The special requirements placed on trucks and agricultural machinery often make it difficult for engineers to bring them into the electric age. At the Agritechnica agricultural machinery fair researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are now showing what a modular development kit for electric tractors can look like. Their platform features modules for various uses and a power bank which can be used as a replacement battery when necessary.
The agricultural industry is among those economic sectors most directly impacted by the consequences of climate change. Extreme weather events erode profits in the field and make planning increasingly difficult for farmers. At the same time, tractors and agricultural machinery still operate for the most part on diesel fuel. A variety of different challenges, for example cost pressure and the lack of access to technology, are making it hard for many agricultural machinery manufacturers to transition to electric drives on a broad basis. This is where the research project TUMtrac comes in. TUM researchers are developing a modular development kit for all-electric tractors. The objective is to support agricultural machinery manufacturers in the development of new tractor concepts, regardless of brand. The team is presenting one possible variant at the agricultural machinery trade fair Agritechnica.
Here the team is focusing on small to mid-sized tractors like the ones used for example in fruit farming. "We see potential for electrification primarily in tractors. These machines have to work long hours but only have to deliver a low constant output. Hop and wine growing are perfect examples. Thanks to its modular format, our tractor kit will be able to simulate and evaluate a broad range of different tractor concepts," says Korbinian Götz, director of the research project at the TUM Chair of Automotive Technology . Tractors designed with the modular kit will be particularly well suited for 1,000 and more annual hours of operation.