Fuel cell manufacturer Blue World Technologies in collaboration with AGCO Power on electric Fendt tractor to run on methanol
Fuel cell manufacturer Blue World Technologies in collaboration with AGCO Power on electric Fendt tractor to run on methanol.
Blue World Technologies and AGCO Power have developed a range extender concept and prototype for an electric Fendt e100 Vario tractor based on Blue World’s HT PEM fuel cell platform enabling long operation time using liquid methanol as fuel.
In collaboration, AGCO Power, a global leader in sustainable powertrain technologies for agricultural machinery, and fuel cell developer and manufacturer, Blue World Technologies, have developed the fuel-cell-based Fendt e100 Vario Range Extender Concept that will double the operation time of the existing Fendt e100 V Vario electric tractor. Prototypes have been constructed and lab field tests have been carried out with very good early success. The Range Extender Concept runs on liquid methanol which is converted into a hydrogen-rich gas that powers the fuel cells. The fuel cells generate electricity that charges the tractor batteries while in operation.
Globally, agriculture is responsible for around 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which includes emissions related to machines used in production. With the need for continuous operation, the industry cannot rely solely on direct electrification and battery technology in the transition toward green energy. With high electrical efficiency, the high-temperature PEM fuel cell technology running on methanol can ensure long operation time and fast refueling similar to fueling with conventional liquid fuels like diesel.
MADS FRIIS JENSEN, Chief Commercial Officer and Co-founder at Blue World Technologies, said:
With AGCO Corporation as one of the world’s leading agricultural machinery manufacturers, we have a partner who shares our vision of green propulsion solutions. A liquid fuel such as methanol enables farmers to work flexibly and, above all, sustainable.
KARI AALTONEN, Director of Engineering at AGCO Power, said:
Agriculture is currently going through a transformation and is looking for a new propulsion solution that can be aligned with climate protection.
“Green methanol is a suitable candidate and due to its liquid nature, it is possible to store it in a tank much like diesel fuel. This means storing it does not require the same complex arrangements as storing hydrogen, for example. The high electrical efficiency of the Blue World fuel cells makes it ideal to combine with methanol”.
A multi-purpose technology platform
The agricultural industry is a promising sector with excessive deployment potential for Blue World Technologies’ methanol fuel cell technology, but the fuel cell platform also has great potential within other industries, e.g., heavy-duty transport, material handling, construction, and other on- and off-road application transforming from conventional diesel-powered engines to green energy.
Using standard components such as methanol reformers and fuel cell stacks, the platform can be tailor-made to fit the desired application and the required power demand.