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Emissions Analytics provide real-world fuel data for tractors

By Kyle Linsay
Monday, January 19, 2015 - 17:00

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Evaluation involved two engine exhaust after-treatment systems

Harper Adams University team with Emissions Analytics to get to the bottom of agricultural emissions

This collaboration between Emissions Analytics and the agricultural sector has the potential to allow farmers to save fuel, reducing harmful emissions, and provides a framework for the future testing of all non-road mobile machinery (N-RMM) with the stated aim of the project to investigate the differences between theoretical CO2 conversion factors and real-world factors for N-RMM. The results have demonstrated the feasibility of using a Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) in an agricultural application.

Traditionally, Harper Adams has evaluated agricultural machinery in controlled environments such as a soil hall however this doesn’t take into account the many variables when operating in an agricultural environment. Working with Emissions Analytics, and supported by agricultural machinery company CLAAS, postgraduate students took a PEMS into the field to find the facts.

Testing two CLAAS tractors, the evaluation involved two engine exhaust after-treatment systems commonly used to reduce emissions. These included a CLAAS Axion 830 with a selective catalytic reduction system and a CLAAS Arion 650 using exhaust gas recirculation combined with a diesel particulate filter.

Both tractors were trialled in three conditions – using a dynamometer to add a variable load to the power-take-off shaft, road testing at high speed with a fully laden trailer, and in a field with a subsoiler and power harrow. As with Emissions Analytics’ evaluation of road vehicles, the CO, CO2, NOx and THC emissions data was combined with vehicle data such as GPS position, engine load and speed to provide a highly detailed measure of efficiency.

The results demonstrated that by using the traditional conversion factors supplied by DEFRA, CO2 emissions are being over estimated in the agricultural sector.

As regulations change for N-RMM, the value of PEMS to measure compliance will allow Emissions Analytics to broaden their research into other off highway sectors, when fuel economy has been hard to quantify.

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