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Machinery Journal

RSS By: Aimee Cope, Farm Journal

The Machinery Journal blog is your place to find the latest machinery updates, industry news, and interesting tid bits.

John Deere’s First Hybrid Power Machine

Mar 01, 2013

 It’s definitely not a Prius. The John Deere 644K Wheel Loader is powered by a diesel engine and an on-board electric power generator. The diesel power source is a Tier 4 Interim compliant PowerTech engine with 229 hp. Perhaps this machine is setting the stage for the hybrid tractor….

The main components of the electric drive technology include: a generator that converts rotational energy from the engine into 3-phase alternating current (AC) electrical energy and uses recycled energy to drive hydraulic functions; an inverter that is water-cooled and can be used to deliver electrical energy when the operator demands it; the single electric motor, much like the generator, uses 3-phase AC electrical energy and replaces the job of the torque converter, recycling energy back into the system; and the water-cooled brake resistor only uses energy when the power electronics actively control its circuit

The company quotes a 25% reduction it the amount of fuel used by the hybrid machine compared with a traditional machine. Another side benefit is reduced noise.

Here’s a video from the company with operator reactions to running the hybrid wheel loader: 


And click here for the John Deere web page about the machine.


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