Solar-powered Cub

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Jeff M
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Solar-powered Cub

Postby Jeff M » Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:08 am

I don't know how many of you browse YouTube, but I found this interesting video about a "1954 Farmall" (I don't think so!). Probably not for dial-up folks, I'm afraid....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R26RdfqG ... =1&t=t&f=b
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Postby Jeff Silvey » Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:15 am

Jeff:
That was neat .He's got more money than I. And proably right about the fossile fuels and the goverment.
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Postby kuda » Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:20 am

That is excellent. That would be great to see in person. Maybe you can get him to a cub tractor show.

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Postby Ron Luebke » Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:31 am

glad he picked a cub instead of a green tractor :lol: :!: i guess it would pay off in the long haul :!:
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Postby 'Country' Elliott » Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:03 am

Hey Jeff...THANKS MY FRIEND :!: :wink: What a GREAT :idea: and it's no surprise that it comes from a Down East Mainiac Engineer either. It was GOOD to see WMTW Channel 8 again :!: I haven't been up in your neck-o-the-woods for sometime! :wink:
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Postby PKS » Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:13 am

Jeff:

Very interesting post. Electric farming in 50 years? Sounds ambitious to me and I am not a farmer. I am all for a better enviornment but the beauty and simplicity of the Cub dissapears with its solar outfit.

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Postby Eugene » Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:42 am

That solar powered Cub was featured in an article in MotherEarth News. The article stated that Howe has $5000- in the conversion plus the cost of the tractor.

If you will notice the engine is still in the tractor and that you don't get a good look at tractor or its solar power set up.

I'm a skeptic. It this were a true solar powered, Cub then the clutch and or crankshaft would have to be removed or the tractor operated with the clutch depressed when operated with solar power. If the crankshaft and or clutch were removed, why leave on the exhaust and other unnecessary parts for solar operation. :?:

There is a renewable energy center in New Bloomfield, Missouri sponsored by one of the religious based TV stations. They have a W series Allis Chalmers tractor that has been converted to solar power.

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Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:50 am

I assume he has the clutch blocked down, or removed, since I see an eletric motor and drive pulley on the rear running th pto shaft. Leaving the motor in would make sence in my area due to sun only being available to chrge batteries part of the time. We don't get neough sun to keep the batteries charged on Mom's gate opnener in the winter sometimes.
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Postby George Willer » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:13 am

I'm a skeptic. It this were a true solar powered, Cub then the clutch and or crankshaft would have to be removed or the tractor operated with the clutch depressed when operated with solar power. If the crankshaft and or clutch were removed, why leave on the exhaust and other unnecessary parts for solar operation.


I'm happy he chose a Cub for his experiment, but I'm HUGELY skeptical. As we can easily see, the solar panels are charging batteries and the tractor is running on that battery power. Nothing new here. What's important and hasn't been mentioned is how much work can be done using the batteries and how many days will be required to recharge the batteries using those tiny solar panels. It shouldn't be necessary to carry the solar cells along with the tractor except for theatrical reasons. To be possibly practical the solar panels should be the entire barn roof.
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Postby Jim Becker » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:34 am

Until I see something with specifics to convince me otherwise, I'll consider it to be substantially a hoax. The stories all make it sound like it is running in real time off the solar panels. That isn't happening, for the reasons GW cited.

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Postby Eugene » Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:32 pm

The solar powered W series Allis from New Bloomfield, Missouri is strictly battery operated. The engine has been removed and there are no solar panels on the tractor. The TV station features a half hour energy program every weekday evening. Every once in a while, during a demonstration, you can see the battery powered tractor operate in the background. - Not part of the demonstration/presentation.

As far as battery/solar powered farm tractors in 50 years. Perhaps, but not with current day batteries. When I was a kid we farmed (machinery was running) 24 hours a day during spring tilling/planting and fall/winter harvest. 3 or 4 hours run time out of a set of batterys just wouldn't cut it in a farming operation.

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Postby Rudi » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:33 pm

I really would like to see this guy come on the forum and explain to us in detail how he did this and what the actual costs where. Also, as George and others stated.. the real test is how much work can be done... I can see this as a lofty goal, but as Eugene said.. when current battery technology can only provide say 2 or 3 hours per charge -- you would have to have a minimum of 8 tractors to do the work of 1 gas powered tractor. I see no advantage at all..

And I am hugely skeptical as well.

When it comes to solar power.. one just has to look at the annual solar powered car cross country run from USC to MIT I think it is. Lofty goals, brilliant ideas, good engineering.. good fabrication -- just not Economical by any standards..

Only place solar panels are really useful is probably on the ISS.. :!: :wink: :D

But HAY.. What do I know :!: :?: :wink: :roll: :lol:
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Postby Bigdog » Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:20 pm

Here's a link to another one courtesy of our old friend Lombard:

http://www.flyingbeet.com/electricg/
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Postby 400lbsonacubseatspring » Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:00 pm

We did some calculations last time someone mentioned this device.

First, as Jim pointed out, there is no vehicle this side of the troposphere that can run off of real time solar electric. So, putting cells on any solar-powered vehicle is merely a way to say "look!! this vehicle is solar-powered!!!!"

Even if one covered the barn roof, the amount of work the tractor would be able to do, without removing the heavy engine and transmission to offset the weight of the batteries, would be somewhat limited.

I think, last time we discussed this, we figured that optimally, the tractor might be able to do 3 hours of work at a time, and then require about a good week of charging, with a fairly massive solar array.

Now, for some of us......that'd do the job......for me, when plowing snow, or plowing fields, however, it would be a useless figure.

If you want alternative fuel for a small tractor, build yourself a wood gassifier....they sound like a real pain in the butt, but the technology is proven, and sound.

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Postby Jim Becker » Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:30 pm

Another observation, note that in the video he is pulling a wheel rake with his magic tractor. I'd like to see him drop a plow in the ground.


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