Hydrogenation of a diesel tractor

We are working to convert a diesel tractor to a hydrogen fuel cell powered tractor.

Christopher de Klerk
Hogeschool Arnhem en Nijmegen
Automotive engineering

Over het initiatief / About the initiative

Hydrogenation of a diesel tractor

In welke fase zit jouw initiatief? / In what stage is your initiative?

Uitgewerkt conceptfase

Heb je jouw initiatief al gevalideerd? / Did you validate your initiative?


Meer informatie over jouw initiatief / More info about your initiative

We are a small team from Aventus and the HAN Arnhem which are working together to change the agricultural industry. We believe that hydrogen fuel cells are an effective way to get farmers who would prefer to be able to work around the clock and keep to their own pattern (refuelling instead of recharging or even battery swapping). With the use of a fuel cell, a farmer would be able to keep working as long as he had hydrogen (much like with diesel today), but instead of refuelling with a toxic, inefficient fuel source, he would be able to keep driving on a green, eco-friendly fuel source.

Wat is er anders/nieuw aan jouw idee/oplossing t.o.v. bestaande oplossingen? / What is different/new about your idea/solution compared to existing solutions??

We believe that our idea is new/different as whilst we still have a battery pack, the idea is to keep it limited and simply for driving in and out of the shed/storage area. This would mean that we can save greatly on weight, which is an issue plaguing electric tractors as tractors that are too heavy would sink and get stuck in mud. Another benefit of a hydrogen-powered tractor would be that you could simply refuel or change tanks, instead of having to recharge batteries overnight. The Netherlands is already looking at expanding other energy sectors, such as nuclear, but a good sector which is seeing a lot of private investment is hydrogen.

Wat zijn jouw volgende stappen om het verder te ontwikkelen? / What are your next steps to develop the initiative?

The next steps are simply getting the hydrogen section of the tractor to work. We have currently got it running electrically which was a huge step from day 1, where we had nothing. To get it running with the fuel cell, we need to complete our hydrogen schematic, get it HazOp certified and then build it. This is very much a simplification of the process as it will probably not go that smoothly as hydrogen is dangerous when underestimated, so all safety procedures must be followed.

Wat heb je nodig om (nog meer) impact te maken met dit initiatief? / What do you need to make (more) impact with this initiative?

A good start would simply be to get the word out about our project, as the more interest there is in hydrogen the quicker the advancements in the industry and infrastructure will come.