Finnish tractor manufacturer Valtra, Inc., has been awarded the silver medal at the Agrosalon exhibition in Moscow in early October, for its N103.4 HiTech Dual Fuel tractor. The jury praised especially the low operating costs of the dual-fuel tractor, which can run on diesel and either biogas or natural gas. If gas is unavailable, the tractor can run normally on diesel alone.
When run on gas, small quantities of diesel are injected into the fuel mix to create combustion in the cylinder under pressure. However, most of the power is generated by the gas. Either natural gas, which is abundant in Russia, or biogas, which is more popular in the EU, can be used. Using natural gas or biogas has no adverse effect on the tractor’s performance, the tasks it is used for or the optional equipment that can be specified with it.
In Valtra Dual Fuel tractors a standard AGCO Power diesel engine is converted to use two types of fuel. The majority, up to 83 % of the power is generated by methane from natural gas or upgraded biogas and a minor part by diesel fuel to ignite the gas-air mixture according to the diesel process.
For precise and efficient fuel injection there is an intake manifold with integrated electronic gas injectors and a gas common rail operating parallel to the standard diesel injection. To meet the current emission limits the tractor has a model specified system (including oxidation catalyst) for diesel and gas emission reduction. Engine operations and emission reduction systems for diesel and dual fuel are combined by a common control system with electronic control units for both fuels and linked to the tractor control system.
The gas tanks are of durable composite material and they are located below the cab floor level, not influencing the centre of gravity, not disturbing the visibility, ground clearance or use of important equipment like front loader. The gas tank capacity is 192 litres and the maximum fill-up pressure is 200 bar. This basic gas tank capacity allows working approximately four hours but it is possible to mount additional tanks for example as extra weight in front of the tractor. The diesel tank volume is the same as on a regular tractor. The engine can switch automatically to run with diesel fuel only if gas is not available.
Valtra dual-fuel models include the N Series HiTech and HiTech 5 models N103.4, N113 and N123.
(Source: Valtra, Inc.)