Ideas for EV farm machinery

Electric cars, trucks, ATVs, NEVs - things bigger than a motorcycle.
Hillhater   100 GW

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by Hillhater » Nov 26 2019 6:40pm

wjr wrote:
Nov 26 2019 2:33pm
Hillhater wrote:
Nov 25 2019 1:17am
ploughing is all about torque, not kW
of course I can slow down.
But you have to get your act done when winter is coming...
You miss the point.
Even at current ploughing speeds, ( 5 - 10.0km/h ?) your tractor is likely producing 50,000 Nm at the drive wheels.
Even with a single plough your 20kW device will need 10,000Nm for a similar ground speed on a similar wheel size.
And you will take 5 times longer than present to finish the ploughing !
wjr wrote:
Nov 26 2019 2:33pm
.... since electric energy is alread equivalent to mechanic, no need to go the lossy 30..40 % thermal cyles any more.
....
Not true. The kw you harvest from your roof, will see significant losses before they get to pull your plough.. at least 20%.
wjr wrote:
Nov 26 2019 2:33pm
..
My rough estimate is 5 l/HP and hour, but I think with slower speed, lower weight, motors close to the axle w/o complex transmission stuff, I came to my estimte of 3 kWh to replace one l diesel fuel.
Just a rough order of magnitude...
?? 5.0l/h/hp ? Would suggest your current tractor consumes 500 L per hour whilst ploughing ?...seems unrealistic ?
But even at your 3kWh per ltr, that would tell us you will need 30,000 kWh/yr or 15,000 kWh just for ploughing.
If you want to get your ploughing done in say, 3 months,.. that means 170 kWh per day needed.
You would need either 2x 200kWh battery packs, or a expensive complex power distribution and tether system
wjr wrote:
Nov 26 2019 2:33pm
Currently I have 150 kWp on my roofs, maybe will be double the next years...
Ah ! You already have your own solar farm . :D ..
Very handy. But i assume you have a need / use for that already ?
Your tractor requirement of 30,000kWh should be considered an additional power demand
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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by wineboyrider » Nov 26 2019 7:29pm

Pellenc makes a lot of cool electric stuff for vineyards. Even an electric harvester :)
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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by jonescg » Nov 26 2019 7:36pm

^^

Agreed - now, back to the electric tractors!

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by wjr » Nov 27 2019 9:17am

Hillhater wrote:
Nov 26 2019 6:40pm
Even with a single plough your 20kW device will need 10,000Nm for a similar ground speed on a similar wheel size.
Yes, that's the reason why I'd slow down for additional energy efficiency.
I'm not sure where the optimum is, but I remember that somewhere above 4 km/h, power requirement increases at disproportional high rates, producing additional wear and soil compression.

My plugh ran at 250 HP before, at 10 km/h as the previous owner said.
Just lime there, so wear was not an issue, obviously.
With my abrasive soil, the shears were gone after 10 ha at those speed :?

For 10 kW i need 6 kN Thrust at 6 km/h, double thrust at half speed.

E.g. three of those (sorry for the german link, but I think the specs are readable, anyway)
https://www.elektromotorenmarkt.de/elek ... ctedPage=1
5,5 kW,
worm gear, ratio 50:1
289 rpm 1420 Nm,
60 cm tyre radius

Hillhater wrote:
Nov 26 2019 6:40pm
And you will take 5 times longer than present to finish the ploughing
Even more than that when I reduce speed.
That's why I want to have it running unattended.
Hillhater wrote:
Nov 26 2019 6:40pm
wjr wrote:
Nov 26 2019 2:33pm
.... since electric energy is alread equivalent to mechanic, no need to go the lossy 30..40 % thermal cyles any more.
....
Not true. The kw you harvest from your roof, will see significant losses before they get to pull your plough.. at least 20%.
Truth is between.
The losses from roof to wheel are due to inefficiency and can be reduced by intelligent design.

The thermodynamic losses of combustion engines (as any other thermodynamic machine) are physically inevitable.
They can only reduced by increasing temperature, but there the materials are the limit.
And they add up to the transmission losses.
Hillhater wrote:
Nov 26 2019 6:40pm
wjr wrote:
Nov 26 2019 2:33pm
..
My rough estimate is 5 l/HP and hour, ...
?? 5.0l/h/hp ? Would suggest your current tractor consumes 500 L per hour whilst ploughing ?...seems unrealistic ?
Sorry, my mistake, should be be vice versa; 5 HP / l and hour, of course
0.2 l/ HP and hr, 20 l at 100 HP - sounds more reasonable, OK
wjr wrote:
Nov 26 2019 2:33pm
..
Ah ! You already have your own solar farm . :D ..
Very handy. But i assume you have a need / use for that already ?
I sell it to whomever, the designers of the German Renewable Energy Scheme ("Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz", EEG) will know :D
The trick is debatable: Throw subsidies at one point in the economy and hope that it will shift market equilibrium towards the desired outcome.
The guaranteed price goes for 20 years. My first 30 kW are from 2009, so I still have 10 years to wait for surplus power.
You see, it works.
And I think, Chinese photovoltaic revolution would never had taken place without the German EEG starter.
ARRRGH... another distracting highly controversial topic to lead the thread astray :oops:

