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1 November 2023

More than one way to reduce agricultural emissions – AGCO Power reveals results of years of research and development

AGCO Power unveils a wide range of solutions from alternative fuels to electric systems at the Agritechnica trade fair to be held in Germany in November. These solutions present the wider spectrum of power needed for the emission-free future of farming.

The research and development work done at the engine production plant of AGCO Power in Nokia, Finland, has reached a historic point. 

“We are developing off-road solutions to sustainably meet the farmers’ needs including solutions using battery electric, hydrogen, methane and methanol,” says Kelvin Bennett, Senior Vice President of Engineering at AGCO. “Sustainable agriculture development calls for radical reduction of machinery emissions, and these engines are the most significant power generation prototypes in our history.”

From HVO to hydrogen

All existing AGCO Power engines, which power the world’s leading tractor brands such as Fendt, Valtra and Massey Ferguson, are fully compatible with Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) diesel fuel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75%–95% compared to traditional diesel fuel. The latest engine product family, AGCO Power CORE, is designed from ground-up with future fuels in mind. The next model in the CORE engine series, the economical and low-emission CORE50, is unveiled at Agritechnica.

The flexible CORE platform is also used in the prototype of the eHydrogen mild hybrid engine, also displayed at the trade fair. In hybrid technology, the continuous power from a hydrogen-powered engine is dynamically complemented by the extra power and torque from electricity.

Single charge, double hours

AGCO will also showcase the fuel-cell-based e100 Vario Range Extender concept that will double the operating time of the existing electric tractor by Fendt from four to eight hours. The system reforms fossil-free green methanol into hydrogen, which is further converted into electricity that charges the tractor batteries while working.

“As liquid, the green methanol can be stored in a tank much like diesel fuel, which means storing it does not require the same complex arrangements as storing hydrogen, for example,” says Kari Aaltonen, Director of Engineering at AGCO Power. “Our R&D must focus on a variety of options since the most suitable solutions depend on the unique needs of farmers.”

Private grid for storing and distributing electricity 

Electricity plays an increasingly important role in the future of agriculture. The Microgrid concept presented by AGCO Power at the trade fair is helping farmers build their own smart electrical grids. It provides uninterrupted power from the source that is the least expensive at a given time – the power grid, a wind or solar power plant, a generator powered by its own energy source or a battery pack. The Microgrid contains the intelligence that controls the power sources and storage.Cleaner agriculture also involves storing renewable power for later use. For example, the Microgrid can connect to a charging station for electric vehicles. To showcase this, the AGCO Power stand at the trade fair will display the Battery Pack designed for the Fendt e100 Vario electric tractor. The liquid-cooled battery pack of 700 volts and 100 kWh offers high performance and capacity for agricultural needs.