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29 Sep 2021

Is Hydrogen Power the Next Big Thing?

Ahead of LAMMA 2022, the maker of SPAL high performance fans and blowers which feature on the kit of the major global producers of agricultural machines, is working with various manufacturers to see if hydrogen is the preferred route for the agricultural sector.

Hydrogen has proven its value in construction as electric is unsuitable for powering the larger size of the machines through their work cycle. Plus from a practical standpoint, in the middle of a building site is not the place for recharging. Plugging in a heavy-duty tractor halfway through its progression in a field presents the same issue.

Electric autonomous tractors on the other hand are making considerable headway as the vehicle can be driven to the start point, the field plotted and the farmer can effectively put his feet up with a newspaper while the machine does its thing.

Matthew Morris MD, SPAL Automotive UK spent an entertaining half hour observing his neighbour’s autonomous electric lawn mower following its pre-programmed route around the garden guided by a wire which marks out the boundaries. At the end of its shift, the machine simply heads back to base and reverses itself onto the dock to recharge ready for its next outing.

Electric ingenuity aside, SPAL’s contribution to the development of hydrogen powered machines is all about superior thermal management. The fuel has such a high energy density it produces a lot of heat and that requires cooling by the biggest fans available which can be found in SPAL’s advanced brushless technology range.

While SPAL remains heavily involved in the service side of the sector supplying spare and replacement parts, the signs are there that hydrogen will be adopted as the new energy source for agricultural.


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