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by wjr » Nov 27 2019 11:45am

Hillhater wrote:
Nov 25 2019 7:41pm
It appears that much of this is already being developed..
https://www.farmweekly.com.au/story/621 ... c-tractor/
Image
Interesting Image.
I like the crane they use to handle the cable - looks like a standard piece of equipment, no need to reinvent the wheel.

I also like the reeler. Hope they did not reinvent this one.
A bit large for my taste, but I'd like to get such a thing.
Where may I look?
Crane constructors?
Marine equipment?
Winches?

But this tractor is also a nice starting point to contrast.
Nice example of half way innovations, I'd say.
Remembers me to the factory design of the early 20th century.
Then they repalced the steam engine by an electric motor - yes, singular:
one central single huge motor for a whole factory, driving the transmission shafts and belts running through all the shop floors.

It took nearly a century to split this motor to dozens, hundreds, if not thousands of small ones placed right where power is needed, with solid state controllers delivering precise speed, torque and even position.
Today a simple AC inductor doesn't cost much more than a bare shaft, the bearings and supports its going to replace.

You don't see it in the picture, but I wouldn't be surprised if the rotary harrow were joned by a classic cardan PTO shaft to the tractor.
But it looks quite wide, and I see a folding cylinder.
So presumably its a 2-pieced one, with one angle gear in the middle, two cardan shafts going to each side and another angle gear on each side to go to vertical rotation again.
So 3 cardan shafts and 3 angle gears to get power from the central motor to the tine gears.
Doesn't this resemble the shaft-belt-transmission systems of 1900's shop floor?

People around here like rotary harrows.
They deliver excellent levelling of the field.
What to level? - Well - mostly the tracks of the heavy tractor carrying the shitty piece :lol:
So the rotary harrow is a perfect solution for the problem it generates itself :lol: :lol:

If I made an electric rotary harrow, this would look quite different.
Most people run it with a roller in the front to crush clumps of soil, and usually it has attached another kind of roller after it for depth control, and to recompact the overtilled soil.

So if I wanted this effect, I'd attach two arrays of rubber wheels of full working with each to the harrow and leave the tractor away.
So its self propelled, self carrying.
Motors for propulsion are attached right to the rollers, motors for the tines right to the tine gear.
Maybe we have a modular control unit with battery, cable reel, drivers seat, power conversion, control systems in some kind of container that we can shift with a crane or fork lift from one unit to the other.
But thats much less than a ton (w/o cable and batteries), not 10 tons like the monster of tractor in the deere image.

And if we can run it autonomously, we can downsize it from lets say 6 m to 2 m.

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by wjr » Nov 27 2019 11:47am

When robo lawn mowers and robo vacuum cleaner entered the market, I kept laughing for quite some time.
But in the mean, they are an established concept.
Isn't this right the same idea of downsizing, combined with autonomous operation?

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by amberwolf » Nov 27 2019 12:51pm

So far, that all sounds like a good path.

When I lived in northeast Texas farm country as a kid, little ways from Red River, all these giant machines would get stuck in the mud in the years we had the torrential rains (as opposed to the drought years). They were also much harder to move with something else if their own engines broke down, and usually had to be repaired in the field under whatever weather conditions existed at the time. If you didn't have a team of people to help out in these cases, it could take days or longer to deal with a simple problem (because you'd also have to do all the other stuff that still has to get done on a farm every day).

A smaller, lighter machine would have much less chance of that happening, and would probably be able to be taken to the machinery barn for repairs by a much smaller vehicle relatively easily.


It's also less materials to make and break, etc.

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by wjr » Nov 27 2019 3:30pm

....well, yes, and a lot less material to buy in the beginning. :wink:
But also a lot less money to make for the manufacturers and dealers, of course.
May that be the reason why their prototypes still stick to the dino paradigm? :oops:

Another motivation is that I like the way of living as a free family owned farmer.
That's gone when you have to run investments that total up to more than a million - be it $ or €.
Well, you can do that as a family, of course, but then freedom is gone.

