In February 2009, I had talked about how the New Holland NH2 fuel cell farm tractor won the gold medal in the SIMA Innovation Awards. The farm tractor easily pulled away from its combination, not only being the best in category but the only in category in regard to hydrogen fuel cell powered tractors.
Well, now the New Holland NH2 has been seriously upgraded and is ready to go into action. Ironically enough, the first fuel cell vehicle was not the 1966 GM Electrovan as many people believe. Instead the first fuel cell vehicle was actually a 1959 Allis-Chalmers farm tractor. So, it’s not odd at all that New Holland would pick up where Allis-Chalmers left off over half a century ago.
The upgraded New Holland NH2 has twice the power and torque as the 2009 version. The fuel cells have gone from putting out 67 hp to 135 hp.
According to New Holland, “… the new model has fuel cells that deliver double the power, increased from 67 hp to 135 engine horsepower, as there are now three stacks developing a total of 384 units (the first model had two stacks providing a total of 256 units) … Each of the new electric motors has a power output of 135 hp, with continuous torque of 700 lb.ft. and maximum torque of 887 lb. ft. Top crankshaft speed is 3000 rpm, and efficiency at maximum power output is a staggering 96% …
“Other new features include a 12kWh, 300V battery, with peak power output of 50kW, the new Continuously Variable Transmission, replacing the conventional manual gearbox, a suspended front axle, and the inclusion of front loader mounting points as standard. Performance levels of the new NH2 are more than equal to those of a tractor similar size with a conventional engine. However, it offers one enormous advantage: the tractor produces zero harmful exhaust emissions, only heat and water vapor.”
So, you see this version of the New Holland NH2 fuel cell farm tractor is not just built for show but is built for go. And starting in the summer of 2012, the NH2 will be deployed to the La Bellotta farm in Italy. Bellissimo!