Professor Robert Pieri, NDSU Mechanical Engineering and his students have been working on a hydrogen powered tractor concept since 2007 and are now putting this H2 / diesel hybrid vehicle to use.
Besides tilling the soil and harvesting the green plants, this tractor is very green itself. The hydrogen is created by a wind turbine on highway 83 that electrolyzes water and produces the H2 gas.
According to Pieri, the conversion of the hydrogen tractor cost around $3,500 without overhauling the engine. With a flip of a couple of switches the tractor can run on either diesel fuel or compressed hydrogen gas.
I’ve talked about a couple of hydrogen fuel cell tractors in the past including the New Holland NH2 and the first fuel cell vehicle on record an Allis Chalmers fuel cell tractor. But, the hydrogen tractor near Fargo uses an internal combustion engine and is a dual fuel vehicle as well.
This opens up many green possibilities for farmers who may wish to run their green tractors on biodiesel, hydrogen or both. With the NDSU hydrogen tractor being such a relatively cheap conversion, this may open up many such future conversions within farming communities.
And what could be more poetic that green tractors farming green fields and selling the produce to green-minded consumers?