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by Hillhater » Nov 27 2019 6:40pm

Smaller, lighter, cheaper , equipment could be used now..ICE powered and fully automated if required. That tech is available and in use (Japan)...but it doesnt translate to larger farming operations
Ag equipment has become huge for a reason... the scale of the tasks, the size of the job, time and resources available.
When you have individual cropping areas measured in many sqr kms, you have to minimise the time spent working each Ha..A 5 shear plough wont cut it, 10-20 shear ploughs and multiple units working in groups is the only way to get the job done in sensible time, and enable the low production costs demanded by the retailers.
That , together with other benefits such as soil improvement, is also the motivation behind the move to NoTill cropping
Autonomous tractors/harvesters are already in use (ICE powered) with one operator controlling multiple m/cs
That AI technology is mature and available, unlike Electric drive and mobile power supply for work areas that can be 10-20+ km from the farm base.
Last edited by Hillhater on Nov 27 2019 7:29pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by amberwolf » Nov 27 2019 6:49pm

wjr wrote:
Nov 27 2019 3:30pm
But also a lot less money to make for the manufacturers and dealers, of course.
May that be the reason why their prototypes still stick to the dino paradigm? :oops:
THe first most likely reason is that they already have the ICE version. So they use it, and simply add electric to it, either hybrid in combination with the ICE, or replacing the ICE.

If it works well enough as it is to replace the ICE version, then there's little incentive for them to innovate and create a new version "from scratch", or even rethink any of the existing technology or methods of use, etc.

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by Hillhater » Nov 27 2019 7:45pm

For info..as a comparason.
These guys using “Lowtill” farming equipment ( as most is now), Comment that they use 1/3 gal per acre fuel consumption. ($0.5/acre). ....or About 3.3L/Ha and $1.50/Ha .. a fraction of your current usage.
Full “NoTill” would be even less fuel and emissions.
You may think this is a different topic, but in terms of reducing emissions and costs, it is more practical and achievable than EV / automated equipment for ploughing.
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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by Hillhater » Nov 27 2019 11:06pm

wjr wrote:
Nov 27 2019 9:17am
Hillhater wrote:
Nov 26 2019 6:40pm
wjr wrote:
Nov 26 2019 2:33pm
.... since electric energy is alread equivalent to mechanic, no need to go the lossy 30..40 % thermal cyles any more.
....
Not true. The kw you harvest from your roof, will see significant losses before they get to pull your plough.. at least 20%.
Truth is between.
The losses from roof to wheel are due to inefficiency and can be reduced by intelligent design.
,
A lot of intelligent work has already been done to improve system efficiencies.
Typical efficiency in a battery powered EV set up
Charger.... 95%
Battery charge/discharge ... 90%. (using Li,..much lower if you use lead)
Motor inverter.... 90%
Motor losses (thermal, windage, Iron, friction ).. 90%
And the reduction worm gearing..70%
You would be lucky to realise 50% of your roof top power ...“at the wheel”
You might hope for better, BUT, its not important if you have your own solar supply.

[/quote]
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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by Hillhater » Nov 28 2019 2:20am

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by wjr » Nov 28 2019 4:56am

Hillhater wrote:
Nov 27 2019 6:40pm
When you have individual cropping areas measured in many sqr kms,
Thats not my business. Full stop.

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by wineboyrider » Dec 08 2019 10:44pm

jonescg wrote:
Nov 26 2019 7:36pm
^^

Agreed - now, back to the electric tractors!
A grape harvester is a tractor.
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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by jonescg » Dec 08 2019 11:04pm

wineboyrider wrote:
Dec 08 2019 10:44pm
jonescg wrote:
Nov 26 2019 7:36pm
^^

Agreed - now, back to the electric tractors!
A grape harvester is a tractor.
Oh I knew that, just trying to re-rail the thread away from the merits or otherwise of organic agriculture...

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by GreyVlad » Dec 09 2019 6:08pm

In the former USSR The Agriculture Electrification Institute did some tests and trials with cable tractors from 1949 to 1950s. Tractors had a 3phase 42 kW induction motor and pulled a 5-shear plough. Average power consumption was 45 kW*h per 1 hectare. Operational and capital costs for the electrics became higher than for diesels from 1950s because of cheap oil.

