CNG Hybrid Power System for Mobile Vehicles
This project developed a high efficiency, compressed natural gas-hybrid electric power system for mobile off-road agricultural equipment
The researchers finalized the design of the prototype CNG hybrid-electric harvester and plan to commercialize the hybrid subsystems (e.g., high voltage safety hub, electrified HVAC cab comfort system, and electrohydraulic system) to support a variety of off-road mobile equipment. Supplier delays, equipment failures, and COVID-19 prevented the researchers from completing the real world in-use demonstration. Instead, the team conducted the demonstration in a simulated orchard environment and compared the data with documented diesel emission factors. The CNG hybrid-electric power system enabled a 27 percent reduction in CO2 emissions and 43 percent reduction in fuel costs. The final report was submitted in March 2021 and is in the publications process.
This project developed an easy-to-integrate, cost-effective, natural gas hybrid-electric power system that can replace diesel power systems on mobile agricultural equipment. The hybrid power system uses an integrated battery system that allows the engine to be decoupled from the electrified propulsion and hydraulic systems. The hybrid power system improves system efficiency, reduces emissions, creates healthier working environments, and provides a transitional platform to zero emission vehicles in the future. The researchers aimed to integrate the system on an almond harvester and demonstrate it in real world operation at an orchard.
The project achieved a 27 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by decoupling the propulsion and hydraulics using hybridization. NOx and PM emission reductions were achieved by switching from diesel engine to a downsized CNG engine.
Key Project Members
Western Integrated Technologies, Inc.
A-1 Alternative Fuel Systems
H.G. Makelim Company