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Electrification of Agricultural Tractor Implements: A Novel Approach.

Giovanni Battista Dessy

Electrification of Agricultural Tractor Implements: A Novel Approach.

Rel. Luigi Mazza. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica), 2022

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Energy policies all across the world aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many governments promote the use of fuel-efficient vehicles, such as hybrid electric ones. Electric drives are advantageous for hydraulic machines, particularly agricultural tractors because they increase functionality on top of energy efficiency. According to recent studies, practically all of the drives on modern agricultural machines, which now use hydraulic and mechanical power, would be compatible with electrification, which would lead to considerable advantages. Using electric drives enables variable speed control; therefore, functions can be operated independently of engine speed. The current study’s objective is to develop a novel strategy for electrifying agricultural tractors and their implements in order to address the current system inefficiency issues. There is currently no cutting-edge solution available for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) producers to electrify existing systems. In this study, two separate scenarios—selective electrification and a selective ePump approach—are taken into examination to determine the potential direction of electrification of the reference machines. The study repeatedly swaps out the various hydraulic components of the planter implement for their electric equivalents while analyzing the power savings provided by each solution in comparison to the original machine configuration. The power savings results of these solutions are obtained through a model-based approach which was carried out using the software Siemcenter Amesim. The models created will precisely represent the entire tractor-planter system with all of its key components and investigate the system’s behavior when the electrical components are used. The results showed how replacing some of the original hydraulic functions with their electric counterpart could lead up to over 60% in power savings with respect to the baseline system. All of these strategies involve adding new parts to the current equipment, which raises the price of production and development. A cost analysis was performed in order to comprehend these solutions’ true benefits. One of the main results shows how the machine with the new setup can achieve break even with the original system in less than four years, demonstrating how the decreased power and fuel consumption justifies the new components’ higher initial costs. The future work has the objective of validating the analytical results obtained, through experimental tests run in the field by mounting the selected architectures on the planter. The research work was conducted at the MAHA Fluid Power Research Center at Purdue University in Indiana, USA.

Relators: Luigi Mazza
Academic year: 2022/23
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 83
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-25 - AUTOMATION ENGINEERING
Ente in cotutela: Purdue University (STATI UNITI D'AMERICA)
Aziende collaboratrici: Purdue University
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/24472
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