And some picture links:

https://im.kommersant.ru/Issues.photo/C ... 193941.jpg

https://im.kommersant.ru/Issues.photo/C ... 194529.jpg

https://im.kommersant.ru/Issues.photo/C ... 194216.jpg

https://foto-history.livejournal.com/11362880.html

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by Hillhater » Dec 09 2019 8:04pm

Amazing Greyvlad,... its taken John Deere 75 years to get back to that design !
And color photos from the 1940’s ! :shock:
I am surprised the Russians didnt progress to a small Nuke power plant ! :o
...or maybe they did and we just have not seen it yet ?
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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by jonescg » Dec 09 2019 9:48pm

Hillhater wrote:
Dec 09 2019 8:04pm
...or maybe they did and we just have not seen it yet ?
It will show up on the counters before too long...

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by stan.distortion » Dec 10 2019 6:14am

GreyVlad wrote:
Dec 09 2019 6:08pm
In the former USSR The Agriculture Electrification Institute did some tests and trials with cable tractors from 1949 to 1950s. Tractors had a 3phase 42 kW induction motor and pulled a 5-shear plough. Average power consumption was 45 kW*h per 1 hectare. Operational and capital costs for the electrics became higher than for diesels from 1950s because of cheap oil.

And some picture links:

https://im.kommersant.ru/Issues.photo/C ... 193941.jpg

https://im.kommersant.ru/Issues.photo/C ... 194529.jpg

https://im.kommersant.ru/Issues.photo/C ... 194216.jpg

https://foto-history.livejournal.com/11362880.html
When you said cable tractors I thought you meant a stationary engine with a damn big winch dragging a plough back and forth across a field. An electric tractor plugged into a damn big extension lead probably makes more sense but winch ploughing would probably be more cost effective and there probably aren't many other options as the amount of energy needed would add up to a huge weight in batteries. It could even end up in a runaway situation where the ground compaction due to the weight of the tractor means more power is needed to pull the plough so the tractor gets heavier which in turn means even more power is needed...

Some info on winch ploughing:
http://www.steamploughclub.org.uk/history.html

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by leffex » Dec 10 2019 9:08am

Two ideas I got apart from starting small and then taking on the harder projects. (Free house energy first before doing it at work, or commuting to work for free)

A portable tower / winch using electricity or grid by cable. Just move it sideways on one end of the field and drag out the cable and start over. Questions is how the blade keeps itself in positon and digging and not just takes the easy way on top of the soil back.

A spider large with 4 wheels, 2-3m in height or whatever, batteries easy accesible by each tire for weight(balance) and in the middle the motor is hanging with or without weight pushing the blade down while forward motion comes from rear or each tyre.
Salestech in an ebike store

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by GreyVlad » Dec 10 2019 4:57pm

Hillhater wrote:
Dec 09 2019 8:04pm

And color photos from the 1940’s !
I am surprised the Russians didnt progress to a small Nuke power plant !
...or maybe they did and we just have not seen it yet ?
Yes, colour photos were rare, used in magazine articles that had a big role in propaganda.
And from 1960 to about 1965 a "small" nuclear power plant produced some electric energy in Obninsk. It was based on 4 tracked self-propelled stretched chassies of a heavy tank. Its electric power was 1500 kW. It can be moved by railway on flat cars. Of course, it was stationary based in operational mode.
https://mexanizm.livejournal.com/53826.html
Last edited by GreyVlad on Dec 10 2019 5:43pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by GreyVlad » Dec 10 2019 5:28pm

stan.distortion wrote:
Dec 10 2019 6:14am
When you said cable tractors I thought you meant a stationary engine with a damn big winch dragging a plough back and forth across a field. An electric tractor plugged into a damn big extension lead probably makes more sense but winch ploughing would probably be more cost effective and there probably aren't many other options as the amount of energy needed would add up to a huge weight in batteries. It could even end up in a runaway situation where the ground compaction due to the weight of the tractor means more power is needed to pull the plough so the tractor gets heavier which in turn means even more power is needed...
Yes.
Approximate weight-to-power ratio is about 50 kg per 1 horsepower for light tractors.

And two more pictures:
(A 8-share plough dragged by an electric winch was on trials in 1921 near Moscow. 20 sets were made for collective farms. A plough crew consisted of five men: one on the plow, two on winches and two near transformers)

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/1500py4 ... iginal.jpg

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/1500py4 ... iginal.jpg

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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by Hillhater » Dec 10 2019 5:39pm

Ah !,..excellent , portable nuclear power !
but i am not surprised really, it just the sort of clever ideas that were able to be tried at the time.
During the same period the USA experimented with Nuclear power for aircraft ( Military, naturally) with the MX1489 project.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear ... d_aircraft
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Re: Ideas for EV farm machinery

Post by Hillhater » Dec 10 2019 5:51pm

Image
The guy with the peak hat and small moustache, looks familiar,....but strangely out of place .?? :shock:
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