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Farming Electric; Will It Ever Happen?


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#1 Vol

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 04:10 AM

https://tennessee.gr...-it-ever-happen

 

Regards, Mike

 

From Growing Tennessee. 



#2 Trillium Farm

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 06:46 AM

At Agritechnica 2019 Steyr the Austrian tractor manufacturer did show their "Konzept Tractor" which is a hybrid, though I don't know how close to production it is. It recharges the batteries whenever it's going down-hill which in Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy, its main markets, this is in every field. :) I don't think it would fly yet with us, but boy aren't all governments pushing this electric stuff! :wacko:



#3 Vol

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 06:57 AM

You have to be very careful with what you are being told by the E promoters...like anything else it seems. Some of these E promoters are figuring electrical costs as what you pay the Electric company that the energy is purchased from. They don't include the actual costs of producing that electricity by the electric companies....especially the "carbon footprint"....which seems to be all the rage lately. 

 

Regards, Mike


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#4 TJ Hendren

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 10:47 AM

Exactly Vol, I have heard that a windmill can spin until it falls apart and not produce the energy it took to make it. 


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#5 slowzuki

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 01:56 PM

Older turbines generally make 20-30 times the energy it took to construct them over their operating life of about 25 years.  Newer larger ones are better but don't have as much operational history to get complete results.  Obviously an over ambitious person/group putting a turbine in a poor wind site (happened locally to me) will not achieve the same results.

 

Honestly whenever possible I run something with an electric motor instead of internal combustion, nothing to do with environment, just much more reliable.  Flick a switch and generally can almost ignore the thing for decades.  Tractor like that would be ideal as long as I'm not dragging an umbilical around.  Even if it made it so you charged the battery pack off a diesel generator at your farm that you could swap easily, that's a win to me.  Run solar/grid when its cheaper, run big genset when needed.  Provides emergency power for the farm too.  Drive motor and PTO motor both with infinite variable speed.  Perfect.


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#6 mlappin

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 08:45 AM

Older turbines generally make 20-30 times the energy it took to construct them over their operating life of about 25 years.  Newer larger ones are better but don't have as much operational history to get complete results.  Obviously an over ambitious person/group putting a turbine in a poor wind site (happened locally to me) will not achieve the same results.

 

Honestly whenever possible I run something with an electric motor instead of internal combustion, nothing to do with environment, just much more reliable.  Flick a switch and generally can almost ignore the thing for decades.  Tractor like that would be ideal as long as I'm not dragging an umbilical around.  Even if it made it so you charged the battery pack off a diesel generator at your farm that you could swap easily, that's a win to me.  Run solar/grid when its cheaper, run big genset when needed.  Provides emergency power for the farm too.  Drive motor and PTO motor both with infinite variable speed.  Perfect.

Far as electric motor reliability, we have some three phase motors that are so old nothing is legible on the tags anymore.

I bought a 3” mud pump several years ago, came with a Honda motor on it, Honda or not I yanked the gas motor and replaced with an electric. Electric motor always starts at zero, can’t say the same for even a Honda. Use it to pump feed grade jam and glycerin into the vertical TMR.



#7 Stxpecans123

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 05:39 PM

I agree that electric motors are generally very reliable, let it sit drag it out 20 years later and works the same.
But batteries on the other hand nope.
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#8 Trillium Farm

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Posted 19 March 2021 - 01:32 PM

I think that electric machinery will come, but not if it's plug-in, it will have to be a fuel cell like hydrogen or something else.

Plug-ins work in the city (somewhat) but will not work in a farm environment for tractors, though some minor implements could be operated even if plug-ins.



#9 Ray 54

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 05:12 PM

A magazine for antique farm machinery has a little blip on a 2015 John Deere 944K wheel loader with diesel electric hybrid power has 1 million hour of operating time. The fuel consumption they claim is is less than 1/2 of what all diesel machine is. The braking system reclaims energy to power the electrics is the reason given for less fuel used. One of those claims that sounds to good to be true, but time will tell. The other claim is traction is better with the traction control that limits wheel slip. I assume someone is trying to say this is the future is why it was in a farm tractor magazine dealing with old tractors.   

 

 

I have some doubts about this as Caterpillar had a D7 dozer with electric drive train introduced about the same time that I just read was discontinued from production. But that Cat hoped to have another electric drive train dozer in the future. 



#10 gradyjohn

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 11:55 PM

At Agritechnica 2019 Steyr the Austrian tractor manufacturer did show their "Konzept Tractor" which is a hybrid, though I don't know how close to production it is. It recharges the batteries whenever it's going down-hill which in Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy, its main markets, this is in every field. :) I don't think it would fly yet with us, but boy aren't all governments pushing this electric stuff! :wacko:

Wouldn't do well in Kansas or West or South Texas.

Exactly Vol, I have heard that a windmill can spin until it falls apart and not produce the energy it took to make it. 

You are correct and hardly any of it is recyclable. The blades are cut up and buried I think in Iowa somewhere I read.



#11 slowzuki

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Posted 21 March 2021 - 08:06 AM

Again, the claim that windmills produce less energy than they take to build is incorrect.
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#12 Farmineer95

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Posted 21 March 2021 - 09:14 AM

I’d really like to know all the lifecycle facts about both solar and wind energy. The push is to reduce carbon footprint, but at what cost and who stands to make the money. The raw materials require energy to process, the transportation requires energy, the paperwork (office space) requires energy.... It seems that too many steps are written off as negligible but maybe they all add up? At some point the components, foundations, and whatever else we’re banking on recycling when the technology shows up will be a small enough contribution that it won’t cause the offsetting carbon impact to break even.
Sticky subject, but where’s the documentation? These days I feel there is so much political mis information one could make the argument either way.
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#13 Deutsch Farmer

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:57 AM

I think the key will be it will not look like a tractor.  It will probably be about the size of a lawnmower with no operating station and is controlled via GPS or in bedded field tracking system.  It could sample, till, fertilize and plant at the same time.  It will run 24/7 with a significantly lower compaction footprint.  Our job will be to resupply it as necessary.  

 

That is just a guess and I may be completely wrong.  The key is that with all technology it will replace human labor.  A 'company' could be created that leases per acre or hour to a 'farm manager' who simply supplies one or two people to tender to the machine.

 

Many of us will continue to it 'our' way.  We will be the new Amish.  



#14 Trillium Farm

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 11:42 AM

I think the key will be it will not look like a tractor.  It will probably be about the size of a lawnmower with no operating station and is controlled via GPS or in bedded field tracking system.  It could sample, till, fertilize and plant at the same time.  It will run 24/7 with a significantly lower compaction footprint.  Our job will be to resupply it as necessary.  

 

That is just a guess and I may be completely wrong.  The key is that with all technology it will replace human labor.  A 'company' could be created that leases per acre or hour to a 'farm manager' who simply supplies one or two people to tender to the machine.

 

Many of us will continue to it 'our' way.  We will be the new Amish.  

I can't see it being the size of a lawnmower for any agricultural tractor, nor do I see it as a self managing tractor (yet) there are too many variables that require human intervention. 



#15 dvcochran

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 08:29 PM

Again, the claim that windmills produce less energy than they take to build is incorrect.

Partly true. The initial cost of $2 million per MW takes an average 22 years to pay back for a commercial utility scale unit. This does Not include maintenance and repair cost which is still an unestablished number but it is a Big number.

One unit suffering catastrophic failure can make an entire wind farm become upside down for the entire expected lifecycle. 



#16 slowzuki

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 06:46 AM

Payback time depends completely what market you're located in.  In markets with high energy costs or with a premium for renewables turbines are paying for themselves much faster than that.  The ones with high availability do well too.

 

The trendy green ego projects of sticking turbines in unsuitable locations with poor markets are much, much worse than your numbers dragging averages down.

 

 

Partly true. The initial cost of $2 million per MW takes an average 22 years to pay back for a commercial utility scale unit. This does Not include maintenance and repair cost which is still an unestablished number but it is a Big number.

One unit suffering catastrophic failure can make an entire wind farm become upside down for the entire expected lifecycle. 



#17 dvcochran

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 07:38 PM

Payback time depends completely what market you're located in.  In markets with high energy costs or with a premium for renewables turbines are paying for themselves much faster than that.  The ones with high availability do well too.

 

The trendy green ego projects of sticking turbines in unsuitable locations with poor markets are much, much worse than your numbers dragging averages down.

In the same fashion the ego projects are affecting payback. Loss is loss. I would more believe only a select few farms are truly profitable.

When the startup cost is flattened (with economics/politics or tech, etc...) it will get much better. I do think it is part of our future. Is it a fossil fuel replacement? Not by a long shot, yet. 


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