The manufacturer adds tests have shown it to be just as capable as a diesel tractor at carrying out a variety applications.
While you may get a slightly disconcerting feeling sat surrounded by fuel tanks pressurised to 200bar, we are assured they meet the same automotive standards as used in cars and commercial vehicles.
Unfortunately, storage tanks are the same as used on the first prototype and still only allow half a day’s work, and encroach significantly on rear visibility.
But, you could say development is heading in the right direction and the manufacturer is already looking into how it can expand the tractor’s working window by incorporating fuel tanks in the front ballast, or even in tanks on the implement.
The aim of the second prototype was to make the concept more akin to a regular tractor.The firm does say though when the cost of producing one does come down it may look into the technology again.For now, methane power suits the current situation.Driven on by its vision of an energy independent farm concept which is being piloted at the La Bellotta farm just outside of Turin, New Holland continues to develop and refine its methane powered tractor idea.Now on prototype number two, the original concept saw one of New Holland’s T6.140 tractors adapted to accommodate one of sister firm and engine manufacturer, FPT’s four cylinder, F1C gas-fuelled engine.
Steyr single cylinder tractor
Therefore if more power is required, a larger engine will be necessary.As for using it in other models and machines, this is a possibility and a telehandler would be a logical step, especially one working on an AD plant, says New Holland.Tank capacity is 300 litres, equivalent to 52kg of compressed bio-methane gas, enough for half a day’s work, according to New Holland. As for the transmission and rear-end, it is exactly the same as a regular production T6.With an engine output of 136hp and 350Nm and power and torque curves similar to a diesel equivalent, New Holland was encouraged enough to progress to the next phase.One of the major modifications required though was to fit nine methane storage tanks.
With two either side of the cab where diesel tanks and exhaust after treatment units would normally reside and two underneath the cab, three are incorporated into the rear of the cab frame, resulting in ‘fat’ rear pillars.As for the technology involved, it is nothing new to CNH Industrial, which has been using FPT-developed engines in its Iveco commercial vehicles such as vans, trucks and buses for many years.As a result, production of this tractor is not as complicated as you might think, says New Holland.However, gas does have to be treated if it is coming from an AD plant – requiring compression and filtering.Commercial availability is a while off yet with New Holland required to undergo five years of validation testing.