water, using a process called electrolysis or directly from methane by burning waste or biomass. Production systems would be powered by wind farms or solar panels and the hydrogen would be stored at the farm in underground tanks.
New Holland believe farmers are in a unique position to benefit from hydrogen technology. They have the space to install alternative electricity generation systems, such as solar, wind, biomass or waste plants, and then store that power as hydrogen. Apart from the environmental benefits, such a system would allow farmers to become energy independent and improve their financial stability, as fuel costs form a significant proportion of their operating costs.
Source: New Holland Agriculture (UK)