How big a Battery to run a tractor?

Chris F

Staff Member
Media
Location
Hammerwich
Cars are at 80kw and weight of extra batteries is stopping too much more. But the latest tech believe they can get this to 400 kw with the same weight. That's about a 1300 mile range. Half that is plenty for a car, so they could also save a load of weight too. But 1300 miles is only the same as a 26 gallon tank in the average saloon - so 120 litres. Not that much.

This video explains it more:


Lithium-Sulfur

So question becomes. If they can get a car to 400kw - would 800 or 1600 be enough to run a smaller tractor? Although charging it daily overnight would be a bit of a challenge too!
 

dowcow

Member
Location
Lancashire
Electric would be perfect for a lot of tractors that only do an hour or two a day. Scraping out, feeding up, maybe a bit of loader work. The main problem is the mad rush or harvesting and cultivation/seeding. Front linkage and a demount-able battery system instead of ballast? And for carting jobs maybe quickly swap a battery when in the yard? Or if battery powered trucks are coming, and they are so much more efficient on the road than tractors with their running gear and tyres optimised for in-field ability, just make them use electric trucks if the road range of the tractors isn't sufficient. Tractors on the road for 90% of their day not having enough battery capacity is perhaps something we shouldn't attempt to fix.

I'm sure many people aren't doing cultivation jobs at their tractors rated horsepower max too, but are cruising along at 1200rpm and the reason they are using a big tractor is for the traction and torque and ability to do the job quietly at the lower RPM range with the lower fuel consumption than using a smaller sized engine revving harder.
 

Finn farmer

Member
How far would 1000kw get you in a tractor?
Assuming the tractor is 150hp (so in kW it's ~112) and assuming it would use full power the whole time it'd do 1000kWh/112kW=8,92 hours (on paper). Add in powetrain losses and whatnot taking maybe an hour off of that time?

Maybe someone has more accurate calculations, i'm just an electrician working on trains for a living and farming as a hobby. :ROFLMAO:
 

Chris F

Staff Member
Media
Location
Hammerwich
Assuming the tractor is 150hp (so in kW it's ~112) and assuming it would use full power the whole time it'd do 1000kWh/112kW=8,92 hours (on paper). Add in powetrain losses and whatnot taking maybe an hour off of that time?

Maybe someone has more accurate calculations, i'm just an electrician working on trains for a living and farming as a hobby. :ROFLMAO:

My 80kw car is 402HP and on average does 4 hours on a charge. Will do 6 in Traffic. 1 whilst towing! So those figures are the towing type scenario, so maybe 4 times that at best case scenario.

We are still years off a 1000kw battery though, imo.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
JCB have fully electric mini-diggers, but do not believe it practical for more intensively used professional diggers and tractors. They are betting on hydrogen.
As far as cars go, the technology is advancing rapidly but the biggest real advance is going to be Tesla's new cells to be built in the USA and Germany initially. These are to be produced in volumes that dwarf all the opposition counted as one. They will also be between 30 and 50% cheaper to produce than the current opposition and will have an estimated 100,000 charge cycles for a million mile lifetime with a far higher energy density and less wasted space when assembled into batteries.
These will be used initially in the Berlin ModelY and the Cybertruck.

Charging time, bulk and weight is the main constraint when it comes to intensive heavy duty applications. They may be fine for town-based local delivery medium trucks but for most uses the current battery technology is of limited utility.
The question remains as to whether the UK has or even will have the charging infrastructure required for full vehicle electrification. The grid and generating capacity is currently nearly maxed out, considering that the supply from France has been cut due to a fire. There is a new supply available from Denmark, only just come on line, but UK energy security, just like its food security, is lamentably and dangerously inadequate.
 

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