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Re: Solar 8N

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William Fissell

03-31-2013 05:40:01

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The energy density of solar is a little low yet. However, tractors seem to have three major characteristics: torque, weight, and reliability. Electric does pretty well on all three (think diesel-electric locomotives).

The main issue is whether batteries can equal the energy density of chemical fuels, and the answer as yet seems NO. Diesel has about 36 megajoules of energy per liter of volume, and lithium batteries have about 8% of that, and lead-acid another tenfold lower than that.

I could see a smallish tractor with a 15 horse DC electric motor driving each rear wheel, or, better yet, as part of each wheel, and about 1500 pounds of battery in the not-too-distant future. No need for hydro for continuously-variable transmission; no frictional losses in clutch, tranny, differential....

I wouldn't scoff at folks thinking down these lines, even if a pilot implementation seems unworkable.

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03-31-2013 12:21:55

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 Re: Solar 8N in reply to William Fissell, 03-31-2013 05:40:01  
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I certainly agree that we don't want to scoff at innovation. It was only 70 or 80 some years ago that Ol Henry was likely scoffed at by some horse farmers.

They are still pretty far away, but making progress. If you like this kind of stuff you may find this interesting. I work for one of the Sponsors.

As it should be, there is no Government funding.

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