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Stackyard News Oct 07

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Fendt Tractor Runs on Rapeseed Oil

Viewed in the long term and over a broad area, the use of energy carriers that are produced close to nature, such as rapeseed oil, leads to lower CO2 emissions than fossil oil. In view of the finite character of fossil resources, raw materials that can be produced agriculturally are gaining greater importance. Meeting this trend, Fendt will be the first tractor manufacturer to introduce a tractor, the 820 Variogreentec, at the Agritechnica 2007 that runs on rapeseed oil ex works.

Fendt will be the first tractor manufacturer to introduce a tractor, the 820 Variogreentec, at the Agritechnica 2007 that runs on rapeseed oil ex works.

Hadlow College

Integrated in the existing tractor concept

The new concept, which was developed together with the engine manufacturer Deutz, is based on a valve-controlled two-tank system. This comprises a 340-litre rapeseed oil tank and a considerably smaller diesel tank with a capacity of some 80 litres, as well as sophisticated valve technology. This tank capacity is designed for 80% rapeseed oil operation, which means that it is above all for vehicles that are primarily operated at a high engine load.

The engine is first started with diesel fuel and then warmed up. This is necessary because the rapeseed oil differs significantly from diesel fuels in viscosity as well as flash point. Both properties have a decisive influence on combustion. In order to ensure as complete a combustion process as possible, the vegetable oil must be sprayed just as finely as the diesel. To achieve this, the viscosity of the oil must first be adjusted to match that of diesel. The viscosity of vegetable oil is strongly dependent on temperature: the higher the temperature is, the lower the viscosity becomes. That is why the greentec system only switches to rapeseed oil operation when certain parameters are attained.
The automatic switch-over occurs when the oil has been preheated to 70 degrees Celsius with the aid of the cooling water heat exchanger or when engine power output is at least 25 percent of the maximum load for more than 30 seconds.

As soon as these parameters are no longer met, the system switches back to diesel operation. The rapeseed oil branch is then flushed with diesel, which takes a few seconds. Flushing prevents the rapeseed oil from entering into the diesel. When switching off the engine, the driver must switch over to diesel operation manually, if the automatic function has not already done so. The driver can monitor which fuel is currently being used through a special indicator in the Varioterminal.

It pays off

This is an integral system, since it was developed together with the engine manufacturer. The greentec tractor has undergone comprehensive testing and Fendt gives farmers a manufacturer's guarantee, just as with the diesel-operated vehicles. Thanks to Fendt's well-known excellent warranty and goodwill service, owners also have no disadvantages when selling their tractor on the used machine market.

Benefits that speak for themselves

The single greatest operating cost factor in many farming businesses is fuel. With the use of rapeseed oil, costs in this area can be reduced significantly. Because the tax burden on diesel is high, it is considerably more expensive than rapeseed oil, even when purchased litre-wise. At oil mills or filling stations, pure rapeseed oil currently costs about 0.70 euro per litre.

Moreover, rapeseed oil can be manufactured regionally and close to farms. The path from the producer to the consumer is therefore accordingly shorter. The by-products of rapeseed oil production – oil and press cake – can be used as high-grade protein feed for animal husbandry.

Organic fuels offer a wide range of benefits. A renewable, and therefore living raw material, though, requires special awareness of its properties, for example, regarding correct storage.

link New McCormick Tractor for Hadlow College
link New Compact Tractors for Landini Line-Up
link New Holland sponsors the 2007 Biofuels Conference

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