Steyr has unveiled the latest stage of its “Konzept” development, with the release of details of the Konzept hybrid driveline following the display of the original “Konzept” tractor at Agritechnica 2019.
A major focus of research has focused on the benefits of electric drive systems with the potential to power a high horsepower lightweight tractor offering fuel consumption benefits of an average of 8%. These benefits also mean new levels of driving experience and performance.
Christian Huber, Global Head of Tractor Products, explains that the HybridDrivetrain Konzept was created from the diesel/electric hybrid knowledge gained from the development of the Steyr Konzept tractor.
“In detail, the Konzept hybrid transmission follows the line of thinking of the Konzept tractor,” says Huber. “It shows where we are headed, particularly in terms of transmissions and features that may find their way into tractors in the future.
Like any vehicle, when driving on the road, its speed must be reduced when approaching, for example, a roundabout or a level crossing. The key to efficient road travel is how quickly a vehicle can pick up speed when exiting the roundabout or level crossing. The electric drive system makes it easy to return to maximum travel speed, which we can now achieve faster than with a conventional transmission.
“It’s also much more efficient at retaining as much of its maximum travel speed as possible when driving uphill,” says Huber. “This is mainly due to the application of supercapacitor technology, which allows us to boost tractor power when demand is greater, delivering up to 25% faster acceleration. The same is true when working in the field with tools to cover peak loads in high draft applications. »
Other benefits of electric drive development include reduced turning radius. The electric drive allows the speed of the front axle to be increased when cornering, creating an active cornering effect that is particularly beneficial on headland bends. Compared to a conventional tractor with the same wheelbase fitted with the same tyres, the turning radius is reduced by around 1.5 metres.
The Hybrid Konzept is also capable of transferring power to a tool, via high-voltage outlets on the front and rear, Huber explains.
“Transferring electric power to the implement wheels can help the tractor-implement combination as a whole gain additional traction, and potentially allow the use of a larger implement than would otherwise be possible with the size of the implement. tractor.
“This offers advantages in terms of working speed and, in addition, it is possible to use electrical energy for the needs of tools such as electric drives for seed drills, fertilizer spreaders or trailed sprayers.”
There are also electric drive advantages for the traction efficiency of the Hybrid Drivetrain Konzept, he says.
“With Front/Rear Torque Vectoring Differential, we can direct torque forward or rearward as needed and allow both axles to perform optimally, delivering up to 10% more power to the hitch bar. Complemented by 4 wheel drive, this allows the tractor to overcome extreme conditions.
“This means we have created a variable on-demand 4WD system, minimizing the typical front axle slip seen on a conventional tractor working with a tillage implement. As a result, it also reduces fuel consumption and ground damage.
“We have also integrated a unique braking retarder, which allows a tractor equipped with this transmission to maintain a constant speed downhill. Indeed, the brake retarder, in combination with the S-Brake, can significantly reduce the need for braking, even with a heavy load on a trailer. Benefits include reduced brake wear and increased safety. In addition, the brake retarder is used to recharge the super capacitors.
“We plan to show the Hybrid Konzept at future exhibitions and agricultural fairs, and although it remains a concept study that will not go into production by itself, some of its concept ideas may be seen in the future. on STEYR products.”