New hybrid technology, similar to that used in hybrid cars, is being applied to farm vehicles to cut fuel use in half. Researchers at the famed Aalto University in Finland have developed an electric power transmission system that captures and stores the extra energy created by the vehicles during work tasks. The energy then can be used later during a peak power demand to lessen the load on the fuel-hungry combustion engine.
Professor Jussi Suomela from Aalto University’s HybLab research network is leading the project. The research team is now trying to pinpoint which work cycles, such as deceleration and lowering a load, produce the most energy to power the vehicle. With an electric power transmission, the machines may even be plugged into normal wall sockets to get power from the grid. The energy stored in the vehicle could also be released back to the grid.
For further information about the research program, go to http://mide.aalto.fi/en/HybLab.