Hybrid and electric power systems for agricultural machines


Sunday November 10, 2019

Over the last decade, Perkins has made significant investments in hybrid and electrification research and has recently released a range of technologies that can add real value to agricultural machine manufacturers as they develop the next generation of farm machines.  

With the potential to lower running costs and reduce emissions even further, Perkins is offering hybrid technologies on a wide range of agricultural machines across its EU power range from 6 to 597 kW (8 to 800 hp).

These technologies enable the hybrid recovery and storage to take place within the engine system, ensuring original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) benefit from a solution that is simple to integrate. 

At Agritechnica, Perkins is showing three hybrid technologies at 75 kW – using a 55 kW diesel engine and a 20 kW power boost from the hybrid technology:

Hybrid engine image
  • Hybrid-electric: This incorporates an electric machine and battery within the engine system. As the machine brakes, the electric system can recover the energy and store it within the battery. When required, the battery can then supply energy back into the engine via a motor to provide additional power.   
  • Hybrid-mechanical: As the machine brakes, the system mechanically stores the energy. When required, the system can then supply energy back into the engine via a clutch mechanism to provide additional power.   
  • Hybrid-hydraulic: This incorporates a hydraulic pump and pressure accumulator within the engine system. As the machine brakes, this pump can recover the energy and store it within the accumulator. When required, the accumulator can then supply energy back into the engine via the pump to provide additional power.  

As part of its hybrid development journey, Perkins has worked closely with a number of OEMs to understand their performance requirements, such as acceleration and braking. As a result, Perkins engineers have been able to design hybrid systems which deliver maximum responsiveness whilst recovering the maximum amount of energy.

“What’s clear is that the right technology solution will vary considerably depending on the specific agricultural machine and how it’s used on the farm,” said Tom Carlill, new product introduction programme manager in the newly established Perkins Expanded Offering Product Team. “There isn’t one solution that fits all agricultural machines, so we are establishing ourselves as an integrator with multiple hybrid and electric power technologies.”

He continued: “By working with the Perkins Expanded Offering Product Team customers will be able to achieve better project outcomes and deliver more productive, cost competitive and more relevant solutions for the agricultural market. By sharing our advanced tool set, skilled team and excellent facilities agricultural OEMs will achieve these superior results quickly and at the lowest cost.” 

For more information on Perkins hybrid and electric technologies visit www.perkins.com/hybrids.