Key to an Energy-Independent Farm

January 23, 2010 07:40 AM


Katie Allen, Farm Journal Contributing Editor
With so many options available – from wind turbines to renewable fuels – agriculture is paving the way for energy independence. One major development by New Holland has made farming even more innovative: the hydrogen tractor.
Rick Heisey, of CNH America LLC, presented on the development of the hydrogen tractor in the energy legislation session of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Conference. The conference was held in conjunction with the first-ever AG CONNECT Expo Jan. 10-13 in Orlando.
Modeled after the New Holland T6000, the NH2 hydrogen powered tractor has two electric motors rather than the custom diesel tank, combustion engine, gear box, and exhaust pipe. One motor is used to power traction, while the other powers the PTO and auxiliaries. The fuel cells system transforms hydrogen into electricity to run the two motors.
Heisey says the advantages of the hydrogen tractor are that it makes very little noise and consumes only the required energy needed to operate. On the other hand, it is still a very expensive machine.
The hydrogen tractor is part of the push to make farms more energy independent. For more information about the machine and New Holland's vision, visit

For complete Ag Connect coverage, visit


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