John Deere’s 7530 and 7430 E-Premium 180hp tractors, which generate single- and three-phase power and use electrical power to power everything non-essential, will be available from May 2009.
The benefits of E-Premium are more than just an extra source of power in the field, says Deere. By cutting the power drain on the engine by components such as the cooling fan, pump and air-con unit, engine power is available for performance when the operator needs it.
The result is said to be 6% fuel savings, a figure that increases if the tractor is used mostly for lighter pto operations, such as spraying or fertiliser spreading.
How does it work? A crankshaft generator replaces the usual alternator and is fitted to the engine just behind the flywheel, putting out up to 20kW of electrical power. This is fed into the power electronics box, travelling through a series of converters that turn it into the correct voltage for what is required.
A central controller then decides how much power is needed by each application and where it needs to go. Equipment such as the cooling fan, coolant pump, air-conditioning compressor and air-brake compressor are all powered electrically, so they don’t have to run all the time.
And because it’s driven by a motor, the fan can be reversed at the touch of a button to clear the radiator grilles.
Belts and pulleys are done away with in the fan drive set-up and replaced by electric motors that vary speed according to engine temperature.
They are powered independently from engine revs, so the cooling fan, for example, can be operated flat out even at low revs. That means the engine’s power boost function – which on the 7430 and 7530 is 35hp instead of the standard 25hp – cuts in at 1250rpm, instead of the standard 1700rpm.
This extra 10hp also takes the power output from the standard 203hp with power boost to 213hp.
This all translates into better performance all round, says Deere, with the power boost available 15% sooner than with a standard 7530.
Two power sockets, positioned on the back of the tractor, provide 5kW for 230V single-phase equipment and 400V for three-phase tools – making it a mobile workshop. At the moment, this power is available only when the tractor is stationary. But soon these external power points will be able to power implements that aren’t particularly power hungry but require set drive speeds, such as sprayers and spreaders.
Implement manufacturers like Rauch are said to developing fertiliser spreaders that run using the plug-in option.
Both 7430 and 7530 E Premium tractors are aimed squarely at high-hour users and both models have high-spec levels.
Spec for spec, Deere says the system will probably cost about £5000 more, with the 7530 E Premium priced at £102,144 and the 7430 at £98,318.
- 35hp power boost – available at 1250rpm instead of 1700rpm
- 6% fuel reduction
- Increased acceleration thanks to longer power boost curve
- 230V single-phase and 400V three-phase power outputs when stationary
- Reverse